Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Good son/bad son

Shoveling in the morning is one thing. Shoveling at the end of the work day is another.

It gives the city a full day to clean up the streets. That means they can plow that snow into the driveway. My mother had at least 2 feet of snow piled up waiting for me to attack. Thankfully it was predominately still fluffy and had no moisture. With it being 10 degrees outside, if the snow had been wet, I would have been attacking an ice berg. But with just a bit of snow crust, I was able to move the pile away easily.

Until I got to the bottom.

The lower portion of her drive was all hardened ice/snow. WTF? Where the hell did this come from? It was like she had a friend whose only vehicle was a steam roller and that friend had decided to stop by for dinner on Monday. This hardened snow had me perplexed. And it was a bitch to shovel off of. I did what I could and managed to secure safe passage should she need to go somewhere. I hope that the weather changes for the better and that crap softens up so I can clear it up.

I noticed I am like a machine when I shovel. I try to get into one continuous movement. Rocking back and forth, taking a step into the next line, shovel down, pushing forward, scooping and throwing, pulling the shovel back and repeating the process until I clear the entire sidewalk/driveway. I kinda look like a speedskater, in a stride that I calmly continue until the end of the race.

Usually when that race ends, I just want to relax. In the case of cleaning up my mother's house, I just want to get out of there. I don't want to stop in and feel trapped with the idle chit chat. I love my mom and all, but I have other stuff to do. Like clean up my driveway and the snow that has been deposited by the city's finest plowers.

I employ a simple method. I always shovel the walk up to the front door last. Usually my mom will greet me and I can stop in and make it a short visit. If she doesn't open the door, I dilly dally about and give her some time. If there is no sign of her after a couple minutes of clean up, I take off. There is a good chance she if sleeping. Then again, maybe not.

When I got done yesterday, I threw the shovel back into the truck and changed jacket. I sat in the truck for a bit, giving her time. Then I started the engine and got the hell out of there. I felt like I was driving a getaway vehicle. As soon as I pulled out of the neighborhood, I felt free.

I then avoided her call when it came in about 10 minutes later. Thank God for voicemail!

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