Cleaning, Outside and In

I had a lot on my to-do list today. My main goal was to rearrange and clean up a lot of the rooms on the first floor, with the eventual end goal of clearing out the kitchen a bit more.

But! Before all the interior work could start, I wanted to get some snow shoveling out of the way. Because we got a really hefty amount of snow last night. And, as I’d find, a lot of snow that would keep coming over the course of the day today.

Looking down the stairs at a pretty wide blanket of white.

The pathway to the neighbor’s house is amost entirely hidden.

A lot of snow.

The best measurement for snowfall: the birdbath in our front yard. Some of this was residual snow from a few days ago, but it still shows you how much came down.

I worked maybe two hours outside, clearing our stairs, sidewalk, and the main driveway we share with our neighbors. They’re doing some renovations over there, and my clearing the driveway was more for those workers… as we’ve been trying to leave the driveway clear for them.

I also dug a path through to the back, and cleared out an area near our house. And also cleared the back porch, so we could still access our grill.

The thought I had in my head: there are a good number of people who have heart attacks shoveling snow. And I’ve not been getting a lot of exercise. In fact, I’m probably in the worst possible position: a year of being inactive, indoors, due to Covid… and then tasked with shoveling a foot of heavy, wet snow.

I definitely took a lot of breaks.

I got a lot of cleanup done inside as well today, boxes and trash cleared out. The bunny area cleaned and updated. Lots of things relocated, and more space restored.

In the afternoon, I was out again and did another pass clearing snow from the paths I dug out earlier in the day.

One thought I had, while working outside clearing snow: there are a few ways to look at the world. Through an adult’s eyes, the snow is a chore, a task that blocks the ability to do other things. Through a child’s eyes, the snow is a wonder, a marvel of nature, the elements rearranged in a way we infrequently see.

Even as I was feeling tired and sore, I tried to look at the snow with a sense of wonderment. Because it really was a fantastic sight to behold.

Closer to the end of the day, I cleared our car and proactively shoveled a small path for us to pull free. I didn’t move the car, but figured it might be better to clear the snow now (while it was a bit wet) versus later (when it might have frozen to ice).

As I was working on my car, a woman was trying to pass a parked Amazon van. Our street still hadn’t been plowed, and she was stuck – wheels spinning. I walked over, waved through the window, and helped give her a push out.

It felt great to do. And with that small act, winter is definitely here in Chicago.

A Big Snow Day in Chicago
Suddenly, Snow
The Slow Melt
Chicago Blizzard Aftermath, Hyde Park, 2015
Photos of the Chicago Blizzard, Hyde Park, 2015

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