Shoveling. Some thoughts.

The responsibility for the care of the outside of a house is often the last straw that leads a homeowner to sell out and head to a condo.  Maintenance, in general, seems to be more compelling than the fact of having too much space. Last week, I wrote about downsizing. As this snowy winter crawls towards spring, some of my clients are feeling the urge.

snowblower cartoonShoveling is physical work. It can be unpleasant. It can take hours. It is needed at random times. The first shovel-out feels good and brings a sense of accomplishment; as we drag through February, that bloom is off the rose.

Others who are putting money towards the problem are choosing to purchase snow-blowers. Snow blowers can make quick work of snow, in some circumstances. Blowers can grab shoelaces or loose ties on your jacket. You can slip and lose control of the machine. They do not work well with heavy wet snowfall; the snow packs into the blades. I shouldn’t have to say this, but, never put your hands into the blade area to liberate packed snow. In the city, there are other problems associated with snow-blowers. Where do you store it? Many houses don’t have garages, or have small garages (not big enough for the blower and the car.) Then, there is maintenance, gas.

snow.streetSo, if you can’t shovel, maybe you snow blow. If you can’t snow blow, you have to find someone to do it for you. There is a feeling of frustration or helplessness that comes over people who can’t clear themselves out. The sense of being stuck until help arrives grates on autonomy. Finding reliable help is hard. The teenagers who enjoyed it in December are not coming around anymore. The plow companies are road-weary.

What about healthy, able people who choose not to shovel? I have a growing number of clients who set up contracts with plowing companies every autumn because they have better things to do than shovel snow. Some are working responsible jobs that demand long hours. Some think that their non-work time is better spent with their friends and family. Some think it is more economical to pay for shoveling service instead of paying for chiropractic care.

Is it lazy or irresponsible to not shovel your own walk? Is it like not cleaning your own house or not cooking your own meals?



Leave a Reply