Thursday, February 18, 2010

Darn Ice

Sometimes when I’m out rearranging the snow I get an urge to package up some of the excess and send it to one of my friends who usually don’t get a chance to frolic, because they live in a part of the country where 40 above is considered cold.

But now thanks to global warming, or climate change, or whatever the phrase of the day is, most everyone gets the chance to dance in the snow.

If it’s true that misery loves company, then those of us in the north have never been happier. For across the country people are getting pounded by the white fluff and stuff. So when our nation’s capital gets buried repeatedly by snow I start singing, for when Congress can’t get to work I am delighted. It’s time that the snow job they have been giving us is returned. The snow, having no political affiliation, falls equally on conservatives and constitutionalists, liberals and libertarians, and progressives and populists.

I try to do my part in spreading the misery around. For instance, instead of raking leaves in the fall I chop them up with the mower and let the wind carry them to the neighbors. This year I have adapted this practice for snow removal with the purchase of a snow blower. In the past I have pulled, pushed and prodded the snow with a plow, and then carried it by the bucketful where it was then heaped upon itself into large piles.

My version of Mary Anne, Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel, is a small tractor with a bucket and a back blade or plow. For the purposes of this story let’s refer to it as Ginger. After I had complained to my friend Mark about the late nights spent moving snow, he, who has an opinion on most matters, suggested I get a snow blower for Ginger.

Either he didn’t mention the part about needing a cab for the tractor, or I was day-dreaming about throwing snow at the neighbors and didn’t hear him.

The thing about blowing snow is that there is always the wind factor to contend with, yet they fail to mention this in the owner’s manual. There is a constant need to adjust the engine speed, the angle, as well as the direction of the chute to avoid wearing most of the snow. I think my coveralls must have a magnetic quality about them as everything sticks to them, especially the snow.

If I had a corncob pipe and a button nose, and my eyes were a shade closer to the color of coal you would think that Frosty had indeed come back. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a face full of cold snow to make a guy wish for spring. A face mask can only do so much.

It’s a good thing that February is so short because it feels so long. Now this year, because of the unfortunate mix of moisture and temperature, we can curse winter even more: ice dam. Having avoided raking leaves in the fall, I am now forced to rake the snow off my roof because of those darn ice dams. Holding a 50 ft. metal pole in the air is just asking for trouble but I do the best I can which is not good enough. So I climb on the roof and start shoveling.

However, roof shoveling is not recommended because it can break shingles and shin bones when you fall off the roof and hit the ground. I guess I can enjoy the view while I wait for 40 above.

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