Shoveling Already

It snowed on Thursday. Yes, this is still Texas. But Amarillo is almost four thousand feet above sea level, with nothing between us and Canada except some barbed-wire fences. We get winter weather. Back in the 1973, the area got so much winter that people were coming and going out of second storey windows because of the snow drifts. Earlier in the 20th century, snow-plow and snow-blower trains were normal in winter, and I’ve read accounts of people riding from west of Amarillo to the Rocky Mountains and back on solid snow-pack. I’ve seen snowflakes in the air in August.

However, shoveling in October is considered a little outre.

That was RedQuarters in late afternoon. We got two and a half more inches, for a total of seven and a half, with an inch and a half of moisture. We were very, very lucky that we had 40 mile-per-hour winds all day that kept the snow from building up on the trees, or we’d have had a lot of broken trees and ripped-out power lines. As it was, visibility dropped to less than a quarter of a mile on the way from Day Job to town, and all the rural schools in the snow-belt had late starts on Friday. Also fortunate was the warm soil temperature, so the roads cleared quickly.

However, the driveway at RedQuarters remained at least half covered in snow by the time I returned on Friday. So I didn’t bother taking off my boots. I just dug out a snow shovel and set to work.

In my winter dress boots, long skirt, flannel petticoat, mock-turtleneck, and sweater. The skirt and sweater had snowflake patterns on them. Plus I wore a cowboy hat with ear-flaps. For some reason, several cars slowed down as they passed the house. I’m not sure why. I wasn’t tossing snow into the street.

It took about fifteen or so minutes to clear the driveway. That stuff was heavy, water-rich and dense, and hard to lift and toss. I felt it the next morning when I went to the gym.

We are supposed to have flurries on Wednesday, then be cold on Halloween. It feels like being back in Nebraska, where our Halloween costumes fit over our snow suits.


9 thoughts on “Shoveling Already

  1. That much wet snow about qualifies as a workout. I’ve had the same burn and feeling.

    As long as Susan Cooper’s Rider doesn’t trot through, everything should be OK.

  2. Up here in the Midwest it hasn’t gotten cold enough for snow yet, continuing the recent trend of warm Octobers.

  3. Here in East Idaho, we’ve had a couple of skiffs in the morning, nothing shovel worthy, yet. Yeah, trick or treat wearing your winter coat over your costume was a bummer, but didn’t seem to affect the amount of loot. Ghost costumes were popular.

  4. Alaskans: “Sexy Halloween costume? What’s sexy about something after you put it over your snowsuit? Why would you even advertise it as sexy?”

    South Texans: “Snow suit? That’s an awfully strange way to say birthday suit.”

    North Texans: “Alaskans, we understand you, but let us explain about Austin and how they keep it weird (and warm.)”

  5. Don’t envy you the workout, and remember, slow and steady… It’s a ‘tad’ early for snow, but then again this IS Texas… sigh… And I think a lot of those fences have a strand or two down…

  6. Back in the ’90s I was visiting a friend in Colorado Springs. Near the end of the week the weather showed a huge storm front and snow moving in. Temperatures started dropping and I decided I’d better leave PDQ, so I strapped the bags to the bike and rolled out.

    The front moved fast; I saw black in the mirrors all the way back to Little Rock, and that was making while a mockery of the posted speed limit. Every 60 miles or so I had to stop and stretch my legs; you can get cramped pretty quick on a bike. And every 120 miles or so I had to start looking for fuel.

    Which also meant I passed the same motorhome about a dozen times through Texas and Oklahoma; after a few times kids would wave from the windows and the driver would salute me with his coffee cup…

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