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Thursday, December 11, 2008  

Three Decades of Snow Removal

One of the earliest conversations I can remember with my mom was about our favorite seasons. She said hers was summer, which I now agree with. But at the time, I said winter because a) I was three or four, and therefore b) stupid, and c) we lived in Oklahoma City at the time, where "winter" consisted of a couple of snowy afternoons every year.

Obviously my opinions have changed.

I remember the first snow shovel I ever wielded. It was an old-school model with a wooden handle and a bright-yellow solid steel blade that had been forged from a bulldozer. It weighed ten pounds unladen and up to four times that with a load of sticky wet snow in it. I thought it was awesome. It was April, 1975, our first month in Minnesota.

Five minutes further along into April, 1975, I was pretty much over it. And winter, for that matter.

I know this can't be correct, but I feel like shoveling the driveway was primarily my job from April 1975 until we moved out of that house in 1989. Both of my sisters probably think it was mostly their job as well, as do each of my parents. And the thing is, there was enough snow that all of us are right. Sometimes after really big blizzards, the oldest kid in the neighborhood would go around the block with his snowblower (the original early adopter, he also owned the first portable computer I ever saw, which weighed 26 pounds). But in most cases it was up to us.

I didn't know how good we had it. Our driveway when I was growing up was a gently sloped rectangle two cars wide and three cars long, and we didn't even have a front sidewalk. Plus our arsenal of snow shovels expanded over the years to include more modern plastic models (with and without metal scraping edges), while that old yellow beast stuck around until the late eighties, when I think one of us ran over it with a car. After that we had to get rid of the car.

When Trash and I moved into this place fifteen winters ago, after a few years of apartment living that helped me forget all about the pain of being responsible for snow removal, I had idyllic visions of shoveling our shared driveway with the neighbors and enjoying hot cocoa with them afterward. What a moron I was. Our driveway stretches all the way from the street, between our two houses, after which it splays out into an expansive Y whose branches extend all the way to the two-and-a-half-car garages in our backyards. The result is that it's like shoveling the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, only quieter.

Until I got my first snowblower, that is.

But more about that in a few days.

posted by M. Giant 8:18 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

How are the Christmas cookies coming along?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 11, 2008 at 8:30 PM  

Hey, I live in Oklahoma City NOW! At that age, you must not have been able to appreciate the...uh..."wonder" of an ice storm.
Because that is all winter is here - really really cold wind, and ice storms.

I hate winter here.

Ice storm scheduled to come in early next week.

By Blogger Kris the Girl, at December 12, 2008 at 7:21 PM  

You know for the first time I think I understand why large parts of the US don't have sidewalks. I didn't realise you were supposed to shovel them too, along with the driveway and any other paths you actually want/need to use.

Then again, I don't really get the whole snow thing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 14, 2008 at 10:24 PM  

To Anonymous, re: "I didn't realise you were supposed to shovel them too"

Not only should one shovel them, in many cities the law requires the homeowner/renter to shovel them! As an attorney who has drafted subdivision associate agreements, when I read through our current (South Carolina) homeowner's association rules, I was puzzled that snow removal rules and financial responsibilities were not addressed. Then I remembered that it doesn't snow here. Doh!

By Blogger Bunny, at December 17, 2008 at 6:37 AM  

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