Five Acts of Snow Removal

The easiest topics about which to write are current events such as
the weather. Writing about the weather is a little like kissing your
sister but it is a topic-and it is easy-so it is the basis for this
week’s column.

Act I: Snow on the Way

Men of old felt impending snow storms in their bones, today we have
the internet. I love to monitor the weather, constantly refreshing
the page in hopes of noticing some minor change in the radar map.
Weather information arrives in so many different forms that I find it
hard to believe that anyone who makes an honest effort need be
surprised by an impending blizzard or even light snow. The technology
to deliver weather information reaches out to you, you need only
reach back. Also, please remember that television weather forecasts
from Fargo, North Dakota center on that part of the state unless otherwise stated. Those who simply parrot the television forecast often speak of someone else’s weather. The local forecast heard on the radio is tailored specifically for us and is quite accurate. You have to understand your enemy before you can remove your enemy.

Act II: The Storm

During our most recent storm, I spent most of my time fidgeting. I
try to fidgeting productively so I shovel. My idea is
that it’s easier to move three inches of snow three times than it is
to move nine inches of snow once so I shovel often. This year I purchased an ergonomic
shovel and one of those large snow scoops sleds that you push along
the ground. These implements join my old grain scoop as part of an
medieval arsenal of tools that I choose to employ prior to anything
mechanized. When the sidewalk and garage doors are clear I go modern and select
either the pick-up snow plow or the blower on my tractor to further my battle.

Act III: Head Games

I don’t like the idea of not being able to move about the country; my
mobility is impaired during a storm which makes me a bit anxious. I
try to calm myself by planning an exit strategy from each storm. I
set a time when I want everything clean and I also get any little
jobs (feed birds, clean corn stoves, etc) done so there’s nothing to
detract from clearing snow when the time arrives. It all gives me the
illusion of control which is funny as defined under the “man plans, God laughs” statute.

Act IV: Removal

I alone fight my battle against the snow. I may want to venture six inches further out from the edge of our driveway but that extra distance may draw my tractor into the ditch; I play it smart. There exists no worse feeling than walking away from an incomplete job that you were formerly completing from the cab of your tractor. In this situation, not only is the snow still blocking the road but so is the equipment I use to remove the blockage. Unlike my opinion on life and politics, I find comfort during snow removal when I stay in the middle of the road,

Act V: Afterglow

I like to brag to my wife that I clean our yard and driveway better than most municipalities. I don’t know how to measure this but the point is that I am proud of our clean yard. I bask in the glow of my own efforts as my ego grows a shade deeper bronze. The feeling is but fleeting as there will soon be more snow both to cover my work and prove my mettle.

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