Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Is Not So Bad

Me: When I lift a shovelful of white stuff at the end of the driveway, and heave it up onto a snowbank, I do not expect it to go 'gloosh!'

Husband: Really? It didn't do that earlier.

Me: What did it do?

Him, consideringly: It went 'splort!'.

Me: It's not supposed to do that either.

The moral of the story- don't complain about snow. Snow with rain on top is more annoying. Also, you get sheets of ice down the driveway, down the entrance to the CVS parking lot and a lot of other places. I'm just fortunate that the CVS parking lot had another exit, because there was no way I could have gotten the car back up that slope without a dump truck load of sand.

My driveway exit strategy is just as interesting. It involves carefully surveying the street in both directions to ensure that no one is coming, then letting off the brake and hoping I don't slide sideways before reaching the street. And then hoping I get traction on the street before sliding into the opposite snowbank. Nothing like whizzing backward into the unknown to put a little zip in your morning. I bet you're not surprised to hear I'm nearly out of salt though!

Speaking of snow- after my last post, my mom emailed me and said, "Maybe it's time to get a snowblower?"

And I sent her back a whole bunch of reasons why we don't need one. But it got me thinking. Why do we resist the snowblower? As a rule, my husband and I love power tools.

All the reasons I told my mom are true. We do need the exercise- hey, some people pay money to have someone clear their driveway, and then pay for a gym membership so they can exercise. Why not cut out the middleman? It's also that the driveways are not that big- we can just barely fit 5 cars when we have guests.

And it's not only about frugality- we don't like to spend money, it's true, but we could afford it. I think it's about simplicity. The shovels do as good or better job than a snowblower. They take less room to store (and we'd need shovels anyway to carry in the car in case of getting stuck). A snowblower would take a lot of room compared to the 20 or so days a year we'd actually use it. And more than that, it's about stuff. As I've gotten older, I've become increasingly conscious of being imprisoned by stuff. If I own it, it has to be taken care of. Stored when not in use. Dusted. Maintained.

The big house addition added a lot of space, but most of that space was allocated as part of the design. The library is for books, comfortable chairs, and occasional musical instruments. The new sewing room- unlike the old one- is a traffic area. If it's covered in crap, not only do I have to look at it, but I can't really use the room. And I don't want- can't bear- to see that space subsumed into storage.

This goes back to my resolution for this year (put things back when I'm done with them. I've actually been doing pretty well the last couple of weeks. The kitchen counter that tends to accumulate crap has remained clear. Various tables can be seen. My desk has remained clear. And I've been working on other areas.

Over the weekend, I took two large bags of old ragged sheets and towels to the Humane Society (they regularly solicit for them to use as animal bedding). I'm working on my second large bag of clothes. I found a large box full of clothes to be mended dating from before the renovation- they'd just gotten chucked in a box. I wish I could say this was the last packed box, but I'm certainly getting close. I should explain here that much of the house got packed and either put out on the sun porch or chucked in the cellar during the renovation- that's because we ripped out a bunch of interior walls. For a couple of months, the house looked like this:
walls ripped out

So. Small steps. I freecycled a small media storage cabinet- and need do the same with a bunch of other stuff down in the junk closet. Maybe this weekend, if the driveway isn't a deathtrap. I've got mending queued up. I'm staying on top of the clutter in the areas that were cleaned up. Now if I can just screw up the nerve to tackle that scary stack of filing....

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