Of course, my teenage son thought this would be a good time to go out and visit some friends. He was very put out when I told him to stay home.
That evening, one of the local ambulances got stuck in the driveway at the firehouse, effectively bottling the emergency services in the station until the ambulance was pulled out by a tow truck. Number One Son began to have an idea of how bad the roads were.
Christmas morning, I went out to begin shoveling the driveway before the rest of the family awoke. Since the blizzard started with sleet, there was a layer of frozen pellets firmly attached to the pavement. My puny snow shovel had no effect, so I was forced to leave that layer at the bottom of the driveway. The wind produced three drifts too, the deepest one about four feet. I shoveled a path so we could get in and out, and left the bulk of the work for later. The cars were buried, but we weren't going anywhere. I'd shoveled enough snow to make my back hurt, so I gratefully went inside to take a break.
Number One Son had other ideas. He desperately wanted to get his girlfriend to our house for Christmas dinner, so he went out to do some shoveling too. I went out to check on his progress only to discover that all the snow he'd removed from in front of his car was now piled in front of my car! He seemed genuinely puzzled when I objected, but removed all the snow with good grace. I should point out that he was out there shoveling snow while wearing shorts. Sometimes I wonder about that kid.
This morning I started chopping through the ice with a heavy scraper. I bought this tool to remove flooring and it does an equally effective job on thick ice. It's like a heavy spade handle with an 8 inch wide blade, and it's heavy enough to chop ice. I alternated between chopping and shoveling, taking breaks when my body ran out of oomph.
I was chopping the last, thickest section of ice when Number One Son appeared. "I could use some help," I said, so he went back inside for a pair of gloves and a hoodie. He shoveled for about 10 minutes, then rested with his forearms on the shovel handle, not exactly panting, but breathing a little harder than usual. "Who would imagine that shoveling snow could be so hard?" I asked. He gave me a withering look. I'd been out there working off and on for over 4 hours. In another 10 minutes, we were done.
Now, with all that shoveling snow and ice, I missed out on post-Christmas shopping. Imagine my disappointment. And that makes for a truly merry Christmas!