Man vs Nature

Every day I'm shovellin'
Every day I’m shovellin’

We got nine inches of snow last night.

Now, two weeks ago that wasn’t such a big deal to me. Yeah it made the walk to the gym or the grocery store a pain, but aside from some wet carpet and cold feet it was really no biggie.

But now, as you may have already ascertained, I’ve got bigger problems. Namely, a two-ton guided missile manufactured by Subaru.

After getting accustomed to winter on foot, I’m back to square one again when it comes to preparing myself to go out, get around and say safe. The upsides are obvious: convenience, the fact that I can dress way less warmly to run daily errands, the availability of drive-thru services.

But it turns out I’m a little overzealous with my snow clearing. Because I don’t know exactly how a car behaves in snow, I don’t know how much is enough to shovel out before I leave in the morning. This means I’m basically clearing the entire street behind me just in case I can’t get over an inch and a half of powder.

I also spend too much time brushing snow off the exterior of the car. I know it doesn’t matter if there’s an inch on the rear bumper, or on top of the wing mirrors, or in the little cavity below my wipers. None or those affect my visibility on the road, but I still clear that shit off like it’s my life’s mission.

Even as early as my first couple of weeks I realized there’s probably something deeply psychological about this. When shovelling my front path, instead of just digging out a walkway wide enough to edge down when my ride to work arrived, I was determined to clear the whole thing, three-day back discomfort be damned.

What I think I’m getting at is, bare dry pavement (or, more recently, a clear and snow-free car) seems to be symbolic of me trying to maintain some semblance of control over conditions that are very, very far from my wheelhouse.

Everyone else’s car may have the bare minimum of powder removed so that they can safely make it to work, but me clearing the Outback from roof rack to side skirts multiple times a day feels like it’s me conquering nature, or at least what parts I can.

I don’t yearn for summer like almost everyone else around here does, but I think I’ll stress less once it’s too warm for precipitation of the powdery kind.

Perils of being a fish out of water I guess?


4 thoughts on “Man vs Nature

  1. I could learn a thing or two from you. When I go to work in the morning, I spray windshield wiper fluid on my window until I can sort of see out of it, and then I’m off…

  2. Crazy stuff. Got into my car yesterday at 3 pm and burnt my ass on the seat and my hands on the wheel; The usual February in Qld. So I loved reading this- you may as well be on the Mars as it’s just so alien to me. And as Stephen King is responsible for my only knowledge of Maine and snow and ice, etc…(and you know with him, it never ends well).. It’s interesting to hear of the everyday realities of life in Maine.
    And you can go inside and refuel on hot chocolatey goodness after your shovelling compulsion has been sated.
    Thanks for the little respite from summer.

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