The first snow fall this winter is an impressive event, fraught with drama and difficulty. But most importantly, it provides us with that most marvelous excuse for not going to work, the snow day.
The joy of playing hooky for the day falls into the same category as not shaving, sitting about in your pajamas, and much of the internet. Its primary appeal is that of time meant to be enthusiastically wasted. No alteration of your mood is required. If your snow day requires chemical assistance, the vice du jour, then you’re doing it wrong.
Besides, it’s bloody cold out there.
The first, and only, useful task of the day is in clearing the snow from the driveway. This I do via application of brute force. Massive amounts of sliding, grunting, gasping, pushing, thrusting, sweating with your heart pounding, your knees wobbling, until reaching that wonderful moment when you tell yourself "that’s enough." The accumulation at this point is perhaps eight inches. It is sufficient work to get the wife’s car out of the driveway, although the VW will not leave the driveway today. Some days it’s just all about ground clearance.
Of course all of that must be repeated, hours later, because the snow has continued to fall. Not quite so much fun the second time, is it?
In the course of the "quality time with my shovel," I’m watching a young man tunnel his car into the parking lot of the granary across the street, and I’m thinking to myself "he’s never going to get out of there." It’s a driveway of gravel and clay, which becomes slippery after the merest hint of damp. He leaves the car there long enough for the windshield and rear window to become obscured with snow. I’m still shoveling the drive, so when he returns and begins attempting to clear the snow from his car I can see he has no tools for snow removal, none of that emergency junk that old-timers put in their trunks before the era of cell phones. What he does have is a flash car with plenty of power that he promptly buries up to the axles.
I head over with my shovel, in penance for a snow day.