As I write this to you, the snow is still falling outside.
Husband #1 walked to synagogue early this morning (of course, he never walks with me, but perhaps he has his reasons), came home and shoveled the first round. I have shoveled four other times today, and plan on going out at least twice more before going to sleep.
There are two schools of thought on this.
1. Some folks feel that you should wait until the snow has completely stopped before cleaning up the beautiful mess left behind and 2. Other folks, like me, would rather keep up with it then leave all 300 feet of beautiful mess to clean up at once. You also have to take into consideration the age of the folks shoveling the snow, their daily physical exercise regimen, and the amount of square footage that needs to be shoveled.
In my case, the square footage isn’t all that much, but the piles of snow that get plowed in front of the driveway seem to take longer to clean away the older I get. Unless that is just me. And since all of our monkeys are out of the nest (not that they would be shoveling anyway), I prefer to shovel over having Husband #1 do it, because I am afraid that he will be the middle-aged guy who never exercises and has some sort of medical incident while shoveling and everyone will blame me because people like him more and think that I am out of my mind. Well, I might be out of my mind, but at least I care enough about Husband #1 to let him stay inside and not overexert himself — so there, all you haters!
I am sure that in past columns about snow removal, I spoke of my dad. When he was a practicing obstetrician, he had to get to the hospital no matter what the weather was. There were a couple of times that the police had to get him out, because my parents live on a dead end street and it often was one of the last to be plowed. I can still hear my dad yelling on the phone, “But I have to get to the hospital, so someone has to help me out of here!” And they usually did.
Now, when we have snow like this and I cannot get to my parents, I feel totally helpless knowing that they are at the mercy of their landscaper to clear them out (not that they are going anywhere) and really don’t have any neighbors who offer to help.
And speaking of helping, I love reading the Facebook posts about people who are thanking their neighbors for snow-blowing the entire block clean. I am sure that if I had neighbors with a snow blower, they would do the same for our block. I am actually not sure that is true, but I like some of my neighbors and I don’t want to get into any more trouble than I already am. I do recall when my next door neighbor, Mr. Haas, of blessed memory, once figured out how to get his father’s old snowblower to work. This thing had to have been one of the original snow blowers, like from when they were first invented. Mr. Haas was so excited that he got it going. He decided to be neighborly and he started to clear out my front walk. Unfortunately, the snow covered the concrete planters we had in front of the stairs and the snow blower crashed into them and then the poor snow blower died. Mr. Haas was not too happy — but apparently no good deed goes unpunished. And no one ever snow-blowed our front walkway again. (Is it snow-blowed or snow-blew? And does it really matter if no one is doing it for you anyway?)
As I finish writing this, since I did take a break to shovel again and take a lovely walk on the very quiet and beautifully unplowed side streets of Teaneck, the snow seems to be tapering off.
Snow days when you have an empty nest are so different from when the nest is full. No one asks for snacks, no one is leaving cups or water bottles everywhere. No one is doing a mom-led arts and crafts project in the basement. It was just me and Husband #1 staring at our cellphones, hoping our kids would call us. (Don’t worry, they did. Well, they called him because they like him better, but that is okay.)
Hope you all enjoyed your snow day and are continuing to stay safe and sane.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is very proud of her shoveling skills and is available to help anyone who lives in walking distance.