13 Steps to Successful Snow Removal

1. First, have five children. Buy each one a snow shovel.

2. When your children complain and ask, “When are we going to get a snowblower?” explain that you already have one: 5 kids with shovels who tell you how much this blows.

3. Every snow day, wake them early even though there’s no school, so they can help shovel.

4. When friendly neighbors come by with their snow blowers or plows and offer to help you out, thank them and send them away. Explain that you are attempting to teach your children the value of manual labor.

5. Dream of the day you no longer have to lead by example.

6. Be okay with the eldest child moving out– right up until the first time it snows and you realize your work force has decreased by 20%.

7. Break two shovels with use during a heavy snow season and attempt to replace them. Discover that the only shovels available at the hardware stores in the middle of winter are cheap plastic ones that are manufactured in places that never see snow, such as Sri Lanka.

8. Receive, one season, the snow that breaks you. The one you give up on, with the ice layer on top. The one where you can’t even make your kids help out it’s so heavy and brutal. The one where the mailman will no longer deliver your mail anymore because your driveway is too treacherous. Where your dogs slide right out of their collars like Max in The Grinch and go shooting down the hill into the street. The snow that every day the sun messes with a little more, tricking you into believing it’s helping when in actuality it is only creating still more tenacious ice rivers everywhere you need to step.

9. Go online to check the weather and see 40 days and 40 nights of snow coming. Order real shovels off of Amazon.

10. Have the delivery of said shovels delayed by the weather.

11. Reschedule a weather-cancelled outing with a relative and discover he has an extra snowblower. He always was your favorite relative. Not only is this more unlikely and better than extra bacon, but he’s willing to loan it to you until his other one breaks. Forgo sleep to retrieve it. Offer him up to three of your children in exchange for the snowblower. Extoll their shoveling virtues.

12. Come to the understanding that, unlike a pre-season purchase of a snowblower, a mid-season gifting of a snowblower does not possess any snow-preventing voodoo.

13. Bring your children to the understanding that possessing a snowblower does not actually get them out of shoveling detail; it only lightens their load.

Did you have to shovel snow when you were a kid?



23 thoughts on “13 Steps to Successful Snow Removal

  1. Ha ha – great points and a similar philosphy at our house! My neighbor just bought a generator on Amazon since there’s nothing snow-related available in the stores anymore!

    1. One day I will learn to be a seasonal shopper. I scoff when the bathing suits come out in February but by May I’m left thinking, “I don’t really need to go swimming this year anyway…”

  2. Aw, damn! I only had the two kids. And their shoveling skills aren’t the best. This is why I love my snowblower. Yes, I did have to shovel as a kid, but I had five brothers to help. My parents had us for a reason.

    1. One of our kids actually said to us at dinner on Monday, “We weren’t born to be your slaves!”. CC replied, “Oh, I beg to differ…” By the way, in Maine? You’re allowed to have a freaking PLOW.

  3. I completely agree- this winter may have broken us as well…. I believe there will be a blower purchase in this house as well though probably when the season is over… unless we just move south.

  4. Yes, I did, JM, but I thought I was lucky to grow up on Long Island. I live in Syracuse as an adult, and I am still shoveling snow. But looking at pictures my sisters are taking on Long Island this winter, they may indeed have had more snow to shovel than I have.

    1. Long Island has been getting hammered by the weather so much I’m wondering if it was built on a Native American burial ground. I guess this is why so many people retire in Florida, isn’t it?

  5. I feel like I should stop complaining about the snow here. We get enough to shut down school, but nothing like this.

  6. I came from a very traditional upbringing where boys did ‘boy’things and girls were expected to do ‘girl’ things. . The downsides of this system were…too many to list here. The upside was, I was never expected to shovel.
    Now, I live in an apartment building. I’m kind of sorry that I can’t pull a #3 on my son.

  7. Nope, no snowblower. When I gaze across the street at my neighbor snowblowing his driveway and then putting it away, seeing my yet to be shoveled drive . . . I want to take one of my shovels and go pummel his selfish ass. And then an angel in the neighborhood takes pity on me and plows our drive. All we had to do was shovel the front walk and the area next to the cars parked in the driveway with my oldest. So, it’s all good.

    1. You guys got hammered down there. We help out with the lady across the street, and then I always feel bad that we run out of time to help with the neighbors on either side… but one of them has boys of prime shoveling age whom I have never seen outside in the snow. Glad you had a plow angel to help you. I am totally understanding why people contract services for this.

  8. Nope no snow shoveling for me thankfully! And chances are I wont have to do any anytime soon either, living in the tropics and all. But I’m sure I’ll get some later in life as hubby is Canadian and when I post about it, you’ll laugh 😉

    1. It will probably be fun and novel for you when it happens. And then when you get sick of it, you can go back to the sunshine! FWIW, the snow is a big reason I left Indiana. I went to Texas, Arizona, San Diego…NJ was never part of the plan!

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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