Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Digging out from Minnesota’s winter storm December 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:56 PM

My daughters' cars are buried under a blanket of snow in our driveway on Christmas Eve morning.

Snow piled behind my oldest daughter's car measured nine inches deep on Christmas Eve morning.

SCOOP SHOVELFULS of snow tumble over the roof’s edge just above my office window, showering the snow-laden ground. Scrape, scrape scrape. Metal against asphalt shingles. And then, the occasional thump of heavy boots treading. I worry. Will this be the false step that sends my husband sliding off the icy roof?

But he insists that the snow needs to be removed. Fifteen inches on the garage, a bit less on the house. And so he toils, for the second straight day—up the ladder and then scrape and push, scrape and push, scrape and push.

He’s been battling the snow now since Thursday, just like everyone else in Minnesota.

My oldest daughter and I tried to help by shoveling the end of the driveway Thursday morning. He was off to work and I figured even the snowblower couldn’t cut through the chunks of heavy, compacted snow left by the snowplow. So we worked for an hour, scooping and tossing snow onto piles that towered over our heads.

Finally, we quit, exhausted, backs and hips sore from lifting and twisting and turning. When he came home, he said he could have blown away that snowplow-compacted snow with the snowblower. Oh.

Every day, he’s been out clearing the sidewalk and the driveway, and then a neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway of the dozen or so inches of snow that have fallen here the past few days. It is a never-ending chore.

This morning dawned bright and sunny. No snow or rain or sleet falling. Beautiful really.

City crews had cleared the road by our house, but left a large chunk of snow in the middle of our side street. Woe to the inattentive driver who struck that rock.

But when I looked later, the mini boulder had vanished. Good, I thought…until I spotted the Herculean chunk of snow in our driveway. More snow for my husband to move…

The perspective from which my daughter shot this image makes it appear as if Faribault received an unbelievable amount of snow. She was aiming her camera toward the neighbor's place on the hill.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Photos by Amber Helbling