LaughLines: Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Okay, Enough!

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We live in a northern climate, which is a vague way of saying it starts to snow in November and pretty much doesn’t let up until March . . . or April . . . and one year, May.

That’s okay, because if you’re raised in snow country, you expect to spend most of the season wrapped from head to foot in flannel and ready to break out the shovel at the first flake.

I don’t mind shoveling, since it builds upper body strength. Does it make your boobs bigger? Probably not, since mine should be triple D’s by now, with all the shoveling I’ve done over a lifetime. And no, they’re not.

What I do mind is the lack of “shovel parity” in our house. First, we have family members who get off easy with shoveling. That would be the kids. They start to shovel a deck or a walkway, and then they end up tossing the shovel and making snow angels or having a snow ball fight. Or they claim their hands are frozen or they can’t feel their feet (blah, blah, blah) and they want to come in and warm up. Poor babies. Then I’m left to finish off the deck and shovel the rest of the dog poop runway that winds around the house and veers off into the woods (with the amount of snow we get, yes, we need a clear path for the dogs in terms of relieving themselves).

Then there’s Matt, who has a heart condition, so he gets to ride on a tractor with a front bucket to clear the driveway.

Frankly, it really ticks me off to see him hop on that sucker and go to work. It’s entirely too much fun. There he is, cap set at a jaunty angle, scarf blowing in the breeze, as he meticulously goes up and down the drive, making mini-mountains along the way. And there’s our neighbor across the street, on HIS tractor, his hat also set at a jaunty angle, waving to Matt with a big smile as he does the same up-and-down pattern in his driveway. And oh, wait, there’s his wife, hunkered down and bundled up like a Siberian peasant, grunting and straining and sweating under the weight of her snow-laden shovel. Just like me.

Is it fair? Nope. Should I be on the tractor? Maybe. I tried our snowblower the year Matt had his shoulder replaced (swear to god, I’m selling that man for parts one of these days), and the damn blower just went where it wanted to. I had to wrestle it in the direction I wanted it to go, and I ended up snow-blowing the neighbor’s yard and a quarter mile of road.

This year, I’m resigned to more shoveling. Maybe I’ll get a colorful babushka to keep warm as I shovel my way to Siberia. What I’ll carry a flask of peppermint schnapps and take a few swigs as I shovel the dog poop path? Can I feel my toes? Blah, blah, blah…

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.