Friday, November 25, 2005

Zen and the art of snow shovelling

Note the perfectly symmetrical snowbanks. Picture Bree Van de Kamp in the snow belt, and you've pretty much got me pegged.

Given the howling wind and blizzard-like conditions we experienced as I went to bed last night, I had anticipated a great deal more snow. Still, the 3 or 4 inches we now have makes the world look pretty and sparkly today.

Watching newcomers to the Fort Drum area deal with snow shovelling (and winter in general) is always a great source of amusement for me, smug smartass of a Canadian that I am. Here's my rant list of helpful hints for the snow-impaired:

1. Shovel early and shovel often! It is exponentially more difficult to shovel six inches of snow once, than to shovel three inches of snow twice.

2. Let your shovel do the work for you. That's why they're called snowSCRAPERs, not snowTHROWERS. Put shovel on pavement, start walking. You'll thank me later.

3. Invest in a shovel for each of your children. Start training them early, when they still think that shovelling is fun.

4. Invest in proper snow attire for your children. I recommend Columbia parkas and snowsuits, but anything warm and waterproof will suffice. Check Ebay and the thrift shop. Then, let them get out there and enjoy the white stuff. It's going to be a long winter, so make the most of it. Oh, and stock up on mittens and hats. These things invariably get lost in January. By then, the stores will no longer be stocking them. They have to make room for bathing suits and gardening gear, ya know. Don't say I didn't warn you.

5. The same goes for you grownups. Find some snowshoes or cross-country skis and GET. OUT. THERE.

6. For the love of all that is holy, clean the snow off your car before you drive. Better yet, clear all the worthless crap out of your garage and park your $30,000 SUV inside.

7. Complaining about the cold will not make it go away. Trust me, it will be oppressively hot here again in July.

8. My husband tells me that it has cooled down to 70 - 75 degrees in Baghdad, a welcome respite from the 130 F oven that it was when he first arrived. Just a small reality check, FYI.
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Valerie said...

Great List.

If I may, I would like to add one: If you live in an urban area with neighbours very close by - and your muscles don't hurt too much, why not shovel some of your neighbour's snow?

It is a great gesture which almost always comes back to you. Either through guilt or love, your neighbour will shovel your walk sometime.

I have experienced this positive retribution, and there is nothing better than looking out your window, expecting the worst, and seeing that someone has already shovelled your walk.

Of course, what is really, really the absolute best is helping one another and fostering good neighbouring.

I like to do it when no one is watching.

Anonymous said...

Your grandparents would be proud of you two.