March 26, 2014 - So, here we are. We're a few days away from April First (no fooling) 2014, and you know what? I still hear some freaks (and I state that lovingly) who want three more inches of snow, so we can "break the record."
This winter season Mom Nature and that nasty Old Man Winter hooked up and dropped nearly 100 inches of snow upon our heads, and homes, and yards and sidewalks and driveways and . . . you get the picture. We have a lot of snow and I for one am done with snow.
Snow be gone.
Get the heck out of here and don't let the door hit you on the keister as you leave.
I don't want any more snow. I do not want to break any snowfall records. One of the arguments I've heard in favor of another three inches of the white stuff goes something like this: "We need to break the record because if we don't all that snow means nothing. We're so-o-o-o-o-o close."
Balderdash and poppycock! Three more inches of snow only means we had three more inches of snow. Bah! Humbug!
For those who want to know, as of Monday, the National Weather Service folks in White Lake say the official mostest snow in the Metro Detroit Area was 93.6 inches, set back in the winter of '80-'81. That's 1880-1881.
Locally, I say we're over the 93-inch mark. I can tell because by the time we're done with winter I am either gonna' have Popeye foreams or tennis elbow. I've shoveled a lot of snow. Oh, I also know because the last big snow we had the Detroit area had about five inches -- Mt. Holly had 9.6 inches.
How much snow is 93 inches? Divided out, it equals seven and three quarters feet. Wanna' know why I'm gonna have tennis elbow or Popeye arms, try shoveling almost eight feet of snow. It's hard.
In mid-December 2010, I wrote about how much snow I shoveled after one storm. It went like this:
"For fun, I wore my pedometer while I shoveled. By night's end I had shoveled the same patch of cement five times, and had shoveled over 2,500 steps. Assuming there are 2.7 feet per step, let's do some easy ciphering.
2,500 x 2.7-feet = 6,750
A mile is 5,280 feet.
Now let's do some calculator math, 5,280 feet (one mile) divided into 6,750 = 1.278 miles.
Okay, I will admit it: I was feeling sorry for myself when I wrote that, but that snow spurred me into action. By the next winter -- the winter of 2011-12 -- I had saved money enough to buy my first snow blower! I rationalized the purchase because I was getting older, and I didn't want to die shoveling snow.
In all its fire-orange glory, I used the snow blower once that winter. The winter of 2012-13, we had about a foot of snow and I used it once, just because I could. Before this winter started, I had a feeling deep, down in my gut that we were going to get socked in with snow. And, I was happy about it.
Last October, I took out the snowblower, checked the plug, started it up and made sure everything was working properly. All systems were a "go."
When the snow started falling, sometime around Christmas 2013, I went out and tried to start the snow blower. Nothing. I tinkered, and I tinkered and I tinkered some more. I pulled on the starter cord and pulled on the starter cord and pulled on the starter cord until I could pull no more. Nothing. I shoveled.
I took out the spark plug and got a new one. Nothing. Starter fluid worked for about three seconds. I shoveled. I tried it one more time on the third snow and it wouldn't start. I put it away in the enclosed porch and covered it up with a blanket. I shoveled the rest of the winter.
According to one source, a cubic foot of snow can weigh between seven and 15 pounds (fluffy to packing snow). And by the end of February I was pitching that stuff up and over my shoulder. Towards the back of my driveway, it's about 30 feet wide. There was a snow pile there over my head tall and about nine feet wide.
Along the sidewalk I shoveled (if I include my neighbors to both sides, which I normally try and do) about 300 feet. The snow trench here was almost chest high. It got so bad, that whilst shoveling, in my head, the stupid Brothers Gibb sang, "Staying Alive."
So, when somebody asks me if I want more snow -- for any reason, record my answer as, "only when Hell freezes over." If you go on-line to this newspaper's website, you can see what this season's snow has done to my snow shovels. Be prepared. It ain't purty.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org