What a drag it is getting old

The storm hit with a vengeance on Saturday. In the morning it wasn’t too bad, so I took Nicky to his skating lesson and Gail took Ryan grocery shopping. All of us were home by 11:00, and Gail and I didn’t leave the house again. The boys went out to play after lunch, but both were back inside within 15 minutes and then they stayed inside the rest of the day as well. It snowed and snowed and snowed, and by Sunday morning, we had more than a foot of new snow — luckily it was the light fluffy stuff, not the heavy wet stuff. I went out Sunday morning to shovel it, and spend an hour doing the sidewalk, front walkway, and half the driveway. I was too tired to do the other half, so I left it for later. An hour after coming in, I had to take a couple of Tylenol because my back was sore. It was sore again this morning so I took another two. I never went back out to do the rest of the driveway yesterday, so I had to do it this morning so I could get out (though I did as little as possible to allow me to manoeuvre the car out of the garage). Tonight, I’m feeling particularly old — my back is still sore as is my right shoulder (which frequently hurts during shovelling as well), and my legs are kind of stiff too.

I’ve managed to avoid buying a snow blower in previous years, using various excuses: it’s too late in the season to justify doing it now, or I should have bought it in the spring when prices are lower, or I can just borrow my neighbour’s (who’s very generous with his), or the ol’ “back in my day” excuse — I’m young and in relatively good shape so I should suck it up and do it by hand. In addition to those, I simply have no place to put a snow blower. In the winter we keep both vehicles in the garage, and there is no room in there for a snow blower. The only alternative is to leave the car in the driveway so we can store the snow blower in the garage. But then every morning I’d have to brush and/or scrape it and then get into a cold car, and in the past I’ve decided that the convenience of not having to do that outweighs the convenience of having the snow blower. Keeping the car outside in the winter is also likely to reduce the life of the car, whether through engine damage or rust.

As I get older, however, I’m finding that a snow blower is no longer merely a convenience, it’s becoming a necessary tool to avoid killing myself shovelling snow. In the past when the snow was particularly heavy, I’ve borrowed my neighbour’s. I feel a little guilty every time I do because he’s spent the big bucks to buy this thing and I’m benefiting from it, but boy, does it make the job easier. There have also been times where I have come home from work to find my driveway has been done for me (sometimes by my neighbour, sometimes by persons unknown), and I’m very grateful, but I feel a little bad that I cannot return the favour. Next year, though, I think I will have to bite the bullet, buy myself a snow blower, and leave the car outside for the winter. I will have to be gentle when I break the news to it.

Oh, gotta go. Matlock’s on.


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