1. I shuffled down to the management office of our apartment complex and the guy working the desk acted as if he'd just scored tickets to see a Led Zeppelin reunion concert when I asked him if a shovel were available to dig my car out of the white ridges of Jonas. "Yes! We're here to help!" he exclaimed as he grabbed me a snow shovel, asked for my driver's license, and told me that last year when they didn't ask for some kind of collateral, they lost a dozen shovels. I wondered if that was why our rent went up in October, but didn't say anything. I have to admit: his excitement at issuing me a snow shovel was contagious. I nearly sprinted down to the Sube to dig it out.
2. I was, however, wary about digging out the Sube. My Twitter feed had featured about eight different posts from local newspapers and television stations, each reporting the plight of yet another Maryland man who died of a heart attack shoveling snow. Luckily, last April, I had tests done on my heart as part of being listed for a kidney transplant, and the doctor praised the strength of my ticker. So, I decided I would not shovel snow like the young man I once was at 516 W. Cameron, Kellogg, Idaho when I could feverishly clear the sidewalks and driveway in no time flat. No, I decided, I would shovel with the temperance of a wise and aging sixty-two year old. I would take breaks. I would hydrate. I mean, the very mayor of Baltimore herself had tweeted out advice for snow shovelers, telling us it was an aerobic workout and to hydrate and not overdo it. I loved watching The Wire, so I decided to heed Mayor Rawlings-Blake's advice.
After I dug for about an hour, took about a half an hour break and drank a bunch of water, I started shoveling again and Keegan came downstairs into the parking lot with a shovel and I figured he was going to go dig himself out, but, NO!, he simply said, "Two hands are better than one!" and helped me finish the job. I was so grateful that I didn't correct him and tell him that actually I was digging with two hands and he should have said four hands are better than two* and, before too long, the Sube was ready for the Deke and me to pile in it and head off wherever we wanted to go.
Which was nowhere.
We just stayed home.
*I'm kidding. I didn't think of this smart alecky comment until I started writing this post. I mean....
3. So, my digging done and the shovel returned and my driver's license back in my wallet, I poured myself our last bottle of Ommegang's Lovely, Dark, and Deep, spiked it with a splash of brandy, and while I was relaxing, two of the cheery college-aged students who live above us tramped out into the snow outside our apartment home and went to work building an endearing snow figure and, after dark, I snapped several pictures of it, including this one: