"1. Never read any book that is not a year old. 2. Never read any but famed books. 3. Never read any but what you like; or, in Shakspeare's phrase, 'No profit goes where is no pleasure ta'en: In brief, sir, study what you most affect.'"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books"
I am Shackleton. Or Amundson. Somebody.

It came at last. It was originally predicted a couple days ago, but didn't materialize, and suddenly last evening I looked at the Weather Channel page, and there it was—heavy, wet snow tonight, mixed with sleet.

And this morning, as I ungaraged Mrs. Hermanson and shifted her into four-wheel-drive, I knew the couple inches that had fallen overnight were already too heavy for my snow blower to handle. And that was before an expected day of additional snow and sleet, plus mild temperatures.

Tonight we had Sno-Cone snow, heavy as a shovelful of wet concrete. I attacked it with a push shovel, with the assistance of my neighbor (we share the driveway). She's a couple decades younger than me. Eventually she gave it up, but she let me borrow her ergonomic snow shovel (example below).

Picture credit: Scott Catron.

I've always been suspicious of ergonomic snow shovels. New-fangled new age gimcracks. Hippy implements. No respect for tradition.

I'm a believer now. They reduce the perceived labor about 50%.

I didn't finish the whole driveway, I confess, but I got the most important parts cleared. Mostly. Good enough for a senior citizen.

Such things make me wonder. I've always intended to grow old and die in Minnesota, but I begin to wonder if I can. Not if I'm willing to, but if I actually can. As you grow older, you come to a point eventually when you have to either hire your snow removal done, or move south.

I'm not sure I'll ever be rich enough to hire it done.

Ah well. I can handle it for now.

Especially if I get me one of those ergo-shovels.


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Comments on "I am Shackleton. Or Amundson. Somebody.":
1. Anthony Sacramone - 02/29/2012 9:35 pm EST

I want to die in Minnesota too, which is why my living will states I must be medevaced to Minneapolis as soon as a consensus is reached by at least three licensed chiropractors that I have less than 40 years to live. So far I have been unable to get three chiropractors to agree on anything.

2. Lars Walker - 02/29/2012 10:13 pm EST

Try coming to Minnesota first. That'll probably kill you all by itself.

3. ChestertonianRambler - 03/01/2012 4:26 pm EST

It strikes me, as a resident of Texas, that the crazy cold and snow you have, not to mention ample ice on the roads, gives you ample opportunity to die in Minnesota.

Just not, you know, of old age.

4. Grim - 03/01/2012 5:28 pm EST

I would think that being unable to remove the snow would only make it easier to die in Minnesota.

5. Phil - 03/01/2012 5:30 pm EST

Y'all are full of encouragement.

6. Greybeard - 03/01/2012 8:43 pm EST

Nothing like a good heavy wet snowfall to bring on a spike in heart attacks. It's how we winnow the flock. Either you die young or live to a hundred.

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