A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chopping Out

We had our third snowstorm of the winter last weekend, and I hope it is the last. None of these storms had any huge accumulation, but this last one was a remarkable pain-in-the-butt since most of it fell as sleet and not a nice, powdery snow. It started Friday morning and ended sometime overnight. We woke up Saturday morning to four inches, which was composed of alternate layers of ice, snow, and more ice.

We had been able to push and shovel the previous snows out of our driveway, which I believe is a hundred feet or so long. Those snow jobs were no problem. I stepped outside on Saturday morning and tried to shovel this crap. No go! This hard crust of frozen water would not budge without being chopped and scraped away.

I did as much as I could before I got too cold. The best I could do was to clear two patches in front of each of our garage doors. Each patch measured about three feet by five feet. This job would take awhile if I had to do it by myself. I went inside, warmed myself up and dropped a none too subtle hint that the job would go faster if two of us came out. Anne Marie was more than happy to help.

Once back outside, we decided to prioritize our efforts and concentrate on the very front of our driveway, which had been plowed shut by PennDOT. Here the snow and ice resembled the peaks and--I swear--reached the heights of the Himalayas. This contrasted nicely with the smooth white glassy surface of ice on the rest of our driveway. We alternated between chopping, scraping, pushing and shoveling. I would chop, rest, and catch my breath while she worked the shovel. Then I would start chopping again and repeat the process.

Anne Marie was a real trooper throughout this job. Not only did she risk an asthma attack by staying in the winter cold air for an extended period of time, but she also had to listen to me while I struggled with my part of the task. Here is a short sample of my monologue to which she was subjected:

“Come on, son-of-a...grunt...I have to rest...pant, pant, toes are cold...grunt...let me rest for a minute...pant, pant, pant...I need to get a drink...grunt...I’ll be back...” - and so on. Okay, so I whine a little.

We worked the driveway until our arms and palms ached. We cleared a patch about ten feet wide at the front, enough to give us traction if we needed to pull out on our busy street. As for the rest of the driveway, we decided to let the sun and the predicted warmer temperatures do their work. We figured our driveway would be clear by Wednesday, which coincidentally, would be the first full day of spring. This season change couldn’t come soon enough for us.

Naturally, fate has a way of repaying me for my whining. Since this sleet and snow has covered our property, I have been very successful in walking slowly on the icy crust without falling. Monday night, on a dry kitchen floor, I lost my footing and ended up on my butt. Go figure!


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