Prophylactic Snow Shoveling

Green_Bridge up_2012-08-26

2013-02-08 – Yesterday was a miserable day in Chicago, weatherwise. It rained most of the day, turning to slush during the afternoon commute and finally changing to snow. When I got home I found a thick layer of soggy slush on my walks. With the snow falling and forecast to be six to nine inches, I was afraid to let the slush freeze. I usually try to wait for a pause in a snowfall before shoveling, but I thought I better get rid of the underlying slush or I’d never be able to clear my walks after the snowfall. A kind of prophylactic measure.

Little did I know how prophylactic my efforts would turn out to be. Not only did I get rid of the slush, but I apparently stopped the remaining six to nine inches from even falling.

I didn’t know about my success right away. The snow was still falling when I hung up the shovel for the evening. I didn’t even look out for the rest of the evening. I just came in, and got out of my wet clothes and went to the kitchen (or what passes for a kitchen during the remodeling) to have a peanut butter sandwich and a banana, washed down by a can of Canfields seltzer.

I don’t know if you remember radiator heat. There used to be a big appliance of coiled steel in the corner through which hot water or steam (depending on your system) flowed. Modern radiant heat is usually built into the baseboard, but the old system resulted in uneven heat, dictated by the placement of the clunky old radiator. One of the only good things about this system was the fact that, when you came in from shoveling snow, you could put your gloves on the radiator to dry.

Yesterday, I didn’t have a radiator, but I had wet gloves. I hang my coat on a coat tree, which is in the basement now during the remodeling. Since it is in the basement, I am the only one to use it. So there were several “branches” on the tree available for my gloves to dry—no heat, but the tree gave plenty of room for air flow.

The gloves immediately assumed a posture of supplication, fingers spread, palms up, ostensibly praying for the cessation of the snow.

When I looked outside in the morning, I learned that the supplication had worked! The sidewalk was as I left it the evening before. No additional snow. Some of the surrounding suburbs did get the forecast downfall, but not the north side of Chicago.

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