Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Reliving My Childhood (And Not In A Good Way)

The snow just dumped all day and finally let up about 3pm. There is a good seven inches in the driveway. I had to shovel it. I did not move to a temperate zone city to have to shovel a driveway again. I did that as a kid. Growing up in Salt Lake City, it was my brother's and my job to shovel the driveway every time it snowed, which when we were kids seemed to be about every other day. We had a long flat driveway, and it was relatively easy to shovel if you didn't let the snow get too deep. Dad was never one for buying a snow blower. I suppose it was some sort of cheap puritan work ethic -- or he thought it would build character or something. Nonetheless, my brother Gordon and I would be tasked with shoveling the driveway when we got home from school and before Dad got home from work. After years of doing it we got pretty good --  a skill which still comes in handy I'm afraid. It's very funny to watch neighbors who did not grow up in snow country try to shovel a driveway. They always make it way to hard. They tend to scoop and throw and carry. That's not how it's done.

The trick you see is to plow/push a single track parallel to the driveway on each side as a space to turn around. Then you start at one end of the drive and using the snow plow type of shovel, push a 1/2 to 3/4 width shovel back and forth across the drive and toss the snow off the edge. You "push" you don't lift or carry or throw. It clears the drive quickly. You can see I still remember how to do it looking at the pictures above. It's not a skill I relish remembering how to do.  But since I didn't get to the gym today...

Now I've not had to clear a drive like this in nearly 25 years. Generally snow up in the Northwest is heavy and wet and only an inch or two -- but this was surprising light and very deep, almost a Utah dry powder for some reason. Because the neighbors had already driven on the drive it was compacted to, so on the steep part up by the street it was very slippery and I slipped more than once and landed on my ass. The old level driveway back home growing up never had that problem.

My brother Gordon said a few posts back that "middle aged nostalgia is hell". I would have to agree. I never enjoyed shoveling snow when I was a kid, and I know I sure as hell don't enjoy it now. I am not at all nostalgic about it.  At least I had my I-pod playing Kenney Chesney and Jimmy Buffet songs about living in the tropics -- which is not something I had as a kid (in the ancient days before Sony Walkman tapeplayers!). I guarantee though that if it snowed like this more than this once every 15 years I'd have a snowblower sitting in the garage, even if only for once a year use. Dad taught me some good lessons growing up -- but NOT buying a snow blower is not one. 

One good thing -- the hot tub in the back yard is at 104 and I'm ready to hit it...


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