The One That Is Not a Story, but Rather a Manifesto Against the Relentless Winter of 2019 and My Leaky Roof

A photo of me at Mt. Everest that is absolutely not Photoshopped. Really.

Snow came upon snow, a thick layer building on the broken-down gutters, until the pipe took on a slant from the weight. The driveway became a canyon of shoveled snow taller than the car.

“Thaw is coming,” we said, and smiled.

But when it did, the melt dripped from the kitchen ceiling, and the cabinets turned waterfall. Our hopes for spring turned to prayers for a freeze.

Winter delivered, layering slush upon ice upon snow.

Two days later, we had almost dug out. I rested against a snow shovel, watching the sunlight slanting through the icicles. A glacier sat poised on our eaves. An icefall glistened prettily down the side of the house. I pulled out my phone and checked the forecast. More cold, more snow, more thaw.

I grabbed an icepick and charged toward the house, hacking at the Khumbu icefall which was formerly our house.

Winter wasn’t beating me.

150 words.

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Excuse the longer personal note. Two things I wanted to share with you:

1. I’ve been facing a metaphorical Everest myself these days—the icefall on my house only one of my challenges to overcome in 2019. I remain as determined as ever.

My dad had a plaque on his wall—one that would seem painfully ironic in light of his story—but it’s an inspiring truth to anyone who is unafraid of hard work and failure. If you have a dream you’re chasing, it’s a good one to keep in mind anytime you’re beset by setbacks.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
–Calvin Coolidge

2. My story had nothing to do with Everest, but I’m counting on the rest of you to entertain me with your marvelous Everest stories. Since I cheated (technically, I didn’t cheat, since I make the rules on Pegman, and a literal take on the prompt is never mandatory, BUT) this gives me a chance to show off some really great pictures of me at Mt. Everest, which are absolutely not at Photoshopped baahahahaha.

Another photo of me at Mt. Everest that is absolutely not Photoshopped. Really.

One more definitely not photoshopped picture of me at Everest.

3. Whee! Which actually makes this three things.


  1. I feel for you, and others, caught in the exceptional cold and snow this winter. And I’ll forgive your assault upon the Mother Mountain’s flanks … you’ll understand that better when you read my take on the prompt, to be posted on Monday. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ooooh, I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. What a lovely story. and longer than usual personal note. And all those absolutely real and not photoshopped in any way whatsoever pictures of you conquering Everest. Brilliant. Love how you have bent and refashioned the prompt. So many stories here. Three for the price of one, for sure. Thanks Karen. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Kelvin. When I remember my trip to Everest it seems like a fantasy. Oh wait–no, it IS a fantasy. Thanks for reading!


  3. Your story is a wonderfully lively description of what you’ve been facing. You’ve turned adversity into entertainment! I enjoyed the personal note, too, and the photographs…
    I hope the weather is starting to settle down for you, Karen, and that spring will soon release you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope so too! It’s almost March, it can’t last that much longer (fingers crossed). Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It feels so… so REAL. Wait. It IS real. Worse yet, it’s MY reality too! We can’t beat winter, nor can it beat us. It can only make us suffer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True that. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m chuckling a little at the sight of you taking an axe to our house yesterday… my prince, rescuing us from the glacier.

      I have to say hacking up the ice is kind of therapeutic.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. peterkirsch

    Regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil has so uncommonly professed this year, I think that overgrown rat had been partying the night before and couldn’t have seen his shadow if it had been sewn to his eyebrows.

    It’s the GD ice, KR. For as mild of a December and January as we had, February is making up for it with plenty of a$$holish gusto. With two ailing dogs and a penchant for S.A.D., these gray, wet, icy days harken to the darker side of me, to be sure.

    As much as I want to be this:

    It seems to just come out as this:

    Warmer days ahead…someday.

    P.S. I’m so impressed with your recent weekend getaway up Sagarmatha! No small task considering you were able to do it in winter…smiling…without oxygen…or gloves. I’m pretty sure you’ve broken a world record there, girl. You should be mighty proud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m laughing and crying at your delightful comment. I love that movie by the way. Just watched it, as a matter of fact!


  6. Bracing description of pure hell on the way down from the heights of your very own roof mountain. The photographs are brilliant! 😊


    1. LOL, my roof mountain. Exactly 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I promise you I did not read yours before writing mine just a short while ago.
    MY Mount Everest is MY house. I didn’t discuss the water infiltration. Nuh Unh…

    This was a fun (coz I live north of you, so I KNOW snow, ice, melt, snow, ice, melt… all to well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That IS too funny and a little uncanny. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We were connected 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Damn the cold and the snow. Poor you! I hope the big thaw comes without too much extra damage, though you did write about it so entertainingly! And I love that Coolidge quote. Might just have to steal it and have it laminated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi. I’m going to take the plunge and follow your site. I like your writing. No pressure to reciprocate. Take care.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the follow Neil! Enjoyed (and followed) your blog too!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love your energy and determination in fighting what winter is throwing at you. Your photos are fab. How exciting ! Bring on the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

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