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Greatest. Snowfall. Ever.

Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013 4:59 a.m. CST

I’m proclaiming the late March snowfall in Springfield, which totaled about 16 inches, to be the best snowfall ever.

I have to confess, though, that I like snow. For a lot of people, a winter without snow would be the best ever. Not me. I like all the seasons, and I think spring is appreciated more after a snowy winter.

I will back up a little bit, though, and qualify my liking the snow. I don’t like ice and I don’t want the snow to hang around all winter. That’s partly why that Sunday’s snow was so good.

It was a nice, gentle snow without too much wind and without bitter coldness. There was a lot of it, and it was a heavy, wet snow, but the temperature was into the 30s, so it was not bone-numbing cold. Plus, by Monday, it was melting off pretty well.

The best part, though, was using it as an excuse to take a vacation day. I take my computer home on the weekends, so if the office really needs me, I can do everything from home that I can do at work. I didn’t have anything super pressing at work, so I took the day off.

My wife, though, wasn’t so lucky. Not only did she have to go to work, she had to leave the house around 5 a.m. Worse yet, she wanted me to take her. So much for vacation time.

You can read into this all that it entails. A) I had to get up way early; B) I had to have the seemingly mile-long driveway cleared, which I do the old fashioned way with a shovel, an aching back and lots of breaks; and C) I had to get up way early, which deserves a second mention.

Add to that the fact that our street is not on a priority list for snowplows. We did not see a snowplow on our street until after noon on Monday. That made it an interesting trip downtown at 5 o’clock in the morning.

I had shoveled the walk and drive Sunday afternoon and again Sunday evening. The first time had about 6 inches of snow in the drive; the second had another 9 inches. I shoveled again Monday morning with another inch or so on the drive.

Fortunately, a truck had gone down our street leaving its tracks and skimming off the top layer of snow. I had to shovel 25 feet into the street to get to the tracks, and then shovel a wide enough area for the car to make a turn. The snow in the road still scraped the bottom of the car the whole distance down the road.

We live about three quarters of the block from a main road, which had three wide lanes neatly plowed. I wondered why they couldn’t have made a side trip down our street before cleaning off the third lane. I’m sure it has to do with traffic counts, emergency vehicles, loss prevention, saving lives and that sort of thing. But c’mon, we need to be able to get to the main roads.

Fortunately, at 5 a.m., there’s not a lot of traffic, especially with a foot and a half of snow on the ground, so we pretty much ignored stop signs. If the car is moving, you’re not stuck. A good way to get stuck is to stop moving.

I left the house a little after noon to go hang at the coffeeshop where I’m taking lessons in the fine arts – you know, poker, and, uh, just poker, really. Sometimes I give the lessons. Sometimes I get the lessons. Anyway, I arrived home late Monday afternoon to find that the plow had gone by and filled most of my driveway back in. Where I had shoveled loose, fluffy snowflakes, there now stood heavy, dense blocks of ice two feet tall.

I really appreciate the plow driver taking special care to make sure these boulders were neatly placed in my drive and not, say, in the ample grassy area where the city exercises a right-of-way. This way, I could place those big blocks wherever I think would be best, which is anywhere but inside the threshold of my driveway.

I drove Penny’s car Monday since it’s garage-kept and didn’t need cleaning off. I left mine until Monday evening. By that time, Mother Nature had taken nearly half of it back through compression and melting. I’m thinking that if I stay home tomorrow, I might not have to brush off the car at all; just park it in a sunny spot.

With no little kids at home anymore, I didn’t get to do any sledding or build a snowman, but I did make a couple of delicious batches of snow ice cream. I figured the first few inches of snow cleaned out most of the pollutants in the air.

I’m a little leery of eating snow these days what wit all the environmental issues. I won’t use blowing snow because it picks up dirt. As long as the snow is fresh and not yellow, we’re good.

By the end of the week, it’s supposed to be into the 50s.The only snow we’ll see will be the mountains pushed together by the snow plows and left to melt in the corner of a grocery store parking lot. Some of those stick around for weeks.

Hmm. Maybe I can get in some sledding and snowman building after all.

©Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at david@ramblinman.us. All rights reserved. This is the space where something clever is supposed to go. Boy did you get gipped.

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