Take it to the (snow) bank

The plow came through our Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood last night.

I call that good news and bad news.

Yes, we live at the foot of a rather sharp grade for an urban setting — remember my Syracuse half-marathon photos of runners careening down past our house the past two winters? — so that blade work cuts down the chances of vehicles imitating the Ice Capades into parked cars as they attempt to navigate the slope. Put that in the plus column.

Yet through experience, my dear wife Karen and myself take a left out of and right into our driveway any time there’s snow on our street, so this doesn’t affect our driving a bit.

Speaking of the snow plow, our driveway and my dear wife Karen …

Heap of shoveling awaits.

Heap of shoveling awaits.

Here’s the task that stared me down this morning to free the new Mazda for Karen to make the short journey into work.

I immediately put this into the minus column, figuratively folded the sheet of paper, jammed it in my pocket, cussed out of the side of mouth, pulled my hat down an inch lower, and dug in.

Have a good day at work, dear.

Have a good day at work, dear.

A half-hour later, the bottom of the driveway was cleared.

I was proud of what this guy can still accomplish with one ergonomically correct push shovel and a new, extra-long car brush/scraper combo.

And, yes, as Wednesday wound down, I guess that was a Nor’easter that blew through Central New York. Wayne Mahar told me he had 11 inches fallen on the weather deck out back of the studio a couple blocks up from our house on the late local news last night, with more expected before the morning commute. In the hills around Syracuse, some folks got two feet.

A bit more is expect today as this one plays itself out.

Winter’s here even though we’ve got a bit more than a week to wait officially on the calendar. Don’t laugh at us Buffalo. We’re still amazed at your November six-footer delivered by Lake Erie. And we’re aware that it can happen any time rolling off Lake Ontario here.

Here’s the link for the first year I was amazed at the sight of the line of runners streaming down our hill.

Here’s the link for an amazing photo of Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle watching the runners from our living room window.

Here’s the link from my post about this year’s race past our house. I posted 11 pictures capturing the contrast of the snow and the striking blue sky.

How high have you piled snow banks around your driveway? Where do you throw the snow when the banks get too high? If you had a one-car-wide driveway like we do here, would you still consider buying a snowblower, and if you own one, try to convince me.

50 thoughts on “Take it to the (snow) bank

  1. I apologize in advance, Mark, but when I see those photos, all I see is how beautiful it is! Maybe you and Karen will consider trading houses with me for a week or two each winter. πŸ˜‰ You are a good husband to take such good care of her and her car like that! πŸ™‚ I was going to ask you (before I got to your questions section) why don’t you use a snow blower? They’re kind of loud, but boy are they much faster and easier on the back than the shovel! I felt just as leery of buying a lawn blower… Until I did and I discovered the blower was also a lawn vacuum! And now, I kick myself for all the years I resisted! Why don’t you borrow Good Neighbor Tim’s blower and see how much you love it. πŸ™‚ Stay warm, my friend!


  2. You did a great and careful job of removing the snow, Mark! Wow! It looks great and very nice to be able to have area around the car removed, too.
    Hope you don’t mind hearing about just frost on the windshield, Mark. Not rubbing it in, though. I have had three feet of snow piled behind my car, so I have a little shovel in the trunk of my car for such escapades. The first winter of 2006 or 07 when I lived in my apartment, I came out and literally laid on my back using my legs to pull the snow out from under my car. My broom and long armed scraper wouldn’t ‘do it.’ I never expected the landlord to be lazy and not get up in time to remove the snow. My girlfriend and her husband bought me a smaller shovel and a big bag of salt. Smiles!


  3. When we moved into our first house, I was all over the snow shoveling. Felt so good to be taking care of my own place. But I no longer shovel as I can’t stand cold. Fortunately, I am married to a man who does manly things like shovel and get our cars fixed. He has a snowblower as shoveling takes too derned long. Snow always piles up multiple feet by winter’s end. But right now you have more than us. Gotta love the east coast, yes?


    • Yay for Larry and his manly acceptance of shoveling duties and captainship of a snowblower to clear the land in a time fast enough to get his three damsels out and about in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Do I gotta love the east coast, Liz?


  4. We get spin-offs from hurricanes, twisters, ice storms, floods, and have had a couple of blizzards, but nothing that sounds as delicious as a Pineapple Express. That does sound like something I would love to drink on a hot, sunny day. Fortunately I don’t have to worry about clearing snow off of anything any more or going out in the ice. Disability and retirement have some good sides to them, and hibernation is good when you can go downstairs and visit with 90 to 120 or so friends and neighbors, or just stay in and sleep all day. Just too bad the building has been neglected by careless managers and maintenance people who don’t want to get their hands dirty. I can adjust though. Wish all of you could have it this good, but with a better maintained building.


  5. Well we don’t get snow in the lower elevations of California like this, maybe a rare light dusting. The people in the mountains may have some stories. We do need chains when we go up in the mountains when it snows. But the question about where to put the snow reminds me of when our backyard patio used to flood in rainstorms. We would have several inches of water and the whole yard would flood including our pool. Where to bail the water? We ended up buying a electric pump with a hose running around the side of the house to the street.


  6. Rather you than me….. I think we have much-needed rain coming in tonight… I hope this isn’t another unfulfilled promise… I just don’t want to wake up and find white stuff on the lawn!!!


  7. Tuesday and Wednesday, we got a good amount of snow. Not a lot but wet and heavy. Yesterday morning I looked out and our neighbour was snowblowing the slushy plow pile at the foot of our driveway. He does this often. He loves snowblowing, I think, but that does nothing to diminish the fact that he’s a wicked good neighbour.


  8. Owwww! Sorry, we’ve been freakishly in the 40s for some reason. When I need to pile I go as high as physics will allow. Then start tossing it into my neighbor Al’s yard )


  9. Mark, you and Karen stay warm. I had flashbacks to living in Montana where the snow plows did not come down residential streets. 😦 I was stuck a few times. BRRRRR…. it was cold here in Florida too. Hang in there.


  10. I am not even going to pretend to know about snow banks or snowblowers. Sure, we can get some heavy accumulation here, but it’s all relative and I don’t think we run into those issues.

    My apartment is on one side of a steep hill. Luckily, we can exit the complex one of two ways, but every time it snows, somebody thinks they want to try going uphill and we get entertained watching cars drifting backwards instead.


    • Oh, yes, NAPR, we, too, have been entertained by the folks attempting to get up this hill of ours. And sliding back down and trying again. And again. And again. It’s a city grid system! Perpendiculars and parallels, and the next block over has hardly any hill. Jeepers.


  11. Okay, I will have to reach deep in my memory banks for this one, but, let’s see…where do I pile my snow? I’d have to say my neighbor’s driveway is a great place!! Just kidding!! Good luck with all the snow. Looks like you’re doing a great job with it.


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