The Frozen Limit
There comes a point in every winter when the shoveling of snow ceases to be fun or challenging, and just becomes tedious labor. For me, today, Feb. 1, 2008, is this season's day. It's actually late this year, since, although we've actually had a lot of snow, it's mostly been like today's--light and fluffy, almost powder. If I were a skier, I'd be ecstatic. As a shoveler, it's not too bad. You can take good satisfying full shovels and fling it with abandon if you feel like it. Heavy, wet, moisture-laden snow is the pits: the kind of stuff that brings on heart attacks in the unwary. Then, it may take two shovels to make a foot of headway, and the stuff sticks to your shovel and has to be shaken or knocked off, to boot.
Tedium day is late this year since, until now, we haven't had to engage in my least-favorite winter ritual, getting up earlier than normal to shovel out so that we can get to work. Since December, snows have either come during the day, so we shovel at evening; or overnight snows have either been light or come on a weekend so we can take our time dealing with it.
Last night, the snow had begun in the afternoon, and continued through the evening. I went out at 7:00PM and shoveled a path for guests, which was filled in by the time they left at 10:30. This morning, we woke up to find that the six-inch maximum prediction of last night had been exceeded by a good three inches. Bleah!
When you have this volume of snow, just putting it someplace becomes a problem. Fortunately, thaws have reduced the prior snow cover to nearly nothing, and warm weather is expected over the weekend again. That's the good news. The bad news is, as much as three more inches (which means possibly six, given the ratio of predictions to performance lately) is expected to fall before the snow ends noonish, which means we also have my second-unfavorite winter event to look forward to--shovelling it all off more than once in the same day. (Mutter, mumble, grumble, gripe!)
Tomorrow of course is Groundhog day. Predictions are for cloudy, so the prognosticatory marmot probably won't see a shadow. (In the wild, I doubt they would come out of their holes--). Celebrate by enjoying some Ground Hog (we like Usinger's pre-cooked bratwurst for this occasion)!