Okay, It Can Stop Snowing Now

I love snow. I truly love it. It makes me feel like a child every time I see it falling. But I’ve had enough of it, and it can stop. Right now.

The amount of snow we’ve received this season is most likely due to the fact that I own my own home now and have the responsibility of removing my own snow. The universe is funny like that. So for those of you who are absolutely thrilled with all this snow, you’re welcome. Glad to do my part.

Not that I don’t love a good workout. Just like gardening in the summer, shoveling snow gets me out in the environment and gives me something to do while I’m out there.

I just didn’t plan on doing it quite so often, or at times when I’d rather be inside drinking some hot tea and cuddling with the dog.

And the ice. Oh, that wicked ice. Walking the dog has become not only a challenge, but a life-threatening event. What was usually a really enjoyable and relaxing time after work has become a nightly obstacle course that requires extensive strategizing.

I actually purchased some ice cleats typically used for ice fishing simply so I could walk my dog without the constant worry of slipping and falling. The upside is it’s hilarious how excited the dog gets when she sees me putting on my snow pants.

Over the course of the winter the ice has built up in the most inconvenient places, so I broke down and bought an awesome ice-chopping tool. I made sure it was heavy, so I could simply drop it repeatedly and not have to use my shoulders too much.

There’s nothing like the joy of having the right tool for the job, but it works much better in the middle of the day when it’s warmest, so I try to get out there on the weekends and chop away.

One day I attempted to walk to work on a warmer day, only to find that the cars zipping by on Division Street were spattering slush along the sidewalk as they went. The corners of each block were worse, with huge puddles of slush to navigate. I actually had to stop a few yards before the corner and check traffic before continuing because of the high splash factor. It wasn’t fun.

Fortunately, by some strange coincidence, my sweetie happened to be driving by at that time (changing lanes to avoid spraying me with slush) and circled around to offer me a ride, which I gladly accepted. I won’t be trying that morning walk again until things dry out considerably.

An interesting thing moving from a rural area to the city is where to put all that snow? In the beginning of the season it wasn’t a big deal, but at this point even that requires some strategic planning on my part.

Some days I am up for the challenge, but some days I don’t bother and just drive over it, leaving it for another day. Sometimes a neighbor will blow out the sidewalk for me, which is always a lovely gift. I’m still trying to figure out which one it is, so I can thank them.

One night I was trying to clear my driveway to the street, which is always fun. It’s a mix of stuff from the sidewalk and what the plow deposits from the street, and it’s heavy stuff.

Being a night owl, I usually get my energy burst at night, and one evening close to midnight I was working on this, and stopped every time a plow went by to give them a dirty look and say a few rude things beneath my winter scarf. I’m sure they didn’t notice, but it sure made me feel better.

Oh, and I can’t forget to cut out the snowbanks where the garbage containers are supposed to go. This is always a good time. According to the rules, my garbage can’t be on the sidewalk, street or on top of a snow bank. And I can’t leave them uncut for long, because the snow will just get hard and be even more difficult to deal with. The boulevard is very narrow, so this requires skill. If I miss, the snow I toss will just get pushed into my neighbor’s driveway.

Yes, it’s thrilling living in the city, and now with plans to widen the street, I can’t imagine where that snow will go once that project is complete.

Still, I do enjoy watching the snow fall. I love taking walks with the dog late at night when the sky is overcast and yet bright, and there are big fluffy flakes of snow dropping down so very silently. There is a hush over everything, and it all feels very surreal. The neighborhoods look completely different, and sometimes I feel like I am in another city somewhere.

When the sidewalk looks too treacherous, we take the street. My dog isn’t too fond of the street, because other dogs haven’t been there as much, and the smells are not as interesting as they are along the sidewalk. But she hates getting her feet wet, and the street is relatively dry, so she’s OK with the trade-off. Some nights we walk for an hour, just zig-zagging the nearby neighborhoods.

She always pulls very enthusiastically when the walk begins as we head out on our nightly adventure, but as we head for home she is usually walking behind me for the last few blocks. She doesn’t want to be done with the walk, and many times, neither do I.

I will admit I have a different view of snow now that I remove it myself, but the nice thing is I still have my old love of it. It’s good to know some things never do change.

Originally published March 8, 2013.

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