Friday, February 4, 2011

Another 10-12 feet. It's hard to tell.

Another morning and I'm outside with the shovel at 9:30. I'm going to get as far as I can before cold or aches get to me. The postman lumbered through yesterday afternoon but I've decided my focus is simply to get the drive open. Once that is done, I can work on other things like shoveling to the front.

I've had exactly one neighbor express concern and a wish to help. Zeke's snow blower died. It was old, he said, and it couldn't handle this much snow. He said his back won't let him shovel. He was going to work on the blower last night and if he could get it running, would be over today to help me. There was no sign of him this morning so I'm guessing the machine has gone to the great parts dump in the sky. I appreciate his expression of concern even if I knew, inside, he wasn't going to be over today.

I can only work for an hour and a half now before my back and upper legs start to ache. Today, however, I found a sock combination that keeps my toes warm which, had my muscles not complained, would have allowed me to keep going longer. In fact, I'm a bit overdressed. I had to take off the heavy gloves and unzip the jacket. I'm wearing the same 2 pairs of pants, tee shirt and sweater I've worn since Wednesday. Why continually change? I don't shower until 5.

Temperatures are warming up. It was -4 when I went out and, as noon approaches, it's a balmy 15 degrees. It's to be warmer this weekend, with some snow showers. That will mean melting although there was melting yesterday in the single digit temperatures. That means the lower layer will be heavier as it's more frozen. "You need to get that shoveled before it freezes," a couple people have said to me. "And you're coming over to help, right?" I ask. Then there are excuses or just plain laughter. Yes, I'm a might touchy but don't be telling me I have to get my drive shoveled when I still have roughly 45-50 feet to the street if you're not going to grab a shovel and come help.

The snow is breaking off in great chunks now.
I shave a chunk off and then cut it into smaller chunks. I'm using a two shovel approach. I have one of those bent-handle shovels but it's not the best for shaving off the next batch to be moved. I use the straight-handled shovel for that and for breaking the chunk down. Then I use the bent-shovel to toss the snow onto a pile. That seems to be easier on my back and legs. As I said yesterday, this would be fantastic snow fort snow. If I wasn't so tired...

After an hour and a half, the street is closer. 
I think I'm through the deepest part of the drift. It appears to be the same depth to the street. I don't know if I will make it out by Monday. I hope so. I have one more vacation day I can use. 

I'm almost out of milk but thanks to last weekend and Wednesday, I have pancakes and waffles I can eat for breakfast. There is always oatmeal. I made bacon cheeseburgers and fries for supper last night. I'm good. I changed litter yesterday afternoon which made the girls happy. Pilchard goes to the back door, looks out and meows. I'm tempted to leave the door open so I can reinforce that "my cats don't go outside in this". 

The front is going to have to wait.
I'm too tired to attempt that right now. As I'm out there, I'm thinking about the 1967 blizzard everyone compared this one to. Back then, people didn't have snow blowers. This shoveling had to be done by hand. If you lived alone, as I do, well, you hoped people would understand at the office. I kind of feel a sense of kinship with my ancestors for whom moving snow this way was the only way to do it. I go a little at a time, rest, and go back at it. I am not taking for granted that anyone will show up to help with the job. There was one guy who came by yesterday. He would shovel me out for $80. I didn't laugh. I politely declined. 

But you know what I'm craving right now? Dr Pepper. I'm trying to cut way back on my soda consumption and, of course, the one thing I'd love is a soda, ice cold. 

Beverage:  Blackberry Sage tea


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