I knew it was coming. St. Joseph was just on the edge of the lake effect snow of last week. We got an inch or two which was beautiful but was certainly NOT lake effect snow. All day last Thursday I watched the radar as Benton Harbor/St. Joe skirted by on the edge of the snow belt onscreen. But the forecast said we were only just starting. I knew it would get us sooner or later.
This morning I looked out the window, and I knew today was the day. I practiced a little shoveling snow a few days ago when we had a baby snow. I just wanted to figure out how to do it. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. But, then again, it wasn’t much snow.
When I lived here before I never even owned a snow shovel. I lived in a condo, and my condo fee paid for snow removal. I just waited until it was done and went on about my business. My second husband who was from Chicago did not shovel snow. I had made a deal with him that if we bought a house instead of a condo, he had to do the yard work. I didn’t realize that his agreement was based on the fact that he had an extremely low standard of yard work. If it wasn’t in danger of covering the rooftop, he wasn’t mowing it, shoveling it or weeding it. I hated having to wade through snow while my neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways were free and clear of ice and snow. But I kept my mouth shut. That was his job.
With a house, I need to shovel snow. Someone is supposed to come out for snow removal when it gets over 4 inches, but I don’t really know when they show up. I have to get out today, and when I saw what was outside I knew I would have to get on with it. I waited until I saw the neighbors out shoveling their sidewalk. I didn’t want to do something ridiculous like shovel snow prematurely. But as soon as I saw them outside, I bundled up and took to the task.
The white blanket left no evidence where my sidewalk or driveway ended, and neither neighbor on either side had shoveled yet, so i had to figure it out. The steps were easy enough, and my friend Kenny who moved to Wisconsin from Memphis had advised me earlier in the week to get some traction for my boots. I received these little pull-on “snow tires” for my feet in the mail yesterday.
My supervisor waited to see what I was going to do and bounced around a bit while I was figuring out where to start.
I started with the steps and moved on to the sidewalk before tackling my single-track driveway. I yelled at Ashok when she peed on the neighbor’s driveway. “How embarrassing,” I thought. The teenage boy came out to warm up his car while I was out, and I asked him if I should shovel the center of the driveway where grass grows. “No,” he said and added, ” Do you mind if I just drive out your driveway? If I don’t get stuck, that is.” Well, I thought, I don’t care if she peed in your driveway if you are just going to take advantage of all my hard work.
It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and it wasn’t all that hard although I did get my upper body workout done for the day. I felt very happy knowing that there were women all down the street telling their husbands, “Honey, that southern woman has already cleared her driveway. When are you doing ours?”
As I was finishing up, my neighbor across the street walked out, and I asked him how I did. “Better than I’m doing,” he said. “Now if we can just get that dog to shovel snow.” My other neighbor didn’t seem as impressed with my novice shoveling. “It’s an art,” he told me. “You get better at it as you go along.” Of course I noticed that he drove away from his house without shoveling at all. I guess even art can be procrastinated.