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The Day I Shoveled 4,000+ Pounds of Snow

The Day I Shoveled 4,000+ Pounds of Snow

It's true. I think...

My reasons for doing this were three-fold:

1. I wanted (needed) the exercise. Yesterday I used up the last of my free vouchers to the gym. Rats.

2. I did not want the deck to collapse. After we received an additional five inches of snow last night (bringing the grand total dangerously close to three feet), that was starting to become a real concern. As my sister put it, "You're helping the greater good of the household! Those poor pillars!" It's true. Those pillars are precariously curved even in the summer.

3. Maybe my dad would be proud and give me ten bucks or something?

The scene

How do I know it was over two tons of snow you ask? A little math: I googled the weight of one cubic foot of snow, and since answers varied from seven to fifteen pounds, I went with a conservative estimate of ten pounds. Seeing as my deck is 14 x 32 feet, and I only got through half of it, that's 224 cubic feet, but the snow was AT LEAST two feet deep, so I'm doubling that, back to 448 cubic feet. 448 feet x 10 pounds = 4,480 pounds of snow. Is this right Brian? Otherwise I'll have to change the title of this post! And be really disappointed!

So off I went. My first obstacle was finding my North Face snow boots, which were nowhere to be seen. A mystery. After twenty very confused minutes of searching, it dawned on me that my mother had probably worn them to work, trekking through patients' yards to get to their doors today. I considered jumping ship at this point, but my determination (boredom?) pulled through and I put on my subordinate pair. My next obstacle was actually getting to the deck, as I could not open the sliding door from the living room without snow tumbling inside. So obviously I went outside, around the house, to the deck stairs. I did not realize, however, that the stairs would not be shoveled either, and thus have three feet of snow on them as well. Okay, no problem. Fun climb (I was too set on shoveling the deck to expend my energy on shoveling the stairs). But when I got to the gate at the top (which opens inward), there was no getting in.


So I climbed over the gate. Again, determination. I am so glad my neighbors were not witness to this scene. It was pathetic. Mostly because I was unable to secure any traction with my second-rate snow boots, so I was slipping like a madwoman on the steps while trying to grip the other side of the railing in my mittens.

The ascent

Great! Now at this point I am waist deep on my virgin snow deck. But wait. A thought dawned on me. What if my extra weight was the final straw and the deck collapsed right now?! I mean it probably wouldn't, but what if it did? Would all the snow cushion my fall? Would I break my leg and be stuck, alone, in this pile of wood and snow until someone came home, NOT EVEN WEARING MY GOOD SNOW BOOTS? I plowed through the first 100-and-someodd pounds like rapid fire just to be sure.

The action

I started to master the technique, also. The snow on the top was super powdery, so when I threw it over the deck, I had to slam the shovel downward like I was smacking someone over the head so the flakes didn't drift back in the wind all over me. My soundtrack of Pandora's station for The Marshall Tucker Band got me through the first hour, and then a change of pace with Calvin Harris' station got me through the second. Though half my time was spent putting my iPod headphones back into my ears.

While we're on the subject: Seriously, what the hell, Apple? Why make superior products but manufacture the worst headphones that do not stay in one's ear during physical activity, which, most of the time, is when one desires the use of headphones? Why do I have to spend a significant sum on your iPod (theoretically, that is; mine was free with my Macbook) only to have to spend even more money on headphones that STAY IN YOUR EARS. I mean, is it just my ears or are Apple's headphones one of the most annoyingly designed products, that fail when you need them the most? End rant. End post.

The (halfway) end result

Update: My dad just got home and, alas, I was not praised for my efforts. I was chided for a) still being in his spot in the garage, b) not digging out space for my car in the driveway, and c) not shoveling a path from the sliding door to the grill on the deck while I was out there. Hmph! 

Snow at the end of the driveway, for good measure

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