For most of my life, I never shoveled snow to do anything other than build a snow fort or to clear the ice for some fishing. Our driveway on the farm is an eighth of a mile long and would take well into summer to clear if by hand from just one snow storm so we generally used a tractor with a blade or just drove everywhere in the four wheel drive pickup. In college, I pretty much only used a car when going to and from the farm because it was just too much work so I didn't much worry about shoveling either. It was a beater so as long as there was gas in the tank, I would just forward and reverse my way out of any pile of snow pushed up by the grader of the parking lots and find a clearer space to park when I returned.
Post college when I moved up to the far north to a place I affectionally refer to as the frozen tundra, I still never shoveled. I was smart and for ten extra dollars a month, rented a garage at the site of my apartment and would do so at my next rented digs further south. Finally I would move back close to the land of my roots where the snow is definitely shallower during winter and the shoveling began. I again had an apartment and a garage but due to a neighbor who parked his car in the center of the space between his garage and mine all the time, the grader of the parking lots could never clear my driveway. Thus I was forced to shovel on occasion to get my car out from the garage. I always made sure to shovel all my snow to my neighbors car and bury it to show my displeasure. It made me feel better anyway. But more often than not, if I could just bore my car out of the garage, I did so and just let the snow pack down into a glacier like pack of ice that would finally melt away sometime during the dog days of late summer.
Then I got civilized. I got married and bought a house and suddenly we had 'friends' whom we had to invite over in the blizzard like conditions of winter. That meant that I had to be a man and shovel my driveway so that no one would fall down and get hurt. I always thought that was just a cliche but one day when I hadn't gotten out yet to clear the snow (read my wife hadn't nagged me into doing it yet), we had an unexpected visitor who pulled up, got out of their car and fell grabbing onto the antenna of my car for support. Needless to say she didn't sue and I had to go buy a replacement antenna from a junkyard to replace the old one. Life went on.
Then the past two years arrived where we seemed to get six inch snows of the wettest most densest kind like fireworks on the fourth of July. I would spend a couple hours clearing away the snow, sit down in my easy chair to rest my aching back only to see the beginnings of another six inches beginning to fall. Then when I had gotten that cleared, the darn snow plow would come roaring by leaving a huge drift of icy snow at the end of the drive that if left untouched for more than a few seconds would turn into the consistency of granite. After two back breaking seasons, I finally said enough and bought a snow blower. There are two types of snowblowers that I have seen. There is the one my uphill neighbor has which is a little squat thing that pukes snow out of the chute and evidently requires a long handle from an old broom which he rams down the throat of the thing every six inches. There is also the one my downhill neighbor has that throws snow as far as a man can see and could easily consume a two foot deep pile of snow as an appetizer. So I shelled out the extra money and went for the latter.
Now it won't snow. I mean we have gotten regular snows of up to a half of an inch and one five incher of powdery snow but nothing that would make the weakest of backs ache. I could probably skip behind a shovel and clear the driveway in seconds with breath and back strength to spare if I so desired. So now I am always asking myself, do I shovel off the 1/4 inch pounding we received over night or do I fire up the snowblower and look like a total wuss out there blowing the snow off with a machine designed to eat through ice and beg for more? What I wouldn't give for a twenty inches of the finest, heaviest snow that mother nature could provide.