February 13, 2004
Lots of snow here now. It has been snowing off and on for a couple weeks and it seems like there is always something on my driveway that needs to be moved. We have been lucky in that for the most part it has been the light fluffy snow and not the dreaded wet, heavy stuff. On most occasions I am out shovelling off the driveway by myself. Or at least cleaning up what my neighbor didn't get with his monstrosity of a snowblower. I think it has a bigger engine than my truck. He does other people's driveways once in awhile just to justify its enormousness. One recent shovelling evolution had me, and my youngest two sons out in the cold, battling to clear space. I was at the bottom of the driveway chipping away at the dam, which is the hard packed snow that the city plows back into your driveway after you just got done clearing it out. It was about 9 inches thick and packed too tight to be broken up with a shovel. I had to use the ice chipper. I would break it off in large pieces, then break the large pieces into smaller ones so my youngest, Caleb, could lift and throw them up over the snowbank into the yard. This went on for 15 minutes or so, and every time I looked over my shoulder, there's Caleb chucking snow chunks over the bank. I realized he was not making any progress at all though, there was still a lot of them on the driveway. So I put down the chipper and walked back toward him and started helping him pick them up and throw them into the yard. As I threw the first couple over the bank, another one sailed past my head and landed right back in the middle of the driveway. A couple steps forward and a peek over the snowbank revealed my middle son, Sam, throwing chunks of snow back on to the driveway at a pace equal to or maybe a little faster than Caleb was clearing them.