Up until now I always resided in condo life and never tussled with shovels, salt and all that winter artillery. It wasn’t my cup of coffee, yet sometimes; time is the best teacher as we evolve during life. Many months ago my family and I finally ventured into our first house where their words always haunted me, “you’ll enjoy every aspect of house life but wait the till snow comes”, harped my comrades.
Mother Nature had a ghastly treat for me last Thursday as it arrived in the form of some flaky white stuff. With nowhere to hide or run, I ultimately had to suck-it-up and met my enemy whom I wasn’t eager on confronting. Our city was belated for snow while we habituated in decent December temperatures, until God forwarded his “Season’s Greetings” to us. Voila, an exemplary 20cm blanket of snow sheathed our territory!
Peering out of the window with my hands over my head, I knew this had to be done as I slithered out of my bed and fortified my willpower for the upcoming hours.
As I made my way down the stairs, armed with my hulking pants, balmy shirt and hefty jacket, I captivated my final warmth of home heat and dreadfully opened the main door. Turning my head from closing the door to facing outside I conceived the appreciation of what 20cm really looks like. “Holy Crap!” and a few other foul words creeped out of my mouth as I visually examined my method of attack on my single car driveway (sidewalk splits driveway for two cars, see pic).
I’ve played in this snow when I was a kid and was never uneasy with what 20cm looks like but now I had to clean this stuff, not for the safety of my family but for neighbours who use my sidewalk for everyday use.
Like Batman mustering his armoury, I quickly exposed the garage door, grasping my shovel, gloves and a bag of salt while turning around and remotely closing my “Batcave.”
“Alright, where do I start from?”, I muttered to myself. I advanced to the porch and quickly shoved aside the flaky stuff as my shovel was continuously interrupted with the stonework (my patio floor has interlocking stones) during the shovelling process. The brief banging caused frustration as my rhythm was hindered at times.
Fist pumping in success, I realized that this wasn’t that bad as I auspiciously completed “phase one”. Staring at the remainder of the snow like a daring kid staring at a bully during recess time, I was apprehended by the fact this would ingest quite an amount of exertion. As I stepped down from the porch, I positioned my shovel and attacked the path that is attached to my main driveway. Cleaning this portion wasn’t a smooth ride as I was occasionally welcomed with clunks of ice that got me sweating faster than P90X workout. Subsequently, I then zoomed around the first parking spot that borders the path and huffed my way through.
After conquering the path and the first half of the driveway, I proceeded onto to the “never ending” sidewalk. Scrapping off the snow in the middle of the sidewalk was a breeze, conversely cleaning the sides was difficult as I was continuously reacquainting myself with grass. My neighbours probably surmised if I was unearthing for gold or shovelling the sidewalk? Tension of completing the ends of the sidewalk was distinguishing the “imaginary” property line where I was suppose to fabricate a “continue from here” point for my neighbours, since I was the early trooper out of the two of them.
The final scope was the bottom portion of my driveway that’s next to the road. Yes, success was a mere 10 minutes away! I found my tempo and quickly scrapped my way around my parked car like a Zamboni at an ice rink, but there was a twist arriving down the street. A massive snowplough mercilessly planted a 3 foot high wall of snow at the end of my driveway and buzzed down the street, as if nothing happened. The driver was cold looking and expressionless as he inexorably laid a number along all driveways within his route. He dumped that snow like it was a cheap coffin! I was in awe, angered and had the urge to annihilate something but then I collected myself and “sucked it up”.
Huffing and puffing through the final batch and bridging my family back with accessibility was like running laps around a track. I was tanked but I finally did it! Now I can go back inside with pride and tell my family that it was rough but not that bad. Clutching the shovel and returning back to the front of the house, I snatched the bag of salt that I left by the garage door. With a million dollar smile on my face, I walked around all the shovelled paths hinting salt like a baker sprinkling powdered sugar on a pastry. I was the man, but there was something missing.
As I made my way around the cars I noticed that I was inept to see my counterpart from it’s windows. Fudge! I forgot to clean the cars before shovelling! Aw man! I sat down in disbelief and was seething with anger. After cooling down with my head in my lap, I slowly got up and made my way towards the cars. “How the heck did I forget that?”, I wondered repeatedly. I grabbed a brush that I kept in my car and neatly made my away around both vehicles. The snow that released from those cars was significant and obviously required some more exertion.
After walking around like a zombie in shock I finally bulldozed the remainder of the snow and felt better that I finally got it done, the right way. My execution plan was completely aimless and I totally cultured my methodology of shovelling the driveway.