Jennifer L. Grubbs: Snow place like home
December 16, 2008
I need to buy a snow shovel.
That realization hit me Saturday, as I watched the sky turn gray and the land turn white.
Moving to Craig, I knew there would be lots of snow. At my job interview, I was told to expect snow measured in feet, rather than inches.
We haven’t had lots yet, but I know it’s coming.
I did make some preparations for the weather.
I bought two new winter coats; one is shiny silver with lots of pockets, the other is bright blue and is long and bulky. Both are very warm.
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I also dug out my sweaters, many of which I haven’t worn in years.
I bought a new snowbrush for cleaning off my car, since the one I had is woefully inadequate.
And I’ve dug out all of my winter-ish shoes and put my summer ones aside.
But what I haven’t done is buy a snow shovel.
Maybe I’m not ready to give in to the fact that I’m really on my own and will have to fend for my sidewalks myself.
After years of parents, siblings, roommates, etc., sharing the sidewalk-cleaning workload, I now have no one else to ask, “please, will you:” And not having a significant other, that option isn’t available, either. I always found someone else who disliked another chore enough that if I did that, they would shovel snow.
When I moved to Craig, I was lucky enough to find a fantastic place to live. I am a renter, but it is basically a house, or at least a duplex – not an apartment complex, where my landlord would take care of snow removal.
OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. It is a duplex, so I’m sure I’ll share a little bit of the sidewalk-cleaning workload with my neighbor.
But I have a fair amount that is my responsibility and mine alone.
And my neighbor left town before this last storm for a three-week vacation, so I’m sure I will have plenty of chances to take on the snow-removal project in coming weeks.
It’s just part of living in Craig that I have to get used to.
And I wasn’t used to it this weekend.
On Sunday, when I got home from judging the 2008 Holiday Tour of Lights, I realized that I needed to do some snow removal for our mail carrier. So, at 10:30 p.m., I used my neighbor’s shovel, which was conveniently in the garage we share, to fling snow off to the side of a narrow path – but a path nonetheless.
In doing this, I realized that I kind of cheated myself, having not shoveled snow much before. I’m completely unprepared for doing that here.
My first mistake was not remembering where the water hose lies on the xeriscaped yard (Don’t worry, Linda. I didn’t hurt it).
My second mistake was not taking my purse inside while I was shoveling. It kept sliding off my shoulder and down onto the shovel.
My third mistake was trying to do it fast, and not taking any breaks (I’m not the most in-shape person).
And the list went on:
But now I need to learn from those mistakes and suck it up for the long haul.
Oh, and I need to buy my own snow shovel.