SnowSense

snowshoving
"This snowfall seems every bit as false as the Pseudo-Springtime sunshine felt yesterday."

By this late in the season, I recover my full fluency in the art of conversation with snow cover. The wet Spring snow completes the cycle, which started with piddling pretenders to snowfall and persisted through weeks of fine powder varying from light dustings to significant dumpers. The mid-March snow weighs tens of times more than the earlier fine powder. Each snow variety requires a unique strategy, though I only rarely ever shovel any of it. Shoveling powder snow's like shoveling air. It's easy enough but tends to blow everywhere, rearranging it more than moving it out of anyone's way. Wet Ides' snow like this can only be shoved. It's too heavy to shovel and just clogs a snow blower. It aches to be nudged aside.

March snow needs early and frequent attention.
Waiting until it stops blowing might leave a foot or two of wet concrete too heavy to shovel and too voluminous to shove out of the way. This stuff seems best shoved off in four inch increments, which might mean revisiting the driveway every hour or two throughout the day. This routine feels like an exercise in strategic futility, and might well be, but there's simply no alternative. Yes, that bastard wind will quickly rend my work moot. No, this provides no good excuse for displaying a bout of the vapors. One eats knowing that a few short hours will extinguish the meal's effect. Shove snow with the same attitude, reveling this round and warmly anticipating the next. Think of it as a kinetic form of snacking providing endless second chances to perfect that shoving technique.

My left arm's sore from reading two seven hundred page tomes in the last week. I do more physical damage to this aching body reading than I ever will shoving snow because I won't lift those twenty pound shovels full, but abandon them at the end of each row. I carve a double lane the long way first, going over the clearing space four or five times to anchor my much shorter crosswise runs. These runs seem wiser. The wettest snow fully cooperates, rolling itself into tucked cylinders as I shove. These rounds explode three quarters of the way to the edge, but easily scrape up. A rhythm emerges with long strides punctuated with shorter clean-up nudges. The area quickly clears. I hear the business edge of the shover scraping along the asphalt, catching on the roadway edge when my rows finally arrive there. Thirty minutes, tops, and I'm finished for now.

I will never be finished for long. The living room window's been catching wet flakes all morning. They race each other down to create a lace-like lattice along the sill. The screens grow increasingly opaque, our pine trees laden with lead-weight snow. I waited fifteen minutes too long before stepping out to shove off that last accumulation, a delay that cost me extra time in the sideways snowfall and the driveway needed shoving again by the time I'd reached the road, my sunglasses glazed over with sticking snow. The pace might further increase. I might even abandon this folly before I ever catch up, but if I do, I'll know why. Sloth will not produce any outcome today. This snowfall seems every bit as false as the Pseudo-Springtime sunshine felt yesterday.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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