Picture of a cat jumping

A Boy and his Shovel

Yesterday I got out my trusty snow shovel and commenced removal of a crusty rock-hard bank of snow blocking entrance to the garage. The shovel is of red plastic with a wooden shaft and a red handle. The plastic is undoubtedly of the space age variety having endured five winters of chopping, pounding, scraping, and heaving ice boulders the likes of which earn a small fortune for the Happy Ice folks during July and August.

Having not yet trashed my lower back, I still find shovelling to be moderately therapeutic and quickly drift off to winters long forgotten. Those were winters worth writing home about. Like the one we've just experienced, they were filled with snow and ice and snowball fights and angels and hills tracked with cheap plastic sleds of the space age variety.

And dad's coal shovel. This was a relic from his youth, fashioned of quality pre WWII steel. A real tool. It was a little on the heavy side for a little shrimp like I was, but it was short and maneuverable. Perfect for digging forts in the enormous road-side snow banks. It had the strength of a thousand space-age plastic shovels and the curved bottom often reminded me of a bare ass. I hope dad still has it. Most of his driveway clearing gets done with a seven h.p. Bolens these days.

On the rare occasions that I travel to a warm, sunny place during winter I always ask myself why I live up north. Is it worth it? Why get up extra early to clear the snow bank at the end of the driveway to get to work on time to pay income tax to keep the plows coming to plow me in again? What is the point of this vicious cycle? Why not just move south?

I suppose it is the thrill of winter that keeps me here. Who knows, after all, when I might find myself stranded out in the sticks on a cold winter's night and lose a few toes to frost bite. Then I'd be a real hero. I'd have babes galore. Maybe even Pussy Galore. Unless, of course, she has a toe fetish.

And let us not forget winter driving. Now here is a challenge I truly cherish. Front wheel drive is OK, but I wish my car would make friends with a big bank of ice. Then I could collect the insurance check, buy a big ol' chevy truck with zero traction and have some real fun. Wheeeeeeee!

Who needs the south anyway? I can't think straight in the heat. And they say the sun is bad for you. Yep. The north has everything I need. If it didn't we all would have moved away long ago. Winter ain't so bad. And as I clear the last bits of ice from the base of the garage door it occurs to me the job wasn't so bad, even without dad's coal shovel.Paragraph End Symbol

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