How to build an igloo

One shovel at a time.

First it has to snow. And it has to stay cold long enough for you to get the igloo built. You’ll need a couple hours, and daylight, so the snow will have to last until a weekend most likely.

You take your snowshovel and pile up a bunch of snow. If it’s really deep you can just use the snow from the immediate vicinity of the igloo itself, tossing shovels-ful into a pile.

Or, if the snow is not quite that deep, say only a foot and a half deep or two feet, you’ll exhaust the vicinity of the igloo which is only a pile at this point, a pile with an igloo inside, and you’ll have to go further afield for your snow. You will shovel off the terrace and the steps and the pile you made over by the fence when you shoveled clear the driveway.

Could be this will still not suffice. You don’t want to move any snow near the hedgehog houses, because it’s probably quite peaceful under there. So you’re walking out to the street, taking a shovelful from the pile at the end of your drive way or, when that is exhausted, taking one from the pile (pretty clean) made in the street itself in front of your house by the snowplow.

And carrying the shovel-ful back to the pile, dumping it, returning to the street for another.

Shovel by shovel.

You don’t count the shovels or the trips you make. You start out doing this, but soon learn that it is not motivating. It is a trip of, what, fifteen or twenty meters one-way.

It takes hundreds of trips.

If you had known this before you started!

But luckily you didn’t, and eventually the pile is the size of an igloo.

Then you hollow it out. You think how much this would suck if it collapsed after all that work, so you leave the walls and ceiling so thick only a cat could fit inside. You tell yourself, your kid might fit. If not, you can always hollow it out a little more.

This coming weekend.

6 responses to “How to build an igloo

  1. How To Despair;
    How To Define More Precisely Exactly How Far You’ll Go To Please Your Child;
    How To Embitter Yourself By Forcefully Confronting The Harsh Reality Behind Cherished Childhood Fantasies;
    How To Stop Liking Snow, If You Ever Were Foolish Enough To Like It In The First Place;
    How To Remind Yourself That Your Middle-Aged Body Can No Longer Sustain Unfamiliar Exertions Without Undue Risk Of Injury

  2. Yeah but how clear the driveway is now! And how buffed the builder!

    My one igloo-building experiment involved a 15′ dumping blizzasrd, a grocery store bereft of all comestibles but Zima, and some scary scary icicles. And a deranged ex-fiance. Only he and the dog would climb inside, but boy that thing looked cool.

  3. mig

    No despair, really. Just the realization that this is how things get done, shovel by shovel. Even the most fucked-up job. Building my house took years and I never would have started the job had I realized what it would entail, but it got done, nail by nail, shovel by shovel.

    Everything in my life is a metaphor for writing, at the moment, you see.

    But it has begun to rain, and I fear the igloo will not be there by the weekend. And so Gamma feels ripped off. I may go out there tonight with a flashlight if there is any snow left. Oh! But I can’t! I’m going to a reception with a couple members of the 4ustri4n g0v3rnm3nt and Alpha tonight, and we’ll be home so late! Poor kid!

  4. And here I am conjuring up reasons to leave the shovel laying there, even after having calculated the number and density of the piles and mapped out the placement of each icicle. Maybe if I go on a flashlight-battery run…

  5. Using the methods in my website I can build a small child size igloo/snow structure in about 90 minutes. Please check out my site and let me know what you think. There is a “contact” button on the site. The methods work and the kids love them. Here is a quote from Michael (5 years old). “Wow, this is amazing. I’m going to stay in here til spring.”

  6. mig

    That’s one cool looking igloo, Miles.