Snow

Wanna know what the worst thing in New England is?

Having to get up before sunrise to shovel.

There wasn’t a lot today, just a couple of inches of very light and fluffy snow. I didn’t clean off the cars, but I did do all the shoveling and it only took half an hour or so. A successful morning, apart from the back pain, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck ass.

—Subject Change—

Our cat is traumatized. Our new robot pet (DJ*) Roomba kicked off at 3:00 AM again. It woke me up but didn’t keep me up, which is nice, but the cat…. oh the cat doesn’t like (DJ) Roomba at all. We’re not sure why but it kicks off a second time around 5:00 AM and as soon as it woke up Patches dashed into our room and hid under our new bed. The upside is that there is a lot more room for cats to hide under the new bed than there was under the old bed. So Ms Patches has that going for her.

*For those who aren’t in the know…

The Magic Failed

Backstory: I was reading through some old blog posts the other day, playing This Day in History, and I found one where I had my step son Harry help me shovel the driveway. I made a big deal out of telling him to jump into the shower as soon as he got back inside because it would be the best shower ever. He did, and he agreed with me. Best. Shower. Ever.

Current story: We got a shit load of snow last night and it’s still coming down. I’m guessing there is at least a foot of snow, and the snow bank at the end of the driveway is probably more than double that. I went out this morning to shovel a path from the house to the street for the mailman or any potential delivery folks who might not be getting shut down for the weather. When I finished I came back inside and jumped right into the shower and….

It didn’t work. The magic is gone. I felt just as sore and awful after the shower as I did before. I’m so sad. Maybe it’s because I didn’t do the full driveway, so I didn’t qualify. Maybe it’s because I’m just too old for this shit and it takes more than a roaring hot shower to set me right again. Crud. I am sad. Sad enough that we just booked someone to come and shovel the rest of the snow later tonight. I am fail.

Snow

We didn’t get a lot of snow yesterday. It fell all day and started sticking as soon as it started, but all combined there wasn’t very much.

Unfortunately, it rained buckets before the snow, and then it rained again after the snow. The result of that is heavy, frozen solid, blocks of ice. I just finished shoveling and it was no fun at all. We’re good to go as far as walking from the house to the street goes. Obviously, thanks to Covid-19, we aren’t driving anywhere, or going anywhere, or anything.

Snow: I’m not a fan.

I’m Pretty Smart, I think

I’m pretty smart… I think.  At least I always thought I was.  My grades in school were always good.  In college I blew a curve on a test in Calculus II, and I got an A- for the semester in Calculus III.  I’m not saying I’m some kind of rocket scientist or anything.  Don’t expect me to do anything Earth shattering like building the better mouse trap, okay?  I’m not dumb though.  I have a decent brain and it usually gets the job done.

Taking that as truth… why the hell do I still live in a place where it snows?  I mean… I thought I would be smart enough to know better.  My wife, now she’s super smart.  She’s gotta be the smartest person any of us have ever met and yet she still lives here too.  My step kids?  Smarter still!  If anyone is going to build that better mouse trap it’s absolutely going to be one of them.  Yet… the four of us all still live in a place where it snows.

I just think that maybe after all this time we would have done something to fix this little snow falling problem.  Something like… move to Southern California.  You know, something like that.

Who is Watching Me?

I was outside shoveling tonight. I had been digging and digging for about two hours. It was never ending. My arms could barely lift the shovel, but I was soldiering on. I scooped up some snow, turned around, and threw it as hard and as far as I could…

And noticed that there were two deer at the tree line of the neighbor’s yard that were standing stone still watching me. I kept shoveling and they kept standing there. It seemed like it lasted for maybe 10 minutes. Every time I turned around they were there. They stayed perfectly still, always watching me. It was so cool. I started talking to them. They didn’t run away. Not that I was close to them or anything, and there was a mount everest sized snow bank between us. They had no reason to be spooked, and neither did I. It was just really cool. Eventually one of them calmly walked off into the woods, and a few minutes later the other followed. It was so cool.

