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  • – Nooooooo, he complaints, don't put the snow in piles!
    It's the first snow this year that has to be shoveled. It's pure and white and loose. Not the kind that you form snowballs out of.
    We are doing it together. Although, apparently I'm doing it all wrong.
    – DON'T just dump the snow. You have to sprinkle it, so it forms soft piles. That will give it more character. It will be nicer, he says.
    I really try to do as he said.
    – I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY LUMPS, he yells.
    I try harder. He is not impressed.
    The next day, with the newly fallen snow, I do it again, but with more understanding. He wants the piles to look as if they are naturally formed snowdrifts. The excess snow I walk to the back of the garage with, to his snow fortress.
    When everything is finally perfect, the snowplow comes. In a minute, one little tree has fallen, the fortress is gone, and the area where we carefully formed the snowdrift scenario, is covered with a large mound of stained gray, oily snow with zones of yellow and brown.
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