Friday, January 31, 2014

Minnesota

Yesterday was pretty miserable. I finally had to admit I was, once again, not pregnant. I also had some pretty bad cramps, we got another six inches of snow, and I could not stuff food in my face fast enough.

Since I really slacked off on grocery shopping last weekend and had already made two trips to the store this week to pick up individual meals for the night, I was done. Back when Bobby and I were first married, we were really intentional about still dating each other. On Thursday nights, we would get dressed up and go out. We wanted to keep things special, continue to romance each other, and refuse to fall into a routine of not making the effort to impress one another. It lasted a year or so.

Yesterday, to both avoid going grocery shopping AGAIN and to GET OFF THE COUCH and avoid yet another night of watching Netflix, I decided we would go on a date. We got quite a few gift cards for Christmas, so it would be a free night out. I'm also very much dying of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) right now and needed to get outside. I needed fresh air. I needed to stop staring at a computer screen at work for six hours and then going home to stare at a TV for another six hours before going to bed.

But my stomach hurt and I was in a bad mood.

It did not help matters when I went outside after work to discover that the company that plows our work parking lot did not plow until AFTER all of us were at work. So all of the snow was now pushed between and behind our cars. It had also snowed 3-4 inches during the day, so I had to stand in a giant snow drift in dress pants while brushing off my car. I also needed to give something to Bobby, but he was going straight to basketball practice and not coming home first. Since I drive past where he parks anyway, I just put the papers in a zip lock and stuck it under his windshield wiper (I don't carry his truck keys). BUT this meant I had to stand in a second snow drift and brush off his truck--which is very tall and I can barely reach the top of the window, even with an extendable scraper.

Date night was off to a great start.

Once I reached our house, I realized there was no way my car was going to make it through the drift in our driveway unshoveled. Many of the side roads on my way home weren't plowed, and I had almost gotten stuck at several intersections. I was NOT going to get stuck at the end of own driveway, especially with no one else home to push me in. This meant I parked in the street and again walked through a giant snow drift, nearly up to my knees.

I was just going to leave it for Bobby to shovel, since he usually takes care of it. I do most of the inside cleaning and he takes care of the outside work. But I knew he wouldn't be home until at least 5:30, the driveway would take close to an hour and half to shovel, and I still really wanted to go on a date.

I bundled up and got shoveling. Good lord, it was heavy. I was muttering to myself most of the time about how much it sucked. My stomach was still aching, and the whole thing just felt unfair. Not only was I not pregnant, I have to shovel snow (there's a connection there somewhere...you just have to be PMSing to make it).

We've had a lot of snow this winter. Well, to be fair, it is Minnesota, and we have a lot of snow every winter. But THIS winter just seems worse. Schools were cancelled on Monday and were two hours late on Tuesday--but not for snow. For excessive cold. It was -50 windchill. -50!? I can't even... Oh, and this week was the second time this month they've been cancelled for cold. Plus another day or two for snow. Why do people live here?

On either side of our driveway, the snow is piled up close to four and half feet high. Probably more at the ends. That means every scoop I shoveled had to be lifted nearly over my head and thrown into the yard. If you've never shoveled wet snow, you're missing out. It is literally harder than any other workout I've done. It works every single muscle in your legs, butt, back, abs, shoulders, and arms. It took me close to two hours to finish our single-car wide driveway.

It did not help that I got many smiles, sympathetic head tilts, and even some outright laughs from the motorists driving by. Yes, I'm a small person. Yes, I'm shoveling a driveway by myself. My uterus is also leaking out of my body right now, so just try me. I dare you.

Our next door neighbors are snow birds. They're in their 80s, so they leave in mid-November and return the first of May. They have a man (possibly their son) who comes over and blows out their driveway when it snows. Well, he showed up after I'd been out there for a good hour. I only had the bottom quarter of the driveway left...the worst part.