Shortly after that I got called into the house for dinner. My beautiful, charming, beloved wife made an awesome chicken dinner and it gave me a nice break from the snow and the freezing cold. I had maybe 30 more minutes of work to do. Most of the heavy snow bank at the end of the driveway was gone, but there was still enough to worry about. I also had to do the fire hydrant. At about 8:00 I stood up to go back outside and finish and what did I see? Our next door neighbor and his snow blower. He had just dug out the fire hydrant and he was starting on the little patch of snow left on the driveway. Woah! Thanks, neighbor! Clearing the hydrant is a big help, but I look at that as him helping out the entire neighborhood. I feel good about myself when I do it, because I know it’s a potential life saver. If one of my neighbors wants a piece of that good karma then have at it. Our driveway though, that was above and beyond the call of duty. Our neighbor is once again a hero of our household! Thank you!

Yet Again

It’s happening again. For the third consecutive week, we kick things off with a huge snow storm. The snow banks at the end of my driveway are taller than I am, and I am wicked tall. Each shovel full has to be tossed about 10 feet into the air to get it over the top of the mountain. If I try to drop the snow on top of the mountain it slides back onto the pavement. I have to go over the top so it slides into the yard. We have an icicle on one side of the house that hangs so low it is only a couple of inches above the ground. The squirrels no longer need to jump to get onto the bird feeders. That is, if the squirrels weren’t buried under four feet of snow.

I am a hearty New Englander. A little snow doesn’t bother me. I stand proudly with my shovel, daring mother nature to do her worst.

Well, that’s how I usually feel. Right now? Our third multi-foot snow fall in just under two weeks has me feeling beaten and broken. My whole body is sore. I’m exhausted. Each time I head out into the storm I feel like I can’t take it any more. Somehow, magically, I get back inside with a clear driveway. I sit down hard on a chair in the living room and hope that it’s over. Then I look out the window again and the clean driveway is covered again. Or, as happened earlier today, I catch a weather forecast that says the next multi-foot storm is four days away.

It leaves me (figuratively) standing defiantly before mother nature with both middle fingers raised in the time honored double freedom rocket salute yelling at the top of my worn out lungs, “YOU SUCK!”

Then I pick up the shovel and start digging. Mother nature remaining steadfastly uninterested.

Hang in there, New England. Just remember that pitchers and catchers report in 11 days. We can make it. It might be a close call, but we can make it.

Winter Sucks

So, after the nice people who went door to door offering to shovel driveways left (with their small fee and a tip) a kind hearted plow driver deposited that load of crap at the end of our driveway.

I do so freakin’ hate winter.

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Funny, I’ve never tried taking a picture through a screen door using my iPhone. It sort of freaked out on me. Oh well, you get the point.

Shoveling

Given the choice between surgery without anesthetic and shoveling after two feet of snow…

I’d have to think about it.

 
Guess what wouldn’t start.
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I’m six feet five inches tall. The drift over the mini van was at least two feet taller than I.
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I did the unthinkable today. I shoveled the driveway without pulling either car into the street. How?
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I used the garage! Today was the first major storm since we bought the house where the garage was clean enough to hide a car while I shoveled. It was a sublime experience (not really).
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There are two heavenly moments when shoveling your driveway. One is obvious… its the moment you are finally finished. The other is more subtle. The other is that moment when you first break through the into the plowed road beyond the edge of the driveway. It’s a sweet moment.
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Remember, if you have a fire hydrant on your property it is up to you to shovel it out so that any emergency personel who might need it can get to it. Don’t be the jack ass who thinks it’s the city/town’s job. Just do it.
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I’m still trying to decide if shoveling would be preferable to surgery sans anesthesia.

Karma

Any positive energy that karma had banked up for me was just cashed in.

The snowblower won’t start.  I grudgingly picked up the shovel and went to it.  I was almost done digging out the first car when a guy driving a pickup with a plow came out of the blue and plowed out the huge snow bank at the end of our driveway.  He didn’t stop, but he rolled down his window and said he hoped that would help.

In our house we have a new hero.

Karma is real, kids.  Be nice to everyone.  Always.