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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

Snow Shoveling

And, finally, what memories of snowy winters would be complete without saying something about snow shoveling? I think I have already mentioned that while I was growing up and we had heavy storms, my Dad, who I don't ever remember complaining about having to. do it, would usually only shovel the front walk to the street and the driveway. When I got older, though, I often helped because, believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the exercise. Usually the snow was pretty light and powdery because the temperatures were low enough that the snow was not heavy with moisture. When we got an aluminum shovel which wasn't so heavy, that was a big help, too. But, as you can see from this picture, the snow banks along the walk and driveway could get pretty high with repeated snowfalls, so pitching the new fallen snow up and off the walks could require a bit of work. The town maintenance people were usually great keeping the roads and, yes, sidewalks plowed, too. There was a cute little plow that was probably about the size of a farm tractor for the sidewalks. I can still remember the sound of the big street plows as they made their way down the street with the metal plow blades scraping the pavement. It was nice if you could predict their coming when you first were shoveling the driveway or front walk at the street end. Otherwise you would have to get back out and shovel away what they had plowed to the side of the street and added to your the walk or driveway because getting up the driveway, especially, over what the plows had added could be a bit daunting. These chunks of snow were more laborious to remove, too, because they could be large, heavy chunks of compacted snow. The first Christmas after I was married, my husband and I headed north to spend it with my parents. My husband was born and raised in the Deep South, so snow was a novelty to him. That Christmas was a particularly white one. My husband initially offered to help my Dad with the shoveling. And Dad, of course, was more than happy to have him do so. It seemed like that as soon as my husband thought he had finished shoveling, the storm, which had been continuing to dump more of the "white stuff," required him to start all over. That cured him of ever wanting to shovel snow again. And I don't think he really ever did, despite the fact that we did have quite a few very snowy winters while living in Virginia. So for all those years I was the #1 shoveler. These days there are snow blowers. I would probably love to use one of them, too, if I needed to do so. But it is highly unlikely that will happen based on my 15 years experience of living in East Tennessee.

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