Monday, January 03, 2011

Snow Necessitates Snow Removal

In my neighborhood there have been several snow removal opportunities so far this winter.  I used to not mind snow removal so much.  But my duties have expanded in recent years.

We live on a corner lot, so we’ve got a lot of sidewalk.  Our home was built with a double-wide driveway.  Years ago we added a third width.  Although our driveway is not terribly long, you’d be surprised how much work a third width adds.  Snow from the middle part of the driveway must be moved further to get it off the driveway.

The one saving grace is that we have a south facing driveway that is slightly sloped toward the road.  If there’s just a small amount of snow, a small amount of sun will melt it away quite rapidly.

I have found that our children continue to access our rear deck, including using the deck stairs to access the back yard during the winter.  After one child was injured on ice that had built up on the deck a few years back, I started being pretty strict about keeping the deck cleared.

We have a fairly high quality trampoline in the back yard.  I’ve noticed that many of my neighbors either take their trampolines down in the winter or else simply let the snow build up on them, which causes damage.  I don’t let that happen with our trampoline.  I keep a path to it cleared and we clear it off with each snowfall.

In other words, I’ve got plenty of work to do at my own house each time the white stuff falls from the sky.

A few years ago, my neighbor across the street became an empty nester at about the same time that she began experiencing some pretty serious health problems.  So I took to clearing snow from her driveway when I could.  That has kind of morphed into an expectation.  So every time it snows, I first clear the surfaces at our home and then clear her driveway and sidewalk.

After my Dad had a stroke a few years back, he and Mom could no longer clear their driveway.  They contracted the work for a while, but were never satisfied.  Besides, Mom noted, most of the guys that came to do the work seemed to be among the dregs of humanity.  She wondered how many of these people showed up just so they could case the joint.  So last year she declined to contract the snow removal work at her home.

Being the child that lives closest to my Mom, I work to get to her house to clear her driveway as soon as I can after taking care of my place and the neighbor’s place.  Depending on the depth and density of the snow, my snow clearing duties can be quite a bit of work.

I have not had to do a full snow clearing job at my Mom’s yet this season.  Every time it has snowed, someone else has done some or all of it by the time I arrive.  Mom’s benefactors have included her home teacher, a non-religious neighbor, and a couple of neighbors that have health problems of their own.  It is difficult for me to describe how grateful I am for these generous services.

If you’re going to live in a clime where it tends to snow a fair amount during the year, you’re going to have to deal with the snow.  I’ve never quite understood people that live in my area, and yet complain about the snow and cold.  There are lots of other places to live where it seldom or never snows.

While I don’t mind snow in general, I am grateful whenever someone helps relieve my snow removal burdens.

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