Snow Job

It snowed last week. Two different weather systems left almost two feet of snow on my walk and driveway in the course of 72-hours. This might not seem to be much to some, but when you need to move it with a shovel, it’s a mountain of snow!

This winter has brought us a total of 157cm (5.15ft) of snow, and all of it is in my yard. It’s the third largest amount of snow received in this area in 150 years of record keeping. It is the most snow that my wife and children have seen in their lifetime. Me, I’ve seen worse. When I was ten years-old, I lived in Ottawa where 444.6cm (14.58ft) of snow fell in the winter of 1970-71. I remember my father getting a front-end loader to dig out the driveway a couple times that winter after monster snow falls. Regardless of my past, the bottom line is that I am staring at a crap-load of snow in my yard, and it will eventually turn to water and flood my basement. This winter has sucked and it looks like spring will suck too!

Snow removal, like grass cutting, has always been my chore around the house. I’ve been doing it since we moved here. But this winter has been different. I haven’t had the strength, nor endurance to manage the task, even using my snowblower. At the beginning of winter, my wife did the shovelling but when the snowfalls started coming in 6-8” dumps, it was far too much for her. So, we contracted snow removal to IT Genie, my eldest son. Whenever it snowed, he would come to our home and dig us out.

At first it was fine, the walk to the backdoor was kept clear and wide, as was the 3-car wide parking area, aka the driveway. But as the snow started to accumulate over the course of this winter, the banks of snow that IT Genie had created to form the edge of the spaces, was getting high and proving impossible to throw snow over. The walk and driveway were already starting to narrow when this newest 2’ of snow hit the ground and obliterated them both.

It snowed on Thursday as the first system blew through, leaving about 8” on new powder on the ground. IT Genie contacted us on Friday and told us that the kids and Company were sick, and he was going to wait until the second storm had passed, then come and clear the snow. The second system hit Friday night and had passed by Saturday morning adding more than a foot of snow to the previous pile. To add to this weather nasty, the temperature had plummeted to -34C and when you factored in the strong northern wind, it felt like -43C outside. When the Genie didn’t appear on Saturday, I didn’t fault him.

I had thought about clearing the walk between storms on Friday. I couldn’t do a great job but at least I could make a route from the door to the car, in case of emergency. But when I discovered that my winter boots were gone, I threw that thought out the window. It seems that my wife had given my boots to the Genie earlier in the winter when he showed up one day in sneakers to shovel. They went home with him, and never came back except on his feet! Even if I had found appropriate footwear it would not have mattered, because it seems my snowblower went home with the Genie the same day as my boots!!

On Sunday, after an enquiry as to his family’s health, I asked if there was any chance, he would be by to remove snow today. IT Genie told me by text message, that he wasn’t feeling all that great, but well enough that once he dug himself out, he would be over to do the same for me. Two thumbs up from me in reply, and two hours later I could hear the snowblower at work out my back window.

“I know it’s not the best job,” he told me as he left, “I’ll come back tomorrow and fix it.”

He was sure right about one thing when he said that, it was not the best job. The walk from my house to the car looked like a goat trail you’d find along the side some mountain. It was wide enough for one person to use and weaved as it went around drifts and took the path of least resistance. He hadn’t even tried to make the surface we walked on even! I already teeter when I walk! I don’t need help doing that!!

Honestly, the job was crap. I could have done a better job, even in my diminished capacity. That was, if he hadn’t hijacked my boots and snowblower with my wife’s blessing!!!

Trying to move snow with a shovel was impossible for me, after three scoops my back starts to scream at me. After five scoops I’m winded, seven scoops and my arms and legs start to shake. I don’t know what comes next, I’ve never made it past seven! Without the snowblower there was nothing I could do.

So, now I must weave and teeter down the walk to get to the car. It’s like I’m taking ‘wobbly’ pills again. It’s been a week since IT Genie cut the goat trail from my door and I’m still waiting for the “I’ll come back tomorrow to fix it” to happen. I’ll get to that in a moment, I have one more scoop to go…

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022 Shane Ferguson