Shoveling Sidewalks is not for Sissys

There are a few perks in buying a home that some one else lived in for 50 or so years and then left to move into an assisted living center. We weren't left with much clutter, but we were left with a few things to aid in the role of home ownership. Mostly useful things like ladders, lawn mowers, snow shovels, and porn. (OK, so he probably could have used that last one even in an assisted living center, but I promptly threw it away.) The snow shovel and "outside broom" have stood faithfully by our back door, and up until today my husband has faithfully used them when necessary. But today I thought since dinner was already prepared from last night (aren't we so domestic?) I would do it for him and give my husband a break.

It was only as I was shoveling that I realized I've never really shoveled a walk in my life! I moved to Chicago at 21 but I always rented in buildings that hired property managers to take care of such things. Before that I lived with my parents in rural Michigan. When it snowed there most vehicles had no trouble getting out of the driveway and to the main road and there certainly weren't any pedestrians or sidewalks to worry about. Our driveway was a pretty sizable circle drive, so if the snow was really deep one of our neighbors typically magically materialized with a tractor. They would have the whole thing plowed within minutes, leaving me in my blissful, no shoveling state. I have only one memory of shoveling snow in my parents driveway. It was while visiting for Christmas, about 6 years ago. There was a large dumping of snow, drifts several feet deep kind of snow. But it was Christmas Eve and come hell or high snow drifts, we were going to church. So everyone trounced outside in our Sunday best and we shoveled! We did manage to make it out of the driveway, but after bucking drifts for about a mile my dad vetoed the plan and we headed back home. (It occurs to me now that since we had enough shovels for several people that day, perhaps my dad WAS shoveling all those years and I was shamefully unaware of it.)

Overall my first snow shoveling experience was good. I guess I don't know when good old fashioned hard work isn't good. Though it was a bit harder than I thought it would be and if I keep this up I'll have huge biceps by spring. I did the first round with a shovel and followed with the outside broom to get the last of the powdery stuff that was stubbornly sticking to the sidewalk. I felt slightly guilty for not doing the neighbor's walk as well. But ours took much longer than I thought it would and even though I was sweating, I opted for the going back inside as soon as I was done. Thank goodness we are the only ones that use the sidewalk along the side of the house, as our old roof is running off water like there's no tomorrow and turning the walk into a suitable ice rink.

In other news, the renovations continue to come along quite well. I was out of town all weekend and when I came home my husband had built me a closet! (Built us a closet of course, but I had specifically asked for it.) If a closet could ever be gorgeous this one is. O, and there is a table saw in my living room. I've completely given up on keeping the kitchen floor clean. The accumulation of saw dust, plaster dust, mud from our shoes and overall use has left it looking like a farm house mud room. The final design look I've chosen for our home is a 1930's farm house so I guess it's appropriate. Design concepts I am in love with are wood, leather, metal, glass...and mud? All very natural elements indeed.


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