Shoveling My Way Out of Trouble

I get the snow before the snow gets me

January 2020

Sigh. It’s January, and while I am (always) more than ready to shovel snow, I still haven’t gotten rid of all the leaves that hide in the corners of the porch steps. I still haven’t found anyone to clean the gutters. I keep trying and asking, but no one seems to want to pressure wash my house either. It has pretty much reached the “embarrassment” stage. But it’s probably too cold for that now. So I can put that off until spring. Hurray! I love to procrastinate!

What I really need is a rental husband, but those are difficult to impossible to come up with. What happened to the “good old days” when every place had its abundance of handymen? Or why doesn’t some fit and healthy guy who’s ready to retire from the daily grind set up a business like that? Shoot, I don’t even care how “fit” he is; I just want him over here with a pressure washer!

I have no idea how I might go about that task myself. Well, first, I’d have to buy a machine. Then, I’d have to figure out how to make that outside hose thing adapt to it. Still, I can’t imagine myself wrestling around out there with a giant machine that possesses what seems like a mind of its own.

I grew up in the days when Daddy or the “hired man” did all the outside work. I was inside with Mom, learning how to bake and clean the house. I have never mowed a lawn in my life, never even started a lawnmower, much less used one. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to turn me loose with a weed wacker.

One thing I know how to do, and do well and enjoy, is to shovel snow. I’ve expounded about this before. It’s a great way to get exercise on those days when walking in the woods might not be the smartest idea.

I go about shoveling in my own obsessive-compulsive way. First, I stand inside and shovel off the first few steps

I must take out the door. If you walk on fresh snow, the footprints become more difficult to remove. I shovel my path out to the car and clean off the snow, carefully and precisely.

I always make sure to sweep off the top of the car. It is scary and indeed maddening to be driving down the highway behind some lazy person who has left a big cap of snow on top of their car. Sure enough, it’s going to blow off onto my car or worse, it has hardened, and big chunks of ice come hurtling through the air. It’s downright dangerous! Please, folks, take a few minutes to sweep the snow off the top of the car, then clean away the rest. If you turn on the car before you start, the defroster will even do some of the work for you. Then, you’ve got a clean, warm car to take on the snowy roads.

Well, that rant’s over. Now, for my absolute favorite winter activity: sitting in my chair reading while the snow falls on the pine trees outside and the fireplace blazes merrily. I could do that all day until it’s time to get out and shovel the snow.

Sometimes, a broom can be substituted for the shovel. Many times, I’ve swept the porch and steps while it was still snowing. That’s fun and easier than lifting shovel after shovel full of often heavy snow.

Our little corner of Virginia is predicted to have a higher than average snowfall this winter. Yay! I think the weather expert said up to 30 inches. I say, “Bring it on!” But I’m hoping for a lot more than that. No rental husband needed!

To order Margo’s book of columns, “A Party of One,” call 540-468-2147, Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email [email protected]