Clearing snow clouds my mood
November 30, 2006
Snow is overrated. OK, it didn’t help that I blew my one-day-a-week ski pass last Sunday, kicking up gravel as I carved turns beneath the Gent’s Ridge chair on Aspen Mountain, only to have a two-foot powder dump materialize two days later.I didn’t get to play in the snow, just pick it up.Before the week was out, I’d exchanged words with a plow driver who insisted on dumping the snow from the street on my sidewalk, then watched my travel plans dematerialize at the hands of an airline disgruntled by the airport’s plowing efforts.I’m ready for spring.I was shoveling for the fourth time in less than 24 hours, trying to keep ahead of the 18 inches or so that piled up at my house in the midvalley, when an Eagle County plow driver finally pushed me over the edge in the pre-dawn chill on Wednesday. About three inches of new, light snow had fallen overnight on the vast expanse of concrete that is my driveway, along with the elongated stretch of public sidewalk for which I’m responsible (never buy a lot on a curve). I’d cleared all of these surfaces off one last time the previous evening, so the morning shoveling regimen should have been a snap.Instead, the county saw fit to leave 8-10 inches of cement-like hardpack and turkey-sized chunks of ice on the sidewalk I’d cleared the previous night.I was trying to pry the slabs of rock-hard snow back into the gutter when the perpetrator in the plow returned to the scene of this outrage and politely informed me that he’d have little choice but to plow the chunks back onto the sidewalk and my driveway if I pushed them into the street. He had no place else to put it, or so he claimed.I sputtered something unintelligible and went back to shoving the worst of it back onto the pavement. He can’t figure out what to do with the snow with a giant piece of machinery at his fingertips, but I’m supposed to pick it up and move it with my ergonomic, plastic shovel?As I suspected, he had to go block the driveways of the elderly and never bothered to come back and replow the snow into mine. Instead, it was compacted by the day’s traffic and is no longer an issue.I was not so lucky at the airport, where it is apparently unacceptable to just let the jets grind the snow into a sort-of-flat surface.Instead, it’s scraped cleaner than the dishes at a fat farm. Or not. It didn’t meet with the airlines’ satisfaction yesterday morning.They should have had the guy who does my street plow the runway. He’d get the snow off. Of course, he’d probably dump it on the highway.Janet Urquhart needs a snow blower, or a new lower back. Her email address is email@example.com.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.
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