Snow Shoveling 101

Looks like our short string of mild winters may be over and that means we must be shovel ready. First and foremost, you’ll want to be in good health behind the handle. Normal blood pressure and heart rate, flexible joints and no conditions that would prevent a good bout of scraping. (Ask your doctor if you have any doubts.) If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone. If you have a ridiculous amount of sidewalk and driveway, you may have to get a snow blower, but most residential areas are best served by hand. Treat this strenuous activity as a series of lifts with some pushing. Try to put your whole body into it. Take a break when you get tired and get warm. Stay on top of a big snowfall and be prepared to re-shovel several times during the same event to avoid heavy lifting and deep despair. Don’t let even a small amount of snow linger on your walks, it will soon freeze and become almost impossible to remove. Salting can prevent ice buildup but is bad for the ecosphere and can lead to the high blood pressure that prevents you from shoveling in the first place. Use sparingly. For extra credit, do your neighbor’s walks too, especially if you’re using the Blizzard Master 9000. (Be diplomatic in this regard.) Relax afterward with some mulled wine and seasonal tunes. (No semi-classical stuff.)

More from Frank E. Lee

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