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  • The first flowers of Spring – ok, I am a bit early but too early – harkened me back to last Fall when we dragged the snow blower from out of the basement and put it in the sunshine room. To be sure that we were REALLY ready I brought it out to the patio and started it; after fifteen seconds or so I shut it down and returned it to its place in anticipation of a busy winter.

    Alas, it has been the fourth warmest winter on record with only a mean 7.4 inches in Central Park. What happened? Why was dust the only substance that the snow blower attracted? Where was the power trip of getting the sidewalk cleared before anyone else? Why didn’t the family down the block make me cookies – they did last year when I cleared off their sidewalk after a particularly heavy snow? Why, why??

    When we lived in Ashland, on the south shore of Lake Superior, we could count on early, and heavy, snow falls. That was a macho environment. Gordon lived six blocks away and we shared tools of various sorts. One was a snow blower – not the toy that we currently have. We shared one that sported an eight speed transmission, lights, chains on the tires and could clear a swath of almost thirty-six inches. Gordon usually got first shot at the snow because he took on the responsibility for the annual maintenance. Once he was done I would get a phone call and would walk over to his house, start it up and bring it home. On the way there were five retired couples which always received a visit from one of us as we would fight our way through the snow bank, blow off the sidewalk and fight our way back to the road. We were truly macho heroes, applauded by all who saw. I would store it in my garage and, when the next snow came, would call Gordon when I was finished. And, so it would go.

    Now, the best that I can do is chocolate chip cookies! Ah, to be macho again.

    Our toy goes back into the basement chastened by unuse and dusty. But, like baseball, basketball, football and hockey, there is always next year. Think snow!

    BTW, the flower is a Lesser Celandine.
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