Most of the time, clearing snow wouldn’t be a choice. If you have a car, and you have a driveway, and you live in Canada, that snow has to be cleared somehow, right? Lots of people opt for the $250-$600 a year options for a company to hopefully come clear your driveway. A friend has an option for a guy with a plow on his pickup, small operation, $250 a year. Except it scrapes the driveway and mine ain’t necessarily perfectly smooth. That might not end well. Another guy I know is paying close to $600 but he’s farther out, with a longer drive.
I have a small driveway. And a snowblower. Normally that’s a good combo, or at least good enough. The variables tonight were not particularly in my favour:
- It’s the first time this year clearing the snow. Which means I haven’t dug out the electrical cord to start it, some other stuff was kind of blocking in the snowblower, my garage is a disaster, etc. I was not “snow-ready” for clearing, okay? 🙂 Heck, the tires on the snowblower aren’t even fully inflated, although it did give me a bit more traction, so not a total hardship.
- It was not, in fact, the first snowfall…that happened a couple of days ago, I was really busy and no need to go out, so I didn’t clear it. That is ALWAYS a recipe for future pain. The snow and rain today meant the end of the driveway was a bunch of hard packed wet crap that was really hard to dig into and clear. Every time I fail to clear on Day 1, it pretty much ends badly. But I was busy and lazy, never a good combo.
- My garage is in disarray so that means my car is not in the garage, it’s in the driveway. Ergo, I have to clear it off too; ergo, I also have to clear around it so that I can back it out; ergo, I can’t do a very efficient back and forth clearing of the whole driveway in one go because I have to alter my patterns. Combined with the fact I needed to clear the end first that was frozen, and I had to spend a LOT of time working at areas that I normally wouldn’t do all at once (easier to do about 8-inches of the end with a glancing/passing tranche of the snowblower).
- I am feeling really out of shape. I’ve been a couch potato for six months
52 yearsand it really showed tonight. Because of the frozen bits, plus getting setup, it took me almost an hour to do a small driveway, with a lot of pushing and wiggling it to get it to “bite” into the snow chunks. I crushed some with my feet, some with an ice chopper, some with the snowblower. But using the snowblower is not completely “exercise-free”. I stopped at the 20m and 40m marks just for a breather, plus I wish it was about six inches taller for the handles, my back is not a big fan of the height. I thought I was fine afterwards, tired but fine, and then my BP jacked for a bit and I had to lie down. “When I regained consciousness…”(*) two hours later, I had missed dinner. I felt fine, but clearing snow with a snowblower wiped me out for 2 hours? Greaaaaat.
* As an aside, that referenced phrase is from Dave Broadfoot from his Sergeant Renfrew character on the Royal Canadian Air Farce. I included TWO references to that in my Canadian trivia for work today and the players were NOT pleased. I thought their disdain was hilarious. I’ll write about it more in a later post.
The ironic thing about not clearing until tonight was that Andrea originally had an appointment this afternoon. For some reason, it wasn’t showing in either of my online or work calendars the way it normally would, and so I didn’t know about it at all. And I was thinking I would clear this morning before work. Hah! I wouldn’t have got very far, it would have been even more frozen then. I’m better organized for the next fall, and if it doesn’t happen for a week, I should have the car out of the way at least. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, Andrea had to cancel her appointment for her own reasons, so I was off the early-morning hook.
And yet…with the fact that I’m not going anywhere, nor having to take Andrea anywhere today, it was actually a “choice” to clear the snow or not. That is not a good recipe for maintaining healthy attitudes towards winter, but if we’re not going out, why clear? Because if I don’t clear, then we CAN’T go out. I know, I know. Just tell my body that at 8:00 a.m. some morning when I have to go out and clear the snow before work, on a day when I’m not commuting ANYWHERE. ‘Tis a crazy year.
Today I chose to clear the snow from my driveway.
What choices did you make today?