Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Business

Snow has always been the domain of children.
As I watch another snowfall this week, realizing it is not just a nightmare that somehow transported me to some God-awful part of Minnesota, I long for a warmer climate that I know somehow is just around the corner.

If you live in a snow-infested region of the world, and you are an adult trying to recapture your childhood with your skiing, snowmobiling et al., please try not to pretend that you really enjoy your life.  Just blame your ancestors for raising you there and crawl back into your igloo.

I do enjoy watching the children sled down the “giant hill” that is my backyard careful to avoid a crash into our pear tree.
We who have had white winters always recall the bestest and most frightening snow hill, and I am glad that I can provide a group of 4 year-olds lasting memories. By the time they are 6 they will all agree that my hill is no higher than a hump of snow-covered mulch, barely sloped enough for a marble to roll down. They will move on to their eventual thriller wondering what all the excitement was about.
I did enjoy snow days, as all children do, getting off from school, sledding, snowball fights and making a few extra bucks shoveling.  The secret to making top dollar was to get an advanced shoveling contract with the neighbors in the row homes.  There was nothing in writing, only a verbal promise to do a good job, include a street parking space (always a deal closer) and a promise that you will not have to ring their doorbell at 5AM (as you did the last snowfall). They can just pre-pay.
The nice thing about snow removal in a neighborhood of city row homes is you can make a ton of money quickly and any resident who does not contract at least can provide you with a pavement where you can store their neighbors’ snow.
I long for a neighborhood youth entrepreneur, a go-getter to knock on my door and ask for a contract.  The only kids who come around are the fund raisers with their cases of chocolate bars. They must have some underground secret language, probably texting one another about the chunky guy in the 2nd house who will always buy a couple of boxes.
Hey I don’t eat them all, they get hoarded in the basement, stored on IKEA shelves awaiting the upcoming clash-of-the-classes I keep hearing about on Conspiracy Radio.
I need something to serve up along with my cases of Dinty-Moore.
None of the neighborhood kids shovel snow, nor make an effort. Those who will work are usually the reluctant ones with parents who wish to instill a strong work ethic. 
We did have a little boy, Ryan, who asked if he can remove our snow. Ryan promised to do a good job, be sure to give us a parking space, and if we prepaid he would not ring our doorbell at 5AM.
In reality Ryan’s mother, Susan, did most of the snow removal.  We actually helped her.  Ryan wandered off and went sledding in our backyard.  He was only 4.
He never returned until a few years later when he was selling school fund raising candy.
Now we have Peppermint Patties.

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