Snow Shoveling, A Morality Tale

I don’t know what the weatherpundits are going to call it, but around here it’s already The Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010; most of our roughly 20 inch blanket arrived on the 26th. Lunchtime’s lazy flakes started swirling toward whiteout at about 4 PM and the hours between dark and dawn were thick with a howling northeaster.

Although snow was still falling and blowing all morning on the 27th, the blowing showed a great deal more enthusiasm. No way to start shoveling much before noon, by which time the snow was what one might call “formerly fluffy.” It wasn’t heavy, exactly, compared to some snows I’ve hefted in my time, but it was already closer to igloo material than the original thistledown.

And there was a lot of it, so both of us were out there for hours. Bill started by clearing a path around the greenhouse and down to the bird feeder

snowbound greenhouse from inside

The greenhouse from inside (those shelves are 4 feet off the floor)

snowbound greenhouse with standing shovel

First chunk of first south window cleared

bird feeder and birds in snow

Birds, feeding

And that was the easy part. Next came

The head of the driveway where as usual there was an enormous wall of salt hardened sludge shoved at us by the town plows

The path to the shed where we keep the bird seed

The path from the street to the front door

And of course the parking area, 40 x 100 feet, roughly 16 inches deep. Except for the wind-driven 5 foot dune banked up against the barn.

barn in snow 12/26/10

The view from our back door

So it looked to me like taking an angled path through the shallower stuff would get us to the barn door more quickly and that’s where I started while Bill finished the driveway to the car.

deep snow, shoveling path

I became absorbed in the task

and didn’t notice Bill had come back around the corner and decided to take the short, deep route

deep snow on driveway

Even when he’s exhausted, he’s fast, so I guess I shouldn’t complain, and I did hear him shout “I’ll finish that for you.”

Moral of the story: look up from time to time. It’s beautiful and you might learn something.

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  • Susan Scheid Said,

    I hate to confess this, but I was simply glad to get out of there, back to the city, leave the car in a garage and the shoveling to others . . . (not that they’ve done such a bang up job, I might add)!

    Aye, Susan, there’s the rub: others (i.e. snowplow trucks) are such inferior shovelers Bill refuses to hire them; either they tear up the drives or they pack down an ice layer so compact it’s a skating ring for months. Or both, on one unhappy occasion.
    I tell myself it’s excellent for working off the cookies, and having been down just the other day I have to say I don’t see where the city was all that much of an improvement, at least in those first couple of days.

  • Mike Said,

    Wow, you got whacked with almost 2 feet, at least you are keeping the birds fed.

    Did you ever notice how much better hot chocolate tastes after a long day shoveling?

    Hi Mike, and welcome.
    Looks from your site as though you’d be the one to know…
    Truth is, what I notice after a long day of shoveling is how hot it is in the house. By me, best time for hot chocolate is after a moonlit walk, admiring the beautiful snowy fields at a pace too slow to keep warm. THEN, hot chocolate – not too sweet, with a little brandy in it!
    Still very gorgeous here right now, but rain is predicted. Hoping against hope it doesn’t happen.

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