Friday, February 7, 2014
What I learned about shoveling the driveway
This post is going to make me seem kinda prissy, but we all have our roles, right? I've never really had to shovel the driveway. I've done a small area once or twice when the snow was just powder, and easy to move. When we were snowed in a few years ago, and Ben was out of town, I went out and tried for about 3 minutes, before I gave up and went back in the house. Growing up, that was always my Dad's job, and I got married young, so it became my super manly husband's job. I appreciate that it must be hard work, and have always been grateful when Ben goes out in the cold and takes care of that task so I don't have to. I'm much more capable with my indoor contributions to our life. If something requires being outside in order to do it, you can bet I probably don't want to do it. It's kind of rare that I'm even willing to go out in the snow to play with the kids. So Ben has never questioned it as one of his duties. (I promise I really do my share of the work around here. I'm great at housework, and he never has to help with that.) But he has been stuck at work late all week, and the driveway was pretty bad. 2 days ago, for the first time ever, he asked me to take care of it for him. Of course I forgot and then felt terrible when he got home late to an unshoveled driveway. So yesterday I only stayed at the gym for an hour, so I could get home and take care of it like a good wife. (and it turns out I probably didn't need to go to the gym at all that morning, considering the workout I got from the driveway) Though I never thought it was a pleasant chore, I really came to realize just how difficult it actually is. It usually takes Ben about 20-30 minutes to do the entire driveway and the sidewalk and path to the porch. I thought it would take me a little longer, maybe an hour. After an hour, I had finished a little more than half of the driveway, but had not even started trying to tackle the frozen treads. How does one go about clearing those? I was kicking and jumping on the shovel, and couldn't really break them up. So I decided to take a break. I couldn't find any ice melt in the garage, so I thought I'd put down some salt. Turns out it is not effective to sprinkle table salt on ice. It didn't do anything. It was only 9°, but it was sunny, so I thought I'd let the sun do it's thing. That worked out, and most of the ice cleared, though there is still a lot left at the bottom that I still couldn't break up today, even though it's a balmy 13°. This morning after the gym, I finally went out and finished the sidewalk and porch, and an hour later, it is almost safe to walk up to our front door. Hopefully I don't get to be the shoveler again, but in case I do, here is what I learned: It does not make sense to shovel snow in ballet flats. Even with socks on with them, I just slid all over the place. Since I do not own snow boots, I finally put on my wellies to get the rest of the job done. Table salt doesn't melt ice, unless maybe you put tons of it on, and want to use up all the salt in the house to clear a 2ft section. Plus, you look like a weirdo with a salt shaker, sprinkling the drive. Kicking icy treads while wearing the aforementioned ballet flats does not work to break up the ice. All it does is bruise your toes. Wearing a sweatshirt and 2 coats is a horrible idea for shoveling snow, as you can barely move your arms, and have to scoot the snow to the edge instead of being able to pick it up and pitch it. Also, you get sweaty real fast working so hard. Going out without gloves is a poor idea, even if you think you're just going to do the sidewalk "real quick". When you're jumping on, and kicking the shovel in a futile attempt to break up the ice, it's likely several neighbors will stop what they're doing to stare. It probably helps speed things along to possess huge muscles. But most of all, if you have a super manly husband, or someone else that regularly takes on this horrendous task without complaining, or making you help, they deserve nothing less than your adoration, admiration, and appreciation!
Posted by Ben and Becky at 11:44 AM