Friday, December 25, 2009

No Country (or Snowfall) for Grumpy Old Men

White Christmas, my R.A. More than a foot of snow on the ground and it's still coming. It's also about 30 degrees. Ten or 15 degrees cooler and you've got nice, fluffy stuff you can wave your hands at and it blows away. This, though, is heavy, wet stuff. It's like shoveling tapioca. You try to attack it every four inches or so that comes down so that you don't have one big shoveling job or cardiac arrest waiting for you, but even so there's only so many kids and random sons-in-law to be pressed into duty and I finally had to take a turn this morning.

Normally I use a straight, pusher-type shovel to clear the walk and driveway immediately in front of the house. Nine snowfalls out of ten this is sufficient. For that 10th one I've got a scoop model with a bent handle that resembles my back when I'm finished. Today's snow is a tenner, or perhaps it goes to eleven, given the quantity and the weight. This also forces me to find a balance between the grumpy-old-man desire to get the damn job over with and the even greater desire not to spend the afternoon in the emergency room.

Got it done and my heart was only slightly sounding like the tympani section during the 1812 Overture. With a satisfied growl I turned back toward the house but in doing so I noticed the neighbor's house across the street. The old guy that lives there is even older and grumpier than me and real meticulous about his yard. I noticed his wife was out trying to shovel the drive herself. I figured that meant he'd already had a heart-attack or would have one as soon as he saw what she was up to, so I went over there with my shove. Hey, look, I've got lots of company company today and I don't want to have the street all blocked with ambulances and rubber-neckers, okay?

Anyway, his wife says her husband is down the street with the snow-blower doing another neighbor's drive and will be back soon but the snow is so thick and heavy even the snow-blower needs some help thinning it out and she's concerned he's already worn himself out doing four driveways last night. Hrmph. None of them were mine. Anyway, I start in as she uses a metal edged shovel to loosen the ice and slush at the bottom while I scoop that all up and toss it. We're about halfway through with the driveway when the husband pushes up with the machine. I'm happy to let him dress the area where we've shoveled and to finish the rest of the drive. After all, the more exhaust he can pump into the atmosphere, the warmer it gets, right?

He gives me a look that says, "Stay out of my yard."


  1. whenever i get some of that frozen stuff, i just turn on the garden hose and wash it away.
    try that. it works for me every time.

  2. For Gino ....
    Cousin to Abbot Ale ...

    For the topic .... Winnipeg ... I shoveled 6 times in the last three days... wind... not much snow came down but what did blew into my driveway.

    Now get off my lawn!

  3. i'll have to look for that.
    it isnt by green king, is it?

    ommag: i have another canadian online pal (he's in lethbridge,AL). he removes snow using the Faith Based Method: God put it there, and God will remove when He's ready. It works without fail, every time.
    of course, it only works with the local authorities for a short time.