Excerpt of The Week: There’s Electricity Under There

From Visiting Tom:

After the chicken chores are done and before I try the truck again, I climb the ladder to the granary roof and clear the photovoltaic panels, which are blindered beneath six solid inches of marzipan. It seems counterintuitive to be harvesting the sun at ten below zero, but the panels are actually more efficient in the cold, so I want to take advantage of the clear skies. While I am up here on the snowy peak I can provide a public service announcement of a sort: Although there are inherent advantages and cost savings to installing solar panels on an existing structure, if you live in country like ours, by the time you’ve made it through your first winter you’ll find yourself thinking maybe you should have shelled out for the ground-level rack. My neighbor lent me a roof rake equipped with a special soft blade that won’t damage the panels, but on a day like today, when the snow is as hard as this, there is nothing for it but to crawl up on the roof and push it loose. But that’s unsafe, I can hear you saying, to which I reply, Boy, is it ever. Plus: Electricity! Now and then Anneliese peeks out the window, and I imagine her thumb hovering above the speed-dial, prepared— I’d like to think— to dial 911, although in fact she may very well be on the line with our insurance agent, Stan, bolstering the payout on my whole life policy.

Michael Perry, Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace

Bonus related oops! link.



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