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There is nothing quite so blissful as a snow day.
The quiet beauty of gently falling flakes swiftly accumulating on the trees and lawns and roadways preventing any sort of travel to work. Those two magic words: School Closure. Knowing that all there is to do is look out the window from your warm house and watch the clean cold blanket of winter stop all activity in mysterious, but welcome silence. The promise of a guilt free day to do absolutely nothing.
Yes, there is nothing quite so blissful as a snow day.
Unless, of course, the snow falls on a Saturday.
Or on the day you and your family are packed and ready to fly to the Caribbean and the airports are closed.
Or on the day that a member of your family is sick with the flu.
Or on the day that the excess bags of garbage you have put out on the street is to be collected.
Like most people who experience that cold white stuff on a yearly basis, I have had my share of snow bound bummers. I have suffered through the hangovers that come when the snow stops falling and there are mounds of it in the driveway and outside the front door that must be removed. I am in tune to the slow rumble and scraping of snow plows shaking the streets that signal the end to the quiet reverie and the inevitable recovery from a lost day trapped indoors.
They don’t write songs about that sort of winter wonderland.
I have never read a serene poem about shovels or salt or Toro snow blowers.
When the snow comes I abandon my car at the top of the driveway to eventually be buried in the stuff. This is a sacrifice of survival that I learned the hard way. It was a year of a great blizzard and my car was clean and snug in the confines of my garage along with the snow blower and an empty gas can that I had forgotten to fill.
It is hard to start a snow blower without fuel.
It is even harder getting to a gas station when there is two feet of snow in your driveway and your car is stuck in the garage.
That was the year my kids were not old enough to man snow shovels.
That was the year I threw out my back.
Here is another trick I have learned over the years. When using a snow blower, always shoot the snow downwind. And never, ever try to pull the ensuing tiny prickly icicles off your eyebrows in an effort to see better.
Wearing a hat is a good idea too.
It is also a good idea to leave a snow shovel outside your front door so you can clear a path to your car and free it. This, of course, assumes that the snow is not too deep and your front door opens in.
I also learned that one year.
The good news is that eventually snow melts. Although you may have to wait a few months.
The bad news is that it usually turns to ice first. Frozen snow will support the weight of a human being walking on top of it. Really frozen snow will even support the weight of a snow blower. That is why it is a good idea to remove snow as quickly as possible after a heavy snowfall.
Of course, that was another lesson I learned through experience.
Recently a friend of mine organized a snow blower pool among several of his neighbors. They all pitched in and bought a powerful two-stage gas snow blower which apparently is equivalent to ten horses pushing snow shovels 30 inches apart. When the snowstorms come the neighbors help each other out and take turns throwing the snow from their driveways with the blower. They hold a lottery to see who gets to use it first.
According to my friend, this is a great idea unless you are first in line and have heavy gravel in your driveway. Snow blowers don’t really do well with rocks. They break the augers. And it turns out neighbors don’t really do well when the community snow blower is out of service and their driveways are still full of snow.
Of course the best solution to a snow day recovery is to hire someone to remove the snow for you. When I was a kid we used to troll the neighborhood after a heavy snowstorm and earn a few bucks shoveling driveways. These days grown up kids driving jeeps fitted with snow plow attachments troll the streets looking for rubes who have forgotten to gas up their snow blowers.
And they earn a lot more than a few bucks.
I learned that from experience too.
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