Monday, December 08, 2003

Shovelling Technique

We just got our first big snow storm of the season, and it was a good one. On Sunday morning, as things were starting to die down a bit, I headed out for my first shovelling session of the season. Each time I begin work on removing the snow from our modest driveway, I start off with a very methodical approach to the task. After an hour, I'm displaying some of the worst maneuvers known to the trade: The twist and throw with your back, the rapid fire approach (which lasts about 3 shovels full), and of course the long-distance displacement approach (where you get to catch your breath as you move snow from one place to another very far away). After about 3 hours, I know it's time to go in because I've stared at a pile of snow for more than a minute without doing much of anything.

After our first snow storm in this apartment, I headed out in the morning to try my hand at shovelling. My upstairs neighbor, Pete, was hard at work- and had an extra shovel. I didn't want to disappoint him, so I apologized in advance for my poor technique. Pete made me feel right at home- he told me something I'll never forget: "Snow shovelling requires 2 things: A strong back, and a weak mind."

As we prepare to move to Arizona, I'm very much looking forward to simple things like taking out the trash without bundling up, without slipping on ice while digging the trash cans from out of a snow drift, and not having to find a place to put the trash cans along a sidewalk covered in snow. I'll have to check back in August to see how things compare. I'm off to the trash barrels. Wish me luck.

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