Reading Texans Bill and M Stevens enthuse about their itty-bitty snowfall made me think of this Wall Street Journal article I clipped out a couple of months ago. It seems that a Houston-based company called Ice Express charges big bucks to spray artificial snow around for that special event. A 30 foot by 24 foot area sprayed in ground-up ice will set you back–take a deep breath–$1,150. They don’t give a depth measurement for that price, but in the article it mentions ten inches at one site. So taking that as our depth, let’s do some math. Divide the price by 710 square feet and you get a little under $1.62 per square foot. Divide that by the ten-inch depth and you’ve got sixteen cents for every square foot of snow an inch deep. Now . . . what are the measurements of your yard? Say your lot is 130′ by 100′–about a third of an acre, or 13,000 square feet, and, that, like us, you’ve got 18 inches of snow on the ground. If my calculations are correct, that’s $37,440 worth of snow you’ve got laying around there! But wait, there’s more. Here they charged a dollar to slide down this artificial snow–once. And here the poor kids are waiting in line for their chance to play in pulverized ice. Now when my children whine about how they’re sick of snow, I can truthfully admonish them that “plenty of children would love to have what you’ve got”–if only for a day.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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