Don't Rush Me
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .
December 15, 2010 - This week's Happy Thought: Winter officially starts next week.
I make that my Happy Thought, so I can pretend this week didn't happen . . .
. . . Okay, that didn't work.
Rat-Smackin-Frackin-Blizin! It is gonna be a long winter. And, I know, I know, you happy-go-lucky, sunshine and flower folks, like former Clarkston music teacher Grayce Warren, want us normally cynical folk to believe in the "wonderment" of winter. Why, it was just this weekend that Grayce scolded me, via Facebook:
"It is December in Michigan, and so far in this area we only have enough snow to cover the mud and dead grass. Enjoy it as the trees are so pretty and it gives the Currier and Ives paintings new memories. Every four-to-five months people complain about the weather instead of enjoying it."
Grayce, while I love you . . . BAH HUMBUG!
There is a reason the Michigan legislature abolished, banned this saying from our license plates after only two years (1965-1967): "Water-Winter Wonderland." And, that reason is simple . . . it was DEPRESSING!
Yes, the picture outside my window was pretty. But, it was only pretty whilst I was basking in the temperate climate of my 54-degree domicile. On the outside, it was a nightmarish hell of tundra. First the wet snow, then the 40-mile-an-hour gusting winds, then more snow, this time light and fluffy (read pretty), then power outages . . . and then there was the drive into work on Monday morning.
I am still trying to loosen up my fingers after that hour of white-knuckle ice-driving on Monday.
But, back to Sunday . . . when we knew the snow was coming and knew it would be "pretty" outside. I decided to shovel often and shovel early. I started my shovel-a-thon at about 8 a.m. On and off until about 8 p.m., I kept it up. It is my battle plan in any snow storm to get at the driveway and sidewalk often -- the idea is it is easier to shovel an inch or two worth of snow, than a bunch. While I spend more time outside going over the same patch of cement, I save my back any undo pain. (And, since I live alone, if I had a heart attack and wound up in a snow drift, nobody would know until the spring.)
The first couple of trips outside were that wet, heavy snow. But, as I kept at it, it was easy pushing. By evening time, while the snow was lighter, it was drifting and it was cold!
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.
I, your hero, Don Rush, shoveled nearly 1.3 miles of snow. And, I lived to tell about it (or if you're cynical like me, lived to shovel some more).
I am not always this hard on the aftermath of a Mother Nature/Old Man Winter hookup. Usually, I like the winter and the snow. And, before I checked the pedometer, I had actually planned on finishing up the driveway and then making a snow man or working on a snow fort for my sons Shamus and Sean.
Then I did the quick math in my head, came up with a mile of shoveling and all of a sudden my back started hurting, my nose started running and my fingers started to feel numb.
I put the well-used, blue plastic snow shovel up, walked inside, locked the doors, turned off all the lights and took a long, hot bath . . . followed quickly by hopping in bed and under the covers and falling fast asleep.
How did you fare with the first snow fall, let Don know, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com