Today I am grateful I pay a homeowner’s association fee in my 55 plus development for property maintenance. We had about 8 inches of heavy, wet snow last night. It’s the first significant snow of the season so the TV weather people drove us all crazy with “the BIG story”.
When I looked outside at around 8am, I notice that the plow had already been through our development. That meant I had to clean off my car and move it to a common area if I had any hope of them doing my driveway. I got out there as fast as I could, brushed the sloppy, glorpy mess off the car and moved it.
Every time snow removal occurs I think of my dad. A born & bred Wisconsinite, he would go berserk at the way they do it here. The truck drives over the snow into the driveway, drops the plow then pulls it back. “Whatcha driving on it for? All you do is pack it down and it never comes off!” my dad would say. He wouldn’t even walk on it, but pushed the shovel ahead of him so as to not make a footprint.
When the major portion is hauled out of the driveway, a couple of “energetic” young men come along to do walkways and finishing touches. If my driveway is not shoveled its full width we cannot get out of my car. For ten years I have been explaining this to every pants-on-the-ground-guy with a shovel.
Mr. Rocket scientist, shovel on his shoulder, tromps across my front yard through the snow and walks right past my driveway, where I have already pushed enough snow away to let them know where the edges are. He shovels the neighbors walk and moves on. I go outside to enlighten him. “Excuse me,” I say. He doesn’t hear me. Louder now. “Excuse me, young man!” Nothing. He just leans on his shovel facing the other way, like a road construction worker. Are they trained how to hold a proper lean? Still louder, and we all know I’m capable. . .”Excuse me, young man! Could you please come here!!!!”
Aha! That got his attention. He turns, pink earphone strings dangling from both ears. No wonder he couldn’t hear. I’m sure he’s listening to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy!” Ha. Ha. He’s polite enough when I tell him that my driveway has to be widened. “I shoveled to the ends over here and there so you can see how wide.” He registered a blank look, then pointing to the three inches of slush, snow and ice, he said, “Oh, you want this cleaned up?” (Yes! Why would I want it left with three inches of slush and half the width it’s supposed to be?) “That would be great,” I said.
While looking at the newspaper at the kitchen table and glancing at him occasionally, I thought of my dad again. “Pull your damned pants up! Whatcha think a belt is for…over your ass!? What good does that do? You look like a fool!” My dad would not “get” the droopy drawers style of today. Neither do I.
When mister-pink-earphones-pants-hung-low was finished with one side of the driveway he left, leaving the other side full of slush and ice. Sheesh! I must be speaking a foreign language. I grabbed my jacket and my crazy John Candy earflap hat and out I went with the shovel. He was two doors down. The song must have ended because he turned and saw me in the driveway, shoveling.
“Oh, did you want the other side done, too?” he asked, perfectly serious. (Really? Do have one gram of common sense? Of course I want BOTH sides of the driveway shoveled. Why wouldn’t I? For what logical reason would I let one side remain slushy and icy? Are you a complete idiot?) “Yes, that would be great,” I said. “Otherwise, even though I can get my car IN the driveway, we won’t be able to get out of it.”
“I’ll do it. I didn’t know that.” I must have had an incredulous look on my face because he reinforced, “Really! It’s no problem I’ll be right there.” He wasn’t snippy or angry or one bit hostile. Just clueless.
I am so grateful I pay a homeowner’s association fee so that I don’t have to concern myself with snow removal. Provided I’m okay with a four-foot-wide driveway.