We have had about a metre of snow on our roof for some time now. We have been living ‘on the edge’. Roof avalanches are a part of life in Norway and if you live here long enough you are bound to get caught in one or at least watch the person in front of you get drowned in falling roof snow.

It is best to remove roof snow the old fashioned way, with a bit of elbow grease. This is for safety, otherwise it could come down at anytime, likely when you are standing under. Moose has had to climb on our roof a couple of times this year with a shovel. One year the snow was so high that from the ground it was half way up the house. Moose just jumped off the roof into the snow to get down. If you are a little lazy or scared of heights, you can wait for warmer weather to get your snow off but then you can’t control it. Melting snow gets slippery and can slide off at the most inconvenient times – like when you have to go to work, and as you start the engine, a snow hill magically appears behind your car, blocking you in – argh! Slamming doors, loud TV and dogs barking are some of the other ways that sets off roof avalanches. But there is another… getting your piano tuned!

We don’t have a piano tuner in Alta (like most cities in Norway) so we get together with a few other piano owners and send up a piano tuner from Oslo. As the tuner started her tinkering on our piano, the first avalanche rumbled down the roof. It wasn’t long before the second, third and fourth sides rumbled down too. The tuner wasn’t playing particularly loud (Big Uncle booms out his dramatic tunes like thunder and lightening and no avalanches) but it must have been the repeated resonance through the house that set off the snow.

I haven’t been game to look outside yet, (we might be snowed in), but at least this week Moose doesn’t have to climb the roof with a shovel. 

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