Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Men Need Kids

No doubt about it, I should have had more kids or a shorter driveway.

This morning I was half an hour into clearing the 5 inches of snow off the driveway when the Catholic guy across the street brought out his home-grown work crew and put them to work. They were done and back in the house drinking hot cocoa before I could even find the path to my front door, let alone shovel it off.

Time to think about that snow blower again.

FROM 12/23/04
Six a. m. Wednesday morning the sleet and freezing rain started. Fortunately, I get up that early to go to work. Fortunately I had stopped on the way home and bought some ice melter. Fortunately, they had 3 20 lb. bags left. (Why is "lb" the abbreviation for "pound"?)
"Do you want help carrying those to your car?"
"No, I need to warm up for lifting heavy shovelfulls of snow." So I carried the 60 pds. (makes more sense) out to my car.
As the sleet pinged off my coat early Wednesday morning, I sprinkled the driveway with ice melter and went off to fight through the morass of terrified drivers clogging the route to work.

By Wednesday afternoon, the roads were getting packed with holiday drivers, semi trucks, workers leaving early, and ice.
I left at about 3:00 and it took me only an hour and a half to go the 15 miles on the expressway from downtown to my house.

It kept on snowing until Thursday morning. At our house we had from 8 to 10 inches of snow. I was not about to do a scientifically accurate measurement, which would have involved trudging about the yard, poking a yardstick in various spots as if I
was trying to see if our yard was done or needed a few more minutes in the oven.

I didn't have time for that; I had to get started shovelling so I could get out and go to work. But wait: Our county was under a "level 3 snow emergency" meaning only emergency vehicles were supposed to be on the road. So no work for me. Yay! I didn't have to go sit in a warm office eating Christmas cookies, meat and cheeses, nuts and candy from clients and vendors! I got to stay home shovelling snow off my driveway!

I also did not scientifically measure the volume of snow removed from my driveway. But my educated guess, given the length of the driveway, the width I cleared, and the 9 inch depth, is that it was between several buttloads and about a hunnerd sh-tloads.

It could have been worse. Had I not put the ice melter down, there would have been a layer of ice becoming one with the cracks and crevices in my driveway. As it was, it only took me a little over three hours to clear one minivan width plus enough space for a sedan on the other side of the garage to possibly maneuver into the cleared path.

This process was made more fun by the snowplow that drove by every hour and spewed a couple inches of slush back onto my clear driveway.

Down the street I saw the neighbors who own snow blowers shooting arcs of snow away in about 1/6 the time it took me to shovel. Aw, snow blowers are for sissies! They foul the air with their gasoline emissions and their obnoxious motor noises!

Later my next door neighbor and across the street neighbor came out and began manually shovelling their driveways. We are real men. A real man enjoys the gentle "scrape, scrape, scrape" of the shovel, the fog forming around his head as he breathes in and out strenuously, the sensations in his back, legs, arms and chest that let him know he is alive - but perhaps not for long - the snot dripping from his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes ---- wait, sorry, I'm still a bit delirious from hypothermia.

God, I wish I had a snow blower.

Today I started with the mound of snow the plow had left out in the street at the end of the driveway. Sure enough, just when I got that done, the plow was coming up my side of the street again. As he got near my house, the driver spotted me, slowed down, lifted his plow and bypassed my driveway, leaving the neatly cleared path I had made. I ran after him to give him a big kiss, but he got away.

Click to see a related snow post


Anonymous said...

Great post!


Anonymous said...

Ok, I have nothing to complain about. Here in Utah we can at least see the brown grass and it's around 40 degrees. It just gives us enough hope that Spring is around the corner, so don't give up just yet. And don't hurt your back shoveling.

JohnnyB said...

Karen - thanks
Barb - Spring may be around the corner but just up the block is tomorrow through Wednesday 4 - 7 inches more of snow.
I can't really complain either - at least ours is very manageable, not like what they got further east.