Thursday, January 26, 2012

To shovel or not...

We finally got snow this week. Snow and snow and more snow. That’s good because where we ski ( got enough snow to open before Thanksgiving, then it didn’t snow in any appreciable amount again, so skiers were sliding around on nearly two-month-old chewed up and re-groomed crud. Until the last week and a half. The bad thing about snow, in more ways than one is, out of job necessity, my hubby and I live about 150 miles apart with a mountain range between, and last weekend he couldn’t drive over because the weather in the mountains was so savage. Pooh :( That and shoveling snow:

Where I live, if you don’t shovel the driveway, the snow gets driven over repeatedly and packed into a treacherous two-wheel-path glacier that no amount of scraping, bashing, scooping, and salting can budge until the spring melt (it’s also a really good idea to have the leaves raked before it snows so spring doesn’t hand you a flat vegetative slick that has smothered your lawn). So when it snows, I’m out before much accumulates, removing it from the driveway.

That’s where I developed the theory that the next time you’re house-hunting, stand at the end of the driveway and imagine it’s winter. It could influence your choice. I didn't do this. I have a lonnggg driveway to shovel.

When my kids were younger, it used to annoy them spitless to have to go out and shovel while it was still snowing, but I insisted, with the premise that it’s easier to move lesser amounts more often than wait until a foot or more has accumulated to shovel just once. This week’s accretion was very light powder that was (almost) fun to shovel and not so cumbersome as the wet concrete that usually collects here. 

While shoveling for probably the sixth time Tuesday evening, a man walked up and introduced himself as the son-in-law of my next door neighbor. He had a tool for removing snow buildup from her awning and offered, for a price, to do mine done, too, mentioning that it was supposed to snow more that night; my awning might collapse.
“How much?, I asked”.
"I’m charging her $60 dollars”.
I explained that there is another awning on the other side of the house.
“$70 dollars, then”.
“For each, or both?”
“For both”.

Hmmm. “I’ll think about it”. What I was thinking was, $60 dollars? That’s f*cking ludicrous for a 5 minute task – this is fine, powdery fairy dust, remember? 
And, “What kind of a jerk charges his mother-in-law $60 bucks for a 5 minute task when he should just help her out because he’s married to her daughter.” If I was married to him, and my hubby will attest, I would harangue his ass for even considering charging my mother for snow removal services.

I turned the offer down and continued shoveling.

I said all that to say this: It warmed up then cooled down, melted the snow on the awnings and resulted in these colossal icicles forming from the awning on my front porch. They’re beautiful, but I’m afraid if one falls, it will kill a passing neighborhood pet, or worse, a passing neighbor. Maybe I should have had the damn awning cleared…


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