Monday, February 11, 2013


I was looking forward to a gorgeous heavy snowfall.  I may be in the minority but it is beautiful to watch, 
especially when it happens in the evening viewing from the warmth of home out the clear sliding glass doors.  
Add a crackling fire, a glass of red wine and a slice of homemade pizza and that sounds pretty good to me.
I like shoveling a clear path once the snow has finished falling and it's time to venture out. There's something gratifying about clearing the driveway, it's a good workout.  I'm a bit of a nut about edging the sides as well as making sure every bit is off the pavement.  I know it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things because the sun melts the missed lines (at least at my house) but I find it incomplete if I don't remove it all… a bit of OCD perhaps?
I remember many times asking Chris to shovel.  He didn't usually give me any grief about it but I can say he never raced right out either.  What kid does?  It took a few reminders sometimes.  I have been known to wake him on a school snow day, even if he was able to sleep in, because I still had to go to work and the driveway needed attention.  Hey, too bad, he could always go back to bed (which he did) while I had to go in to work as usual.  I felt a little bad... but not bad enough to do it myself or drive over it, I still woke him up! Teamwork...

I used to crack up at his method of shoveling.  It didn't seem to me to be well thought out... but then again neither was his lawn mowing.  He didn't seem to have a pattern or a rhyme or reason to how he shoveled.  I happen to make one straight path down the length of the driveway and then row by row start pushing it to one side.  Isn't that the correct way?  Chris seemed to weave.  Wherever the shovel plowed along was the right spot for him.  Oh and by the way, picking up the shovel was done as little as possible... push 90%, lift and toss 10%.  
To do it like Chris you must also go out to shovel completely inappropriately dressed... sneakers untied, sockless, wearing shorts, a hoodie and ear buds hanging from your ears. An iPod is a must for any outdoor maintenance activity, regardless of the season. The hood could be up or down depending on the temperature and wind... Can you picture him lobbing along pushing a path of snow up and down the driveway?  Hmmmm, eventually it got done. I used to hide in the upstairs window and watch giggling at the knucklehead, priceless memories.  I'm glad I never let on that I found his technique very funny.  I'm just glad he took care of it.

Many times the two of us would be outside shoveling together.  Typically I'd negotiate a plan with him... you do the end of the driveway and I'll start up by the door and we'll meet in the middle.  Seemed fair enough to me, he's stronger so he gets the tougher part where the plow stacked it up.  There were times he'd stand there sizing up the snow pile, analyzing it. Why?  I don't know.  The plow left the same path down the street each time and the end of the driveway didn't change too much with each snowfall.  But he'd sometimes stand there as if he never saw it before and he'd try to figure out how best to handle it.  The tough part about the end of the driveway is the weight... can't do just 10% tossing there (I'm no dummy.)  Let's just say he got a good workout. :-) I would smile as I cleared my rows watching him push, lift, toss, repeat.
I missed him yesterday, a lot.  I know there wasn't much snow in Clifton Park but there was enough to shovel. This was not the drive over it and keep going level... it needed my attention.  I hated that the second shovel went unused.  It just stood there against the garage wall.  I didn't like that at all.  I don't like that.  I miss Chris every day and snow shoveling is a new thing I miss about him.  I don't want a new thing to miss, I already miss him enough.  
So, I shoveled and talked to him and smiled at the memories.   I told him I wished he was here and I was thinking of him.  I felt confident he heard me and was out there with me analyzing the end of the driveway again.  I know he would never leave me to shovel the snow banks alone.  Love you Squirt!

Thank you for reading.  


  1. It's funny how it's always the little things we seem to miss more. I know what you mean. I'm sure that one day, Chris will decide to do his mom a favor and something amazing will happen. the driveway will be clear or somebody will offer to help and you can be sure that it was Chris making sure that his momma is not so alone to do the shoveling. He's with you always.

  2. Regina,
    My goodness I talk all the time about cherishing time with your children and the "little things". Here you are talking about something I honestly wouldn't have thought about until you brought it up, but God forbid I were in your shoes, I would be feeling these same feelings and be penning almost these same thoughts! I could picture Chris shoveling by your description and that would describe my older son as well. Since we are on the subject of snow, you must know that you and your son have melted my heart. Thanks for sharing your daily thoughts and I hope to run into you soon so I can introduce myself. I did see you the other night, however, it did seem a bit too chaotic to introduce myself. I apologize.

  3. Your eloquent writing is an opportunity to know Chris a little better ever day. As I close my eyes, I see him shoveling your driveway although I actually never saw this happen. Thanks for sharing your memories with us... wish I had more time to write this morning, still have things I would like to say, but I have to get ready to go to work ...until tomorrow <3..

