Monday, February 13, 2006

Hard Work Shoveling ・ 大変な雪かき

Hopefully the worst is past, but it has been another terrible winter in Inakadate. In the five years I have lived in northern Japan, I had never experienced a white Christmas until this past one. This year the snow started falling about the 10th of December and really hasn't stopped since then.

I think that just about everyone in Inakadate and Aomori is getting tired of the snow. Snow is a lot of work here. In my hometown in Minnesota it snows a lot, but because of the wide lawns and large spaces, there is lots of room to throw it. Here however, houses are close and roads have big walls nearby and there is no place to easily get rid of the snow.

That makes for lots of work. Many people put the snow into a truck and haul it to the river. I often see three or four trucks lined up by the river (which never freezes) with people dumping off snow. It looks like a lot of work and I can't imagine Minnesotans doing it. The other day in Hirosaki, I saw more than 100 trucks lined up.

I also see lots of people shoveling snow off their roofs. Only rarely do I see that in Minnesota and then most often people do it from the ground. I would guess that across Japan this winter, probably 20 people have died falling off their roofs.

I just want to say 'thank you for all your hard work' to the people of Inakadate. Because of this hard work, the environment in which we all live is safe and comfortable.

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