Snow Day Times 2…Possibly 3 by Cara Potapshyn Meyers
I am writing this blog on my iPad, while in the bath. You may gasp. I already washed my old iPhone last summer. At least if I drop this thing, I can fish it out in seconds and put it in a bag with the 200 silica gel packets I bought in case I washed my new iPhone. So far I’ve been lucky.
I bought a new computer last week. After having minor glitches to deal with for some time now, I figured it was time for an upgrade. My son’s laptop, which he uses for school, is also literally falling apart. So I dropped my new and old computer off for what should have been a quick data transfer. I was told I could pick it up this past Monday. We had a major snow storm here in the Northeast Sunday night into Monday. No computer to pick up.
My son had a terrific Snow Day with a couple of friends who came over. He and his friends made snow forts and threw snowballs at one another. I took pictures and made “comfort foods” such as macaroni and cheese. It was a lovely combination of indoor and outdoor play. All creative. No sitting in front of the television playing video games. I let my son and his friends run around the house, make cardboard contraptions, and play in the snow. I worked on crafts while the kids were occupied. I had no where to go the next day so whether the driveway was shoveled or not didn’t bother me. I knew my computer wouldn’t be finished.
We had a one day respite from the snow. Cold outside but sunny. We also heard threats of another major storm headed our way. I have an old shoulder injury which is my “barometer” when bad weather is approaching. We were notified that there would be a two hour delay for school opening the next day. My friend texted me, “Are they for real? Do you think they’ll call us at 6 am to tell us school is closed?” I replied, “They should just cancel school now. My shoulder is in pain badly and my hand is numb. This storm is going to be bad. My shoulder never lies.” Sure enough, a call came at 6 am informing us that school would be closed again. Lucky kids, I thought. In two weeks they have February Break for President’s week. Unlike Monday, however, my husband, son and dog went to my Mother-in-Law’s before the storm started. Another fun day for my son. Not as much fun for me.
We have a man we hire every year to plow our long driveway and shovel our walkways and stairs. The past several years, this man would attach a plow to the front of his truck and plow our driveway really well. His sons would shovel the remainder of what the plow couldn’t reach and do our walkways and steps. This year, this man changed things around a bit. He bought an ATV which could accommodate a plow in front. His sons were also now old enough to drive. Instead of plowing with the truck, one of the sons drove the ATV plow, which is able to turn around even in our narrow driveway, and push the snow out into the street. The other son does the walkways and the stairs. Here is where issues present themselves. Once the ATV plows all of the snow into the street, the Village plows come along and push it up against the opening to my driveway. Almost two feet of packed, heavy ice and snow. Secondly, this ATV has tires with large tread. With large tread and packed snow, thick trails of ice are left behind. With temperatures dropping fifteen degrees by tomorrow, my plowed driveway would be a treacherous skating rink. While the temperatures were hovering in the low 30s, I wanted to see whether I could push some of the plowed snow in front of my driveway to the side and use ice melt on the icy tread patches to melt it enough to chop and slide it.
I started out around 2:30 pm. I put ice melt on the icy tread first, then tackled the ice mound in front of my driveway. It was too heavy to slide. I would have to chop segments off and physically pick them up with the shovel and place them on our property so that the Town plow wouldn’t push it all back in front of the driveway. My next door neighbor must have thought I had a good idea because she went out with her kids in tow to do the same. My arms and back were crying, but I still had more work to do. The ice melt did it’s job. I stomped on the icy patches and noticed that they broke apart. My father would be proud, I thought. I grew up in a slightly rural suburb, in a house on a hill with a 125 foot long driveway. Every time a winter storm came, my father and I would attack this monstrous driveway. I have been a skilled shoveler since age ten. There were days I spent shoveling for 4 hours straight. My reward was always a large mug of homemade hot chocolate followed with a day of tobogganing at the golf course down the street. That’s how I spent my Snow Days as a kid.
Any who…as I felt my muscles cramp with every shovel full of heavy snow, and thought about my young Snow Days, I started to crave a mug of hot chocolate…and a steaming hot BATH! Once my job was completed to my (and my deceased Father’s) satisfaction, I came inside. I was shocked at the time: 4:06! An hour and a half of this laborious job! As I whipped up some hot chocolate, I called my husband, told him of my back-breaking work, and asked him to call the plow man to remedy this situation for the next storm, which is predicted for this weekend. I then ran a lovely bath and picked out some warm, comfy clothes. Now here I am in the bath with my iPad. At least I know I can venture out of the driveway and pick up my computer tomorrow if it is ready. I can also run some errands before the next big storm. That is, of course, if I can get my sore body out of bed tomorrow morning!
And look at this…my iPad never even needed to learn to float!