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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ker-PLOP! Defrosting the Freezer

After four days, I realize this is sort of a "water is wet" thread of posts, but hey, what do you expect after an extended weekend of "cabin fever"? The frost roll, as I've come to call the growth hanging over our front easterly eve, continued to grow each day. (Contrary to what I said in the Monday post, it's made not only of snow but also of gathering frost that crystallizes when the relatively warmer air seeping from the eve vents of our long covered porch meets the sub-zero arctic air sifting across the snow-covered roof line.)
I drew this conclusion when the drooping "mor-ang" (meringue) continued to steadily grow over two days of no snowfall and little wind but continued near-zero temps at night. That means this growth is quite different than the more common "snow gutter curl" created by wind during blizzards and gusting winds or the "snow slides" that gradually occur as snow begins to inch down a roof.

This is like the frost in a freezer. Remember your mom's refrigerator freezer before they invented "frost free"? Remember how the space in the compartment got smaller and smaller over time until finally you couldn't even close the freezer door? Remember that round mass of frost on the front edge of each shelf? Remember how you had to chip away with a butter knife just to get out a half-empty, freezer-burnt carton of ice cream?
You don't remember that....? Well, in my boyhood home our freezer got like that every three or four months, and then Mom would spend an afternoon "defrosting" it. We found all kinds of stuff in the frost. It was sort of like an arctic expedition. (She once found a Woolly Mammoth in there with undigested grass in its mouth—oh, wait, that's a different childhood memory.)

At any rate, the frost growth all along the front of my house this week was like a giant frosted freezer growing by several inches each day.
Last night it was about two feet thick from top to bottom and about ten inches thick from front to back. Just as I was wondering how long it could sustain its own weight, I got up this morning and it had fallen in the night. I'm so glad it didn't do that while I was measuring it.

The temperatures have warmed up. Today was "shirt sleeve" weather with a high of 13 degrees. No more measurable frost growth. End of story. (This last picture looks sort of like my mom’s kitchen floor did when she defrosted the freezer.)

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Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

I heard about all the snow in the Thumb area from my relatives. We have very little snow in the Metro Detroit area. I'm just hoping for an early spring.

10/2/07 9:47 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

This post makes me wonder what kind of childhood memories my own kids are going to be telling when they grow up. We won't have any about defrosting the freezer. =)

10/2/07 11:30 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Jody, ask your mom. Really, there was a time when the freezer compartment of all refrigerators got so thick with frost that families could barely get anything in or out of them until moms unplugged the whole refrigerator and let the "frost" thaw enough to break it out in chunks. It was a real chore and usually made a mess of the entire kitchen, but it gave moms the same feeling that dads get from organizing the garage. My mom got her first frost-free refrigerator sometime in the mid 80s. Julie and I had a main refrigerator that was frost-free but well into the 90's our "second" unit (in the basement) had to be defrosted about once a year.

11/2/07 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate, hate, hated to defrost the fridge. That along with cleaning the oven were two of the worst jobs one can think of. Well...maybe there was ironing in there, scrubbing toilets and the floors too.
But back to P of I....I've never seen anything like that in all my days~~the frost off the roof thing!
Did you also have icycles??

1/3/07 9:24 PM  

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