Avalanche

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It has started to snow again after two days of being pleasantly calm and only a bit sprinkly. We are currently officially at 3.7 meters with more in some place and less in others (12.14 feet). Tomoe does nothing but stare through the kitchen window. If it gets any worse I may have to let her in.

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It finally warmed up enough that the snow on our roof slid off. We have been waiting because we want to shovel the area around the house, but have been afraid to go near it for fear of it avalanching on-top of us. Still, it is too cold to completely dispose of the snow in front of our house, so for now we just dug a tunnel to the firewood.

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The sound of the snow sliding off the roof is very loud, so we knew when it started and had time to go outside to watch the show. Better than fireworks if you ask me. The only down-side is that it is also fun to be inside the house as it slides. It feels like a small earthquake, but not as scary because we know what is going on. Although, this year is a bit more worrisome with the snow because the back half of our house is very visibly leaning since the quake last April. For all we know the weight of two meters of snow crushing down on it might be a bit much.

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We went “downtown” today to take Mona to her two-year doctor visit. We are terrible parents because she is one-kilogram below the average weight range for her age (not sure the nurse has stopped to think that maybe the other kids skew the average by eating too many cookies) and she has minor frost-bite on her feet (she refuses to wear socks and we refuse to heat the floor). The doctor had to really scrape the bottom, though and mentioned her strangely shaped head. That is Tomoe’s fault because apparently she did something bad while giving birth. At least Mona had clean teeth, but I don’t think we get any points for that as the local pre-school teacher’s kid had millimeter thick layer of plaque and scum on his teeth and the nurse said “Don’t worry. That is unavoidable with children”.

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The photos are from the village center. The tall white pillar indicates the record for deepest snow in an inhabited area in Japan (it is, of course, much deeper on mountain tops). With any luck we will not match or beat the record this year, but it is always a possibility.

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  1. Theresa says:

    Wonderful snow pictures. Every night lately I watch with envy the TV weather report about the heavy, luscious snow in areas of Snow Country. It’s an obvious sign from Mother Nature: stay home and be cozy!

    • kevin says:

      Or maybe a sign to come up and check it out. Apparently our village is in the news a lot recently (missing it without a TV). A lot of the news is sensational. The other day we got phone calls from friends who were worried because everyone saw on the news that teh snow was so deep it was collapsing bridges. This is true, but the TV folks forgot to mention, I guess, that the bridge in question was damaged by the earthquake last spring, and had been closed since. Also they talk about the aging population having to deal with the snow, which is again true, but this also creates jobs for the young people who work for the village snow removal team. And no matter how much people may not like doing it, shoveling snow is not “taihen” – especially for the people with huge snow blower machines. The most “taihen” thing is trying to find someplace to blow it to.

      • Theresa says:

        Yes to the not-taihen! What, people can’t move around, do a little shoveling and actually use their arms, and what’s so difficult about pushing a snow-blowing machine?

        • john says:

          tai·hen
             [taîhen]
          adjective
          1.
          not easily or readily done; requiring much labor, skill, or planning to be performed successfully; difficult to navigate; hard: taihen paperwork.

          See: Japanese Bureaucracy.

  2. zoomingjapan says:

    Holy sh**!!
    And here I thought WE had a lot of snow this year (although I live in southern Japan).
    I suppose you must live in Hokkaido or Chubu?
    That’s crazy!!! I surely don’t miss that kind of weather! I hate snow shoveling! ;)

    • kevin says:

      I live in Northern Nagano, on the border with Niigata.

      I too hated shoveling as a kid – mostly because I didn’t understand it. If the car can drive over the snow in the driveway, why waste time shoveling? Now I am mostly in charge of my own shoveling activities, which means I only do it when I need to. Our house is the only one on the street with snow all around it now as I am the only one who sees no reason to shovel other than to get to the fire-wood.

  3. I know I am a total lurker but I just have to say these pictures are magnificent. Stay warm.

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