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I'm the shoveler at my house because my husband works for the city and usually ends up working a 12 hr shift and by the time he comes in it's dark and even colder. I have been dealing with back issues the season and the snow fall previous he and our daughter shoveled. Wasn't impressed. I have a particular way of shoveling myself where I have to get as much shovels as possible. You see we have a gravel driveway and I have it to where I know how to shovel without destroying the driveway. These two must of had their eyes closed. LOL. So yes, I'm a little OCD when it comes to shoveling. Edges need to be even and shoveled to a certain point. So I ended up having surgery 3 weeks ago, so I put my brace on and went out and did the shoveling. But thankfully my neighbor did the end.

  5. Good morning Regina. These types of blog entries I have a harder time responding to. I find I have to read more than once and find one portion to respond to... The words about the 2nd shovel going unused tugged at my heart and made me feel helpless as to how to help or to find the right words to respond. I do hope though, that you did not shovel in shorts because to this day, I do not understand kids wearing shorts in the winter! Especially shoveling, but it did make me chuckle a little to imagine him out there! If I witnessed it, I would have said out loud, as I do when I see kids walking to school mid-winter in shorts... Dude, what are you thinking???? I'm glad you had that quiet time to talk to him and spent the time thinking of him when you were shoveling. Maybe you can listen to his fabulous music on his iPod and maybe you will see next time you have to shovel, what exactly prompted him to shovel with his unique method!

    When I was a single mom years ago, when the kids were too little to help, I used to go out there and shovel (in the same OCD manner and feel good about myself when all was said and done) all the while secretly hoping some amazing human being would drive by, with a plow and take pity on me... my timing was never right though and they normally came after it was all said and done. I had elderly neighbors with an adjoining driveway and I used to do theirs too. I hate to see elderly people out there shoveling! I loved the crispness of the pure white snow before it was untouched.

    Thankfully this storm did not pack the same punch here that it did in Boston and CT. I did see pictures of it and was sorry we missed out on the spectacular visual aspects of an amazingly huge snowfall, but as I read your blog, I was thankful it was minor enough that you didn't have to tackle that huge amount by yourself. If you want to have a shoveling party if we get hit again, I'd be more than willing to come help you out. Don't tell my husband I said that though! I'll just say I'm going to the store or something!

    God bless...

  6. Regina,
    Ok my son is usually the one who helps me do the shoveling/snow blowing, but now that he is away at school it is just me...Secretly, I am like you, I too enjoy doing the driveway, but lets keep that on the DL if my husband found out that I enjoy getting out there then I would have nothing to hold over his head( I tell him he can do the dishes and I will do the snow removal because he has bad asthma)...but I LIKE doing the

    I also have OCD. I have a story that will make you smile...

    My son chose to go to CBA; my daughters went/go to Shaker. When my son was a freshman in high school many schools had delays which meant of course the private schools were closed. Since Shaker rarely closes or delays my girls were on time. I being a teacher in a school that closes/delays more often (Averill Park) I had a delay. So I was up with the girls getting lunches, etc. I decide not to wake my son to help with snow removal, so after the girls left I had 2 hrs before I needed to leave so I went out to tackle the driveway and walkway. Well me with my OCD snow blows, then shovels every last bit of snow, then I throw down the salt, go inside get ready for work and leave. A little later my son wakes up and my husband calls him to remind him to do the driveway. My son looking out the window says to his dad and I quote.

    "Dad it is the craziest thing, you are not going to believe this...we got a lot of snow it snowed everywhere, but on our driveway, you should see it!" my husband burst out laughing and said "Buddy, do you think maybe mom did the driveway before she left?"...silence on the other end of the phone... We still get a laugh over it today 7 yrs later... :)

    As always I enjoyed reading your blog, you are a very good writer. It made me sad to think about the difficulties you face with each "new" thing to miss Chris about. Keep the strength Regina! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless, XO

  7. Hi Regina,
    Down here in SC missing the snow. Now that is not right! Picture perfect description of a fine evening...homemade pizza (I do that), glass of red wine (I like that too) and cozied up by the fire...sounds wonderful. We moved to CP from GA the summer of 2010. I couldn't wait for the snow to arrive. My kids had never experienced snow in the NE. Boy did we get snow the winter of 2011! It seemed like it snowed a foot every 3 days. My husband and I were very OCD about snow removal too. Doing it just as you described. The kids had a ball that winter. The snow was up to my waist for 4 months. It made me tougher. I'd tackle each new storm like I was in the military. Gosh-I want to come home. The kids do too. I'm secretly praying we get transferred back. We're still in fall like weather in SC and it doesn't feel right. I haven't seen my family since July. I am so sorry Chris's shovel went unused this weekend. Makes me sad.
    There is something special about a nice snow storm. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Hi Regina! I just love how you call him Squirt. As big of a kid he makes me smile. That's all.
    :) xo Lela.

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