3-1-08 Fimbul Winter

The snow has stopped. Time to shovel again.
As I have been shoveling lately, I keep thinking about Fimbul Winter- the twilight of the gods.
In theory it would be 3 years of winter with no summer. (hey, in Narnia, it lasted hundreds of years- without too much difficulty, except no Christmas)
But if you think about three years of winter in less of a mythological and more of a science fiction manner. How would it be accomplished? We now know more about the world- would fimbul winter mean that the southern hemisphere would have to deal with three years of summer? I don’t think they could change the amount of light- you’d still have the long days in the summer- no matter if it’s got snow piled up (kind of like now). Of course, the latitude would have an impact. Goodness, up in Scandinavia with those winter days of no sun, they’d have the equivalent long hours of light in the summer which would be so weird in days of “snow and wind from every direction”. So much twilight!
I think they got some things right- first the wild animals died, and when people realized that this was fimbul winter, they lost all their concern for each other and started fighting, both within families and in countries.
In the modern world- of course we wouldn’t know how long it was going to last, so we’d keep assuming it was an aberration, and keep on trying to maintain our own assumption of normalcy. Where would we put the snow? (This may have started the thought- Once my piles of snow get too high to be able to toss the snow OVER the top of the piles, I have to walk over and find a place where it’s not so high, and then after a while, even further. I can throw it up over my head.) Of course with municipalities, they’d have to find places to put it. When the rivers freeze, you can’t dump it there, and the sewers would have problems. Towns would exhaust their budgets for plowing and heating town buildings, even with normal sun light hours they wouldn’t be able to repair the roads well. Poor people would suffer first, not be able to heat, grow food, they’d be the first to lose jobs, and not be able to relocate to warmer latitudes, and of course die. It would be a bitch to try to bury people. Some seeds would just go dormant, but how long could could that last? We’d likely have spells like the January Thaw where trees respond to the warming and then are damaged by the returning cold. It would be the herbivores who’d die first, and then the animals who lived on them would become more desperate and interact with people more- I expect we’d end up killing the ones who’d managed to survive. It would be a bitch to try to keep animals. Assuming that we could get feed from further south it would be incredibly expensive. Of course increased fuel and shipping costs would run many people out of business… Migrating birds and insects would probably return to their nesting grounds … and die. Well, I’ll continue to ruminate on this as I shovel.


So when I asked Star “shall we do another line?” it occurred to me that in other contexts it might be taken differently.
Amending that with “…of snow?” might also not be much of a clarification. Sigh.
how to do a line
You know what’s neat?
Even now, when the shovel scrapes across the dead mint plants where they escaped from the enclosing wall of the garden- the air still fills with the scent of mint.


Last night before going to bed I watched a whole lot of clips from Sesame Street on You-tube. We’d been talking about the classic short of the hungry cat, and the kids found it for me- which was followed by wondering if they had “Put down the Ducky!” and then “Monster in the Mirror” (they did) and Kermit’s “If I were a poet” madrigal (they didn’t). I watched a whole bunch of Monsterpiece Theaters. I’d never seen their Hamlet (it stared Mel Gibson and Elmo). I went to bed laughing to myself!
We’d gotten a late start shoveling yesterday and only got halfway across the driveway. It started snowing again last night- eight more inches so far (on top of the previous eight). I thought:
“It was snowing out my window when I woke up today.
Snowing out my window and it will not go away!
I did not shed a tear (although I hid in bed) *
Tho’ it seemed to look at me, and this is what it said:
It said: Shovel, shovel, shovel, soon as I am through
Shovel, shovel, shovel, that is what you do!
It says shovel, shovel, shovel, and I’ll snow more tooooo!
If you shovel me I’ll still dump more on you!” ♬

If I can get the right setting for “snow glare” on the camera, I’ll show you our snow.
There’s a bust I made in high school sitting on top of the woodshed, and I tend to measure how much snow we’ve had recently by how buried she is. She’s not even visible today.

*I subscribe to Erma Bombeck’s dictum “Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.”

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