Those of you from up north know what I'm talking about: the end where the snow plow shoves all the snow from the street into the last 3-4 feet of your driveway. It's solid chunks of the heaviest snow, plus its mixed with sand and salt. It took me nearly 45 minutes to do those three feet (it was close to 18 inches deep). The guy shows up, blows out the neighbor's driveway and leaves all in the time it takes me to do the last quarter. And believe me, I had some not very kind thoughts for him. Seriously, how hard would it have been for him to push that thing over and do a couple swipes for me? It would have taken him five minutes to blow it out--compared to my 45 minutes of shoveling. I tell you, chivalry is dead.

Growing up, my family didn't have a snow blower until I was in high school. Anytime it snowed a lot, our neighbor across the street would come blow out the end of our driveway for my dad, usually because my dad was out there shoveling when the neighbor finished his own. No one has done that for us. Our neighbors suck.

By the end, I was just wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Gone was the coat, sweatshirt, and scarf. It was seriously hard work. But at some point, I noticed my cramps were gone (of course, my back and shoulders were now aching way more, but that's beside the point). I was annoyed we still live in this stupid, frozen state, but I was thankful for my body. I know I've been complaining at how broken my insides are, but I was grateful that I'm strong and can bend, lift, and shovel. We live near the high school in town, and at one point three high school boys piled in a jacked-up truck drove by and yelled, "Show us your tits and we'll help you!" I laughed...though I'm embarrassed to admit how long I contemplated taking them up on that offer.

So many times, I thought about quitting. Just leaving it for Bobby. But I wanted to go on a nice date with him, and I knew he'd be really appreciative of not having to shovel. I was grunting, sweating, and maybe even swearing a little, but I finished it. It felt good. It felt good to work hard, sweat, and accomplish something so big. Bobby was so happy and took me on a wonderful date. We talked and laughed and had a great time.

This was really rambling and long, but it's how I spent my day yesterday.

Also--who's ready to make the move to Minnesota?

5 comments:

  1. So funny you write this today..."shoveling the driveway" is something I've been putting off since early this week. My husband and I have both been sick on and off with the stupid flu for the past MONTH...but lately I've been a little healthier than him. Anyway, it snowed early this week and I didn't have enough time to shovel the driveway before I left, so I asked if he would do it (even though he was sick). He assured me he would...but when I came home later that day I feel like he totally half-assed it. We have a two car garage, which is half full of stuff for our bathroom remodel, so the truck has to sit outside. He didn't shovel that side because, well, it's a truck. And he didn't even shovel the walk or the steps! I've been fuming inside about it for DAYS and thinking I should shovel it properly but was hoping maybe he was just planning on finishing the job later. Also, since then we've gotten more snow and the old stuff has melted a bit and re-frozen so now it will be a really crummy chore. I should have just gone late to work that day. I really want to take a nap right now, but you've inspired me to shovel! Glad you had a good date!!

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    1. I didn't realize this would inspire anyone to shovel! But good for you. It did feel good to look out and actually have it done. I'm sorry you guys are so sick. Must be that time of year. I think I've had this same cold since September. I can't wait for summer! (which here will be probably mid-July).

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  2. I am so glad your date night turned out so nicely. I know we all get stuck in those ruts and especially after failed cycles, but it is so important to keep things alive with our spouses and not let our relationships fail.

    Your weather sounds absolutely miserable. Here in Oklahoma, we get an inch of snow and the schools, work etc. are closed down and everyone is driving 5mph in a panic (fun times).

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    1. I wish we only had an inch of snow! I can only imagine that it's probably a nice change for you guys (and hopefully a day off work)!

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  3. Right now, we have more snow than I've ever seen at our house! It's not near what you get, but our driveway could use some shoveling. We've got about a foot in the last two days and it is going to be topped off with freezing rain this afternoon. Good times. I'm so glad your date night turned out nice and you were able to enjoy each others company! Rude of the guy that cleared your neighbors driveway though. I mean really, it wouldn't have taken him much to finish the end of your drive I'm sure.

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