Sparkling diamonds scattered across the white drifts. Oh, I wish that I could collect the diamond dust for money. Alas, it is an optical illusion of ice crystals and sunshine. Lovely but a pain in the bum to shovel. You have to scrape the snow down to the cement or risk having it melt just enough to transform into ice.
Winter has been extremely arduous this season. Typically, it would snow and then be followed by several days of cold sunshine. Unfortunately, it is more likely to snow, snow, be dang blasted cold, have a half-day of sunshine and then snow again. Some weeks I toss snow three times. I do like my Ames True Temper shovel with a Versa-grip handle. It has a small metal blade on the bottom but the plastic composition is light. Info at http://www.amestruetemper.com/products/detail.aspx?ProductId=565&FamilyId=676&LineId=675 Yes, this is one of those rare occasions when I make a product endorsement.
It takes me about an hour to shovel or use the snow blower to clear off the driveway, sidewalk, and back walkway between the garage and house. My snow blower is wimpy so it can only hurl a few inches of fluffy stuff. If I have enough time and energy I clean off my neighbor’s sidewalks since we have a lot of pedestrians walking dogs or going to the bus stop. I particularly despise the snowplow splat of snow that gets tossed onto my sidewalk and clogs the end of my driveway. It is dense and difficult to remove; chiefly upon coming home after work and dusk has fallen.
The Polar Vortex was especially difficult to endure. Your skin will freeze within minutes and automobile batteries are less reliable in the extreme cold weather. A friend who resides in Hawaii emailed me that she “could not imagine” how cold it was in the upper Midwest. Believe me, we don’t like it either. You cannot fool with Great-Grandmother Earth aka Mother Nature. She is firmly in charge.
Blizzards are a rarity in the Twin Cities. It is rather frightening to not be able to see only a few feet in front of your face because the wind is blowing the snow intensely. It is easy to get disoriented and the wind-chill will bring on hypothermia. Sadly, people die out in the cold every year or have fingers, toes or nose amputated due to extreme frostbite. Heart attacks while shoveling, and falling from roofs while trying to clear snow or ice dams also harms people.
After a few days of being trapped inside due to snow or cold, a person can develop a case of “Cabin Fever.” One is strongly compelled to get out of the house or scream from boredom and stress. I was utterly irritated with my employer for not closing the office during the Arctic Inland Hurricane. When the public school system closes, so should all businesses. It isn’t safe for kids, adults or animals to be outside.
This is typically the coldest week of winter in MN, spring should be only 100 days away... we hope.
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