I just finished 2 hours of snowblowing. It was our first real storm of the season and work was cancelled. That means, of course, that tomorrow will be extra hellacious with a side of torture, but that’s tomorrow.
I’ve always liked the snow. I got in arguments in college because I refused to complain about it. I like all four seasons.
I cleared out our driveway, out into the street in front of our house. Then our sidewalk, and the sidewalk and 2 car driveway of the retired couple next store. Sometimes they buy us pizza to say “thanks.” I just appreciate that he mows our part of the lawn between our houses. Even when I haven’t mown for weeks and our grass is knee-high he doesn’t complain. Mowing grass sucks. It’s the same thing over and over again. Push. Flip cord out of the way. Push. Flip cord.
Blowing snow requires thinking. Which way to blow so the stream won’t cover what I just cleared? How is the wind going to figure into this? What angle will give my boots the best traction? There’s strategy involved in blowng snow.
And each storm is a new challenge. Today’s was several hours of light snow on warm ground producing a semi-slush base. That was followed by several hours of dry powder, and then turning to sleet all night long. It finished with another coating of dry powder. This wicked combination produced a snowpack that was both very heavy (the hours of sleet) and prone to blowing right back in your face (the double powder layers). I am drained.
But snow has always held good associations for me. There were the days of frolicking in the stuff in my youth, of course. We lived next door to a dentist’s office and my mom had asked the guy who plowed their parking lot to pile all the snow on the side nearest our house. I made incredible snow forts with tunnels and slides!
Then at college, the sensation of walking to class in the cool stillness with three inches of snow balanced perfectly on every branch and twig of our forested campus. I swear you could hear every flack settling to earth.
Also at college, eleven years ago tomorrow, was my best snow memory. Kat had just arrived on the train for a long weekend visit. We had gone to dinner and come back to campus. It was just starting to snow as we walked over the same paths where she had asked me out two years before. The darkening sky sparkled with starlike flakes. It was cool but not cold as I went down on one knee, held out the ring, and asked her “Will you m–”
That was the best snowy day of my life.