When the winter winds blow in this country, it’s a comfort to know that your car is safely tucked away. Like a baby in its cradle.
For years I did not shelter my vehicles. If it hailed, my truck suffered multiple concussions. If a bough broke in our yard, my car got bludgeoned. If it snowed – what the heck, did I really say “if”? WHEN it snowed, my vehicle smothered.
I hate a lot of things. I hate picking up dog poop. I hate my bush boots, which, after my walking countless miles in them, still blister my toes. But what I really, REALLY hate, is digging out a vehicle after a snowfall.
I’d prefer to pick up dog poop.
So, when my two car shelters collapsed last winter, I knew I’d have to do something. The shelters I buy, contraptions with tarps and metal pipes, do collapse if I don’t keep the snow off their roofs. Well, I do try. But shit happens. And one collapsed on my truck, and the other one keeled over on the point of collapse, so I tore it down.
I know. I know. I’ve had all summer to erect new shelters. But . . . shit happens. And it was only when I saw this engineering marvel advertised in the Canadian Tire flyer the other day, that I bought another shelter.
Hauled it all the way from Thunder Bay in pieces – the box would not fit in my Kia Magentis.
Over the course of several days, I erected it – most of it alone. Sometimes I asked Olga to hold on to something while I wrestled with some apparatus. And when it came to pitching the tarp over peak of the frame, which towers twelve feet off the ground, I enlisted the help of neighbours.
It was dark when we finished. Had no opportunity to fasten it down the way the manual advised. But, tied it securely with ropes. I have had experience with the antagonism between shelters and Mother Nature.
No surprise, then, next morning. to find the tarp had blown off. Curses. I checked the tarp carefully. It had not a single rip. Oh joy.
The wind persisted for the next few days. I knew I could not re-cover the frame in even a breeze. And the temperature sank below zero at night. And the snow fell.
And then came a day – last Friday – when the snow stopped, and the temperature rose, and the wind stopped. I laboured to get that tarp up again, with Olga holding on to stuff while I wrestled with apparatus, and as the darkness fell, I screwed the last nut on to the last bolt and fastened that sucker down just like the manual advised.
Two days ago, Saturday, I shunted the Kia into the shelter. Wow. It loved the space. You can get in and out of all four doors without crawling through a window: a great improvement over the last models. And space left over to dance a tarantella if you had an accordian.
Come Sunday. Several inches fell overnight.
Now, here’s the thing. I bought this engineering marvel because it has a steeply-pitched roof. I’d never, ever have to clean the snow off the roof again. It would never, ever collapse on me.
As for my truck, I’m wrapping it up for the winter with the old tarp I salvaged.
So, what happened? Shit happened. That roof loves the snow. The snow clings to it like a fuzz on a peach.
And today . . . today, the wind came up. All day it came up. And up. And up.
A couple of times I looked out the window, checked on the new shelter. That snow sure does cling.
And I ask myself, how many inches of snow will that frame bear, and how much storm-force wind will it resist?
I am trying to be philosophical about it.
I have composed a poem:
Rock a bye Kia, on the hill top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the frame breaks, the cradle will fall,
And then God help Kia, cradle and all.
My final question: Will Kia and cradle be there in the morning?
My final thought: Please, God, I’ll pick up the dog poop. Honest. I’ll pack it into my bush boots.