Tuesday, February 27, 2007

3 feet

From watching weather reports all weekend, I knew there was more snow on the north side of town. I thought I was prepared mentally, but it was still a shock.

I pulled into the neighborhood, around the 5-6 foot high snow banks. Those mounds of snow sent a shiver down my spine. It was a sign of things to come. As I drove down the street to the house, I tried to gauge how much it might be. The narrow driveways were the big indication of what lay ahead.

It was at least 3 feet of snow by the street, served up mightily by the snow plows. The driveway was only about a foot. Only. At 4 o'clock I dove in, tossing boulders of packed snow to the left and right. After 15 minutes I made it to the sidewalk. A 2 foot wide, 4 foot path took about 15 minutes. But that was the deepest portion. The foot of snow that lay ahead would be easier.

I took a minute to look at the wet cement that was the sidewalk. Thankfully a neighbor had taken care of this with his snowblower. I now feel bad if I don't talk to the old man when he comes walking around his dog.

It took only 30 minutes to clear away most of the driveway. About a foot on either side was lost. Lifting the heavy snow was taking its toll but I had to press on. If I slow down or take a break, the job gets much tougher. Thus I press ahead. Before I realize, I am back by the street clearing first the left side, then the right. I am standing in 6 inches of water that is streaming down the street and collecting by my ice damn. As I shovel up and toss slush onto the pile of snow, I can hear the water run down the mound back to the street.

At about an hour into the job, the driveway is clear. My mother can get the car out of the garage as needed. I marvel at the cleared area, quite proud of myself. But the jubilation is short lived.


I still need to do the walk up to the house. At this point, the evil thought creep into my head. Do I really want her to be able to leave the house? All she is going to do is drive to the store for cigarettes. Hell, the stuff she smokes isn't even the stock I own. Maybe I should get her to switch to Marlboro lights. And booze. I could drop off a bottle of Johnny Walker for her. Hell, she eats unhealthily anyways, some booze in her system may make her feel better. And why the fuck doesn't my brother get his lazy ass over here to shovel? Or mow the lawn? Bastard!

Instead of letting evil StB take over, I begin to shovel once again. The brim of my cap is literally dripping with sweat now. It had been over an hour since I started. I am a bit exhausted and hungry. But as I scoop away the last path of snow, I can relax and feel good. I am done being the good son. Hopefully the plows haven't come by and dumped snow in my own drive.

Shoveling 3 feet of snow isn't that bad. It was warm out. Well, 35 degrees is warm when you have a lot of work to do. If the temperatures had been driven down into freezing, the task of clearing all that snow would have been Hell. It would have been frozen and taken possibly twice as long. Heaving the heavy packed snow was nothing in comparison. It also is warm enough to change your shirt. I dropped the sweat lined jacket I had on and pulled on the t-shirt I had on. Neighbor may have been blinded by my white chest. That is if they could see anything from the steam coming off my body.

I put on a dry shirt and went inside to endure 20 minutes with my mother. Call me an ass but at the end of the day, I would rather get home, eat and sip some whisky as a reward for job well done rather than try to update mother on what I do every day. I know she means well. Maybe I am selfish, but I am getting better, putting aside my own interests just to give her a bit of time.

No wonder I have given up giving up.

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