Winter is back in full force, and it got me the day off! Thanks to my employer’s concern for my safety, I knew yesterday evening that I was going to work 2 hours later today because of expected weather. Then came the phone call this morning to stay put, the roads are even worse than expected. Then, at what would have been lunch time, came the best call of the day. It’s a lost cause, stay home, see you tomorrow. YAAAAAYYYYY!
I don’t think I’ve had an honest to god, full-blown snow day since high school. See, where I grew up, it snowed all the time. Every winter. A lot. So what was the result? Getting a snow day was like getting 4 numbers in the lottery. Not impossible, but definitely few and far between. But we still sat there every morning, listening to the radio, and praying for the DJ to say those precious words. School is cancelled for the day. Oh what joy! (the few times it did happen). And today, with just a phone call, I got to experience that joy again.
Here is the funny part. What did I decide to do on my spontaneous day off? I could have laid around with the fam all day. I could have played Playstation all day. (Well, my wife and I did play some Mario on the Wii U this morning until the little guy got up). I could have watched Clint Eastwood movies all day long. But no, apparently none of these things were good enough for me. I decided to shovel the snow from the street. The whole street.
Why would I do such a thing you ask? It’s not just for fun, that I can assure you. You see, we live at the top of a hill, at the end of a dead-end street (except for the farmers), in a very small town. And our very small town, bless their hearts, apparently decided a few years ago that snow removal was too expensive. And for the rest of the town it didn’t make sense. The main road through town gets plowed already, and other than that there are only two other streets. There is the flat one, and then there is ours. The problem is that ours is most definitely not flat, and on top of that it curves over a narrow bridge at the bottom preventing us from getting any kind of useful momentum. Is this a problem for the rest of the people on the street? Nooooo, naturally not. They can make it to their houses. Heck, I can make it to their houses. The people across the street? Well, they make it most of the time. But they aren’t as lucky as I am to have a rear wheel drive car. So, what normally happens when it snows is that I aaaaaalmost make it to the house. Just close enough to make me cuss, holler, and curse the mayor.
Which brings us to today, and my shoveling of the whole street. My solution to this problem started out tame enough. After shoveling my monster driveway, I would shovel two paths far enough down the street that I could make it up the hill. Then I figured was better to shovel between the driveway and the first path. Then my neighbor started shoveling the whole street in front of his driveway, so I followed suit. Then he started shoveling half of the street for 50 feet past my driveway, so I shoveled the other half. Then this morning I thought I would get a jump on things and get the shoveling done. I shoveled the sidewalk, then the driveway, then the street in front of the driveway, then my half of the “50 feet of street”, and finally what’s left of my “two original paths”. That’s when the single most clever idea of the month hit me. Since my neighbor had to go to work today, I would be nice and help him out a little bit. So I shoveled his half of the “50 feet of street”. When I was done with that I figured I might as well shovel the street in front of his driveway. When I was done with that I looked at the snow between my “two original paths”. That was just no good, so I shoveled between the paths which was actually half of that section of street. When I was done with that I figured I would clear a quick path to his front door so he was legally covered.
Finally, I stopped the insanity and surveyed my accomplishment while thinking the following. “Wow, that was a lot of snow. Man am I a nice neighbor. I am too nice of a neighbor. I am an idiot! Look at all that damn snow. I could have been done a long time ago, but nooooo. Got to help the neighbor. Got to be the nice guy. He better hook me up one of these days. OUCH! Oh, what was that. OUCH! God my back hurts! OUCH!”. The moral of the story is this kids. If you ever live at the top of a hill, at the end of a dead-end street, in a very small town, where they decided a few years prior that snow removal was too expensive, buy a snow blower. Or a riding lawnmower with a snowplow. Or anything that means you don’t come up with the clever idea to shovel the whole street yourself. Now, ouch, I’m going to go, ouch, lay on the couch and, ouch, be the patient for the, ouch, 4-year-old little doctor that lives in our house. OUCH!