Four AM wake-up. I have slept on the couch so many nights that it’s no longer unfamiliar. Still too early, too tired, stomach churning over the minutia of the previous day. Quiet time, prayer time. A coughing jag or two. And then sleep returns.
Six-thirty the travel alarm buzzes. No snooze option, I turn it off and drift. My eyes pop open alert and aware of being late at seven-ten. Oh no. Oh yes. Thank God I can work from home but…
Oh, wait. We have a delayed open today. The second wave of snow was a doozy.
Eight AM bundled warm to effect the dig-out. Oh. My. Goodness. A foot of snow has fallen on top of yesterday’s 8 inches.
The complex has not yet cleared the walkways. I step in the footsteps of those who have gone before me, to get to the lot.
The lots were plowed – a single sweep in and out. To get to the shovel I keep in the trunk of the car, I need to wade through a pile 2 feet high and 5 feet deep. The snow goes up my pant legs, down into my boots. I clear the back of my car, the trunk too heavy to open under the weight of snow and ice. Extract snow shovel. Sigh heavily at the prospect of so much snow to clear.
There’s nowhere for the snow to go. Normally I would start at the driver’s side and shovel the snow forward in increments, throwing the excess onto the grass in front of the lot. It’s too deep to get there; I focus only on getting the space behind my car cleared. The space next to me to the right was empty yesterday, the full 20 inches of snow is untouched there. There’s no help for it; I pile the snow from behind my car off to my right, between my car and where a car would go, if the space were clear. Higher and higher I need to throw the shovels-full, until the ache in my back exceeds the cold in my hands. Stop. Rest. Stretch. Again.
Try not to think about the fact that at some point the complex will come “finish” the job of clearing lots, and when they do, they will plow a good bit of what I have removed behind my car again.
Finish clearing the space behind my car, shovel by shovel, bit by bit. The space on either side of my car has not been cleared. My car itself has not been cleared.
Later. It is enough for now.
Nine o’clock. Peel off coats, scarves, gloves, soaked jeans and soaked socks. Start coffee, jump in the shower.
Nine-thirty, log into the office network. I prepare for a conference call at 10 AM. Start the day. I hear the sounds of shovels, plows, mentally prepare to have to go back out and face the shoveling again later. I try not to think about the fact that they are calling for more snow in the next day or two. I try not to focus on the useless thoughts, like snow removal is one of the reasons to have a man around and if I’d wanted to live snow-bound, I’d have lived farther north.
The icicle outside my window just keeps growing.
Think warm thoughts. I need some snow to melt away in a hurry.