53 Days...

 Until Spring.  Not that I'm counting...ok, I am!

Here on the east coast we are facing our first big storm of the season. The snow-acane of the year.  The blizzard to end all blizzards (at least until the next storm).  I have NOT stocked up on bread and milk.  I bought what I bought on my last trip to the grocery store last week and that will have to go.  If we run out and have to go (God forbid!) two or three days without; we WILL survive.  In general, my family does one big grocery run a week.  It gets us through the week no matter what the weather.  If we run out of something, yes I will run to the store during the week, but I rarely do.  This storm may deplete the grocery shelves for several days, but if we can't get a carton of milk or loaf of bread, we'll do something else.

What I did buy today (on my way to work) was yet another container of ice melt.  Now we go through that during the winter like crazy.  SHOULD have bought another big bag (25 pound, 50 pound...whatever they come in) prior to this, but I didn't so I bought what I could.  That's that.

We also brought out the snow blower and parked it (under a tarp) in front of the house.  The garage where we store it is a distance from the house (especially when you've got several inches of snow), so it makes sense to put it right outside the front door and ready to go when we need it.  It is gassed up (my husband topped it off after its last use over the weekend) and ready to go.  (After this storm we will purchase more gas and be ready for the next storm; because you KNOW there WILL be another one with 53 days to go until spring.)  The shovels are lined up too because as good as a snow blower can be, you always have to do some clean up by hand.  (I have yet to meet a snow blower that will do stairs.)

And speaking of snow removal; it's a family affair for us.  My son has gotten off easy thus far, but as he is close to entering double digits it's time for him to get into the act.  The general game plan is for me to go out and clear off the steps and the area around the snow blower.  Then the husband goes out and starts up the beast and begins the snow removal.  Son and I follow shortly thereafter.  Cleaning up the small areas and the stairs.  We also have the difficult job of clearing the apron of the driveway which is always a pain be it with shovel or snow blower.  We have a lot to do as our driveway is long and steep. (This is why I bought my husband cleats to wear over his boots.  We've had more than our share of slips and broken bones than we need.)  We also do my parent's walk and driveway.  (It's their garage where the snow blower is dried and stored).  So the job takes the efforts of the whole family.  Hopefully, we're also teaching my son responsibility.  (I think he'll take to it more once he finds out that his grandparents will give him cash for his efforts.  I know I used to shovel my grandparents out BEFORE my family because I knew where the money was!)

As much as I don't like all this outdoor work, I try to remind myself that shoveling is exercise (and a way to earn some Weight Watcher activity points).  My muscles may ache a little, but that's probably a good thing.  I also try to tell myself to take it slow and easy.  The work WILL get done and taking breaks is a good idea.

Tomorrow will most likely be a no go when it comes to commuting.  My office will probably be closed.  If not, and the weather and/or roads are treacherous, I will not be going in.  In my "old age" I have obtained the wisdom that while money is important (and believe me I KNOW how important it is!), my health and family are much more so.  Don't put yourself in jeopardy.  There are people who HAVE to be on the road and at work.  (Thanks to those folks, such a hospital personnel, police force and DPW staff who really HAVE to be out there.)  No matter what your hourly salary is it won't cover the costs of your health or your car.  Give up that vacation day for a snow day.  It may be a pain in the butt, but at least you'll have a healthy butt! (And it's worth it!)


53 days until spring and I'm sure there will be more snow between now and then.  But I'll be counting AND I'll use common sense to be safe.  I hope you will too.




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