Saturday, December 6, 2008

let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!

let's play a game. fill in the blank: you know you're cool when ____.

winter is quite nearly my favorite season. i love snow and snowfall, but always forgot how much i loved it. i recently discovered the key to my snow enjoyment - snow in fargo. snow in other cities where i have lived is not so nice. i cannot remember a beautiful white day in boston - as soon as the snow hits the ground, it is either melted or mixed with dirt to form slush. maybe on the rare snowstorm day is it truly pretty, but then the city can't handle it and everything is closed. the key to snowfall is to enjoy it, but don't let it interrupt your life.

to prevent your life from being bothered by the beautiful, light crystals, one must clear a path to move on with the day; you have to beat the pack-down. last night, i was enjoying a nice evening to myself (my parents are out of town - zaz!) when the Fed Ex guy came. with what to deliver, i shall not say for it is for my enjoyment only! oh wait. that sounds sketchy - stickers! he brought me stickers i ordered. anyway, i noticed he was chomping through the snow - we were in the midst of a 2 inch light snowfall - to get to my front door. i realized something had to be done. for clarification, the worst thing that can happen with snow is if you walk on it while it is still wet, you will pack down the snow so that it becomes hard and slippery.

i am reminded of this when i think about last winter in boston. my friend, ryan, stopped by my apartment before work one wintery morning. we hung out a few minutes and then decided to take the bus to work together. living on tremont street, i could stand on my stoop, look to the left and see the bus coming - if it was three blocks away or more, i would walk to the first stop to the left. if it were two blocks away, i would jaunt down the street to the right to get to the second stop. on this fateful day, ryan was in front of me and we saw the bus was nearby. we started to hurry down the stairs to get to the bus stop. i should point out that my neighbors and i were not so neighborly and no one had shoveled the stairs. the stairs had turned into pure ice that only a luger could love. not only were the stairs slick, they were bumpy from people having walked in the snow and not shoveling it away before it got too hard. ryan, seeing the bus coming, bounded down the second stair only to go flying through the air past the next five stairs. his fall was broken by the bottom three stairs appropriately hitting the soft spot in his back. it was hard not to laugh, but as soon as i saw how much pain he was in - he couldn't move for a good four seconds, i instantly cursed my neighbors (i hadn't been outside the previous night - they were not my footprints frozen in the staircase). i helped him up as the bus passed in front of my building. ryan was incredibly annoyed and growled at me, "we HAVE to get that bus!" so we shuffle down the street to the bus stop. luckily, due to the snow, the bus was stuck in traffic and not moving very quickly. we got to the bus in time to climb on. it was then that ryan's full pain set in. he could hardly move. i think he went home early that day from work.

so the point is made - shovel right away so you can enjoy the snow all day. there are other tips one learns by living in north dakota. at my house, we get to the garage by crossing the deck and walking through the back yard. to clear the snow each day, we keep a broom on the deck so whoever is first to leave for the day will sweep a path on the deck - do not use shovels on wooden finishes. i went outside and got my exercise for the week - i shoveled the sidewalk in the front, side and back of our house along with our basketball court and the driveway. it took me a good 45 minutes, but i don't think it was supposed to take this long. i started in the front where the sidewalk is about 3 feet wide. my shovel was a little less than 2 feet wide. i shovel down one side of the path and then return to shovel the other side. but the snow was pushed to either side of the shovel - one side was on the lawn and the other side was into the nice area where i had just shoveled. not cool. so i go back down the original side. it happened again! so finally i ended up shoveling not in a straight line down the sidewalk but going at it from the side and throwing it into the lawn. i think seasoned shovelers know to do this instantly. i go to do the backyard, which is considerably big with the basketball court, and find a handy shovel that is titled to an angle to prevent the snow from spilling out both sides - ingenious! AND it had wheels to be easier to push. the backyard, about three times the size as the front of the house, took me about the same time.

no one else was outside shoveling their sidewalks last night. it was then that i realized: you know you're cool when, as a 27 year old, you are out on a friday night shoveling your parents driveway. my life is so fun.

but seriously, i don't mind shoveling. and yes, 9 days now that i have been back in fargo. there are so many things to do and no time to do it: i need to finish reflecting upon my travels and more importantly, figure out what i'm gonna do next. i got a few emails / texts about the lack of updates since i have been back and i apologize - i haven't really found my rhythm just yet. but as of today, i have a new found resolve to write more often and chronical all the craziness that is fargo.

for today, when did you realize that you were truly cool?


  1. I'm sure your father will teach you the proper way to shovel so that you don't have to go and down so many times!

    Snow sounds so much cooler when you write about it.

  2. i think i'd watch you shovel snow if it was on youtube.

  3. i bet i could take video of you shoveling and post it on youtube for dave.

  4. i bet you could, too. that doesn't mean you should.

  5. this winter classic was originally written in 1945. michael buble's version graces my itunes mix.