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A novel by Len Joy

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Monday, February 7, 2011


Okay I know I’m a little late reporting on the blizzard put I was tired from all that shoveling.

For me the most amazing aspect of the storm that hit Chicago and vicinity last Tuesday night was the amazing accuracy of the weather prediction. Three days before the storm hit, I started reading internet headlines about the massive storm that was going to “paralyze” Chicago.

I scoffed at those scare headlines. Chicago doesn’t get paralyzed by weather. We’re not one of those wimpy places like London (where they cancelled my daughter’s flight days before Christmas because of a few inches of snow) or New York, which takes a holiday whenever the sidewalks get wet.

I wouldn’t have had any concerns about the storm because bad weather is not really that awful if you don’t actually have to go outside and normally I don’t have to go outside if I don’t want to. But we were scheduled to fly to Phoenix on Wednesday morning so I was hoping that the weather forecast had been a little hyperbolic.

But it hadn't.

Fortunately I had prepared for the storm. I sent daughter Nicole out early in the day for provisions – frozen pizzas and extra beer and wine (just in case we really did get snowed in for a few days) and then we all stayed inside and watched.

It was an impressive storm. High winds, thunder and lightning. My snow shoveling plan was to shovel frequently because it's easier to shove six inches out of the driveway four times than to try and shovel two feet all at once. It was a great plan, but it’s really hard to shovel snow in a hurricane so I gave up and waited for the storm to pass.

I got up early on Wednesday morning and rescheduled our flight which had been cancelled and then prepared to shovel out the driveway, sidewalks and patio (so the animals could get out of the house). The problem with my plan was that it was still snowing and blowing.

I waited until 8 am and then, sensing that the storm was letting up, I began to shovel. We had about two feet in the driveway, but at least it was not wet snow. I figured it would take maybe an hour to finish the driveway. But it didn’t actually stop snowing for another hour, and by the time it stopped completely the parts of the driveway that I had shoveled first had another four to six inches of fresh snow so I had to go back and reshovel.

I finished the driveway in about three hours but the sidewalk and patio took much longer than I anticipated. There was a three foot drift on a section of the sidewalk which I hadn’t counted on. Finally at 12:40 I hung up my shovel and retired for the day.

Now we are in Phoenix and while the weather has been unseasonably cold, I am not complaining.

Very proud of this driveway

Too tired to actually clear the patio - Sammy the dog wasn't too impressed

Sidewalk - sort of obvious I guess

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