On shoveling snow

Growing up in Minnesota, shoveling snow is just another part of life, like breathing or getting a drink of water. What most people underestimate when they shovel snow is how heavy the white stuff can be and how much energy needs to be exerted to move it. Snow blowers help, but you also have to run the snow blower, which is no piece of cake either. The problem with moving snow, shoveling snow, is that you have to do it in the cold, so do you dress for the cold or for heavy work you will have to do? Sweating and huffing and puffing until you fall, exhausted, into a snow bank, vowing to move to Florida as soon as possible. The shovels, themselves, are partially the problem. No one has ever designed the ergonomic shovel because those designing shovels are never the people using the shovels. Shovel designers probably live in Brownsville, Texas, and have never seen snow in their lives. Shoveling snow at zero degrees Fahrenheit with a stiff wind blowing out of the northwest is not a recommended scenario, but happens more often than you would think. Snow, blind, inert, unfeeling, does not cooperate with those moving it. It blows in your face, accumulates in drifts as hard as concrete, and unless you move it (or the wind), it stays where it lands. Yet, after an hour of hard work, is there any greater satisfaction of looking back over your clean sidewalk and walking into the house for a hot cup of cocoa knowing that everyone can walk down your sidewalk without having to fight the snow.