Every morning I look at it. My snow shovel.
It has sat against the wall of my house for the record time now that Chicago has not had any accumulated show, something like 320 days. According to the Chicago Tribune that could end tomorrow, Thursday.
My ergonomically designed snow shovel was not purposely left to sit against the house as a charm to keep away the evil white fluff, like the evil eye; it is just the way it worked out. As a former Boy Shout, I always tried to follow the "Be Prepared" motto, and left it there for easy access last winter, just in case.
I don't own a snowblower, and still find something mildly heroic in using physical labor to push, then lift the show aside and pile it unevenly along the driveway and sidewalks, in stark contrast to the finely blown and even mounds created by the tanks of snow removal, the show blower. Maybe it is still a reminder that I can do it, a nod to fleeting youth. Plus, I read somewhere -- no doubt publicized by the intense snow shovel lobby-- that the use of a snowblower actually leads to more heart attacks than shoveling the shit --er, I mean snow-- and who wants to have a heart attack over an accumulation of snowflakes?
Just as our days of no sub-zero cold have ended, it seems that Frosty is on the march. To kids, Frosty is this jolly cartoon three balled creation of jolly compacted snow, with a carrot for a nose and buttons (really?) for eyes, but to adults, he is the enemy. He is the loathsome creature that we start to fear along about the end of August. When the leaves turn color the angst grows, and by the time the branches are bare, and if Frosty the Killer Snowman is not here yet, we know he will be, making our commutes to work miserable, causing broken bones on innocent trips to grocery stores, and, worse yet, forcing us to endure watching over kids as they sled down hills that he is borne from. Innocents, those kids, so fooled. They will learn.
Some people fear Bigfoot. Some are afraid of werewolves. Some are afraid of clowns (for good reason around Chicago, with the likes of John Wayne Gacy). But the biggest dread is Frosty the Messy Snowman. He cannot come late enough and leave soon enough. He is the three balled creep on the front lawn you are hoping will melt, and soon.
Meanwhile, my shows shovel is leaning its ergonomic way against the brick side of my house.
It is my only weapon against the Snowman.
And he is coming. I can feel it in my bones.