The sky was darkening and I was eager to get into the house, shake off the day and get dinner started for the girls. Instead, as I turned into my driveway I got stuck in that huge pile of sludge the snow plow leaves as it clears the street. Thick heavy snow surrounded my tires and they spun and spun as I tried to move forward, back to get out of this mess.
As I began to try to free my tires of snow, shoveling away some of the sludge, a stranger in a minivan got out of his car and pulled a shovel from the back. He walked around my van, helping me shovel around my tires. Finally he said, “Try now.” I got into my car and reversed as he pushed on the hood of my car to help free me from my snowy jail.
Loosened from the snow, I backed all the way out of my drive and then once he cleared my path, hit the gas and just pushed through the snow to get through the muck. It worked.
I thanked my helper and he was gone before I could offer cookies or a slice of lemon pound cake The Princess had baked.
And then I caved and hired someone to plow my driveway.
This morning, I awoke early – hoping to find a message saying our office was closed. No go, so I was up at 5:30 piling layer upon layer on to go shovel the driveway so I could get out to go to work and so my stepfather could get in to watch the kids. The windchill was -9.
For twenty minutes I shoveled before escaping to a hot shower and preparing for my day.
This morning’s commute was a tense white-knuckled drive with blowing snow and at times, white out conditions. I turned on to the highway and immediately a gush of snow rendered my whole field of vision a sea of white. I couldn’t see a place to pull over, stop driving. I wanted to cry. A car went by me with its hazards on, then another with its hazards. It was helpful – following the flashing reds, and so I put mine on too, not knowing if it was the right thing to do or not, only figuring it couldn’t hurt to signal other drivers that a) HI! I’m HERE! and b) I’m moving slowly because OMG I AM A LITTLE NERVOUS.
I made it to work, only a few minutes late and eventually my heart stopped its annoying racey-panicky thing and settled into a normal rhythm.
I’ve worked hard this winter and last to handle the shoveling on my own. I actually have grown to like shoveling snow – it’s instant gratification because immediately I can see the results of my hard work. Also? Major calorie burn. Pass the cookies. In the past, we had a service that plowed the driveway whenever we received over a certain amount of snowfall.
Well, those days (and that disposable income) are gone and so I have come to a certain acceptance about shoveling. I spent over an hour and 400 calories shoveling yesterday.
Tonight, with windchills well below zero? I don’t even want to try.
It’s cold. I’m getting a cough. That sludge is freaking heavy and I don’t want to be out there long enough to make it disappear.
And so I paid someone to do it.
I know it’s not a failure – I mean I’ve been busting my ass week after week and keeping up with the snow. I’ve been shoveling my drive before the neighbors with the snowblowers are out.
But it’s just too cold. I can’t do it.
And I feel like a bit of a chump about it, like I took the easy way out (well, my wallet didn’t find it to be that easy), instead of braving the cold and just doing it.
But my driveway is clear.
Tomorrow morning, I can sit inside with a cup of coffee instead of shivering and shoveling. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t get stuck again.
I’m stubborn. I don’t like asking for help. I loathe asking for help.
But apparently I’ll pay for it.