Never knew having a son would be so rewarding.
There I was, exhausted after shoveling what felt like my one thousandth shovelful of the white stuff. It was the second major snowstorm to hit the East Coast of the United States this year, setting records for the Winter of 2010.
I stopped, placed both gloved hands on the handle of the snow shovel and gently rested my chin on the end of the shovel, trying to catch my breath. Most deaths and injuries the past few snow days were caused by heart failure, according to the latest weather report/news casts, mostly to men not used to such physical exertion. And, I haven’t been keeping up the exercises as I should. I wonder if I had pushed myself too much.
We dug out my car just three days earlier. The day before that, Saturday, I carved out a path from the back door to the patio and our yard, making a path to the bird feeder and the closed wooden hutch we store bird seed. Had sprinkled extra seed for the birds in the wild as well as the squirrels and few “field” mice.
Took us another 30 to 40 minutes to dig through some 24 inches of snow to “get up the hill” of our Conshohocken, PA, home. Removed snow from some 10 to 12 concrete steps. Then, we shoveled away the white stuff from an old “Philadelphia red brick” path, one they stretched over a 15 degree angle, leading to the top of the yard, the section I call the “upper deck.”
We live in a single house, with a few “twins,” and other singles on both sides of our home. Across the street, there are one or two twins, but the rest are row homes, possibly built for mill workers when Conshohocken’s industrial heyday demanded such a building splurge.
Our house was the first built on the block. Over 150 years ago. The original land was carved up and sold off as separate grounds. We keep two of the original lots, and their maintenance poses a chore every year since acquiring the property some 25 years ago.
And that is where I count my blessings for having a son.