My landlord/housemate Stephen went to India a month ago, and my other landlord/housemate Scott joined him last week for a second month. About a week before he left I pointed out to Scott that they were predicting a snowy March, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to deal with the cars they were leaving behind on the street (which need to be dug out and moved a couple of times when a "snow emergency" is declared, and there really isn't any place to put the snow on my crowded city street) -- this on top of the shoveling of the walkways and the path through the backyard (where the drifts are amazing). Without opening up a separate whine with the details, let me just say that my back pretty much can't handle that. Specifically, shoveling lots of heavy snow is the worst, so I take it as slow and easy as possible and dealing with my own car and our front sidewalk is about my limit. Scott, in response, contacted the nice man next door and asked him to help me out with the shoveling in the event of a major snow which, as will become clear, was not quite what I had in mind.
Well we had something of a whopper this weekend, starting in earnest on Saturday afternoon and tapering off on Sunday morning (with small accumulations afterwards). I shoveled the walkways every four hours, and cleared the snow off the three cars, doing this for the last time about midnight on Saturday. On Sunday morning the nice neighbor got up before I did and cleared the sidewalk and walkways of the five inches or so that had fallen during the night, which of course was quite neighborly but in fact five inches of new snow on level surface that I have already cleared several times would not have been much of a problem at all for me. This left me with three cars, buried deep in snow drifts, two of which were close up against a curb which makes for a difficult digging out. Nice neighbor swept the snow off the tops of the cars while I dug and volunteered to help me later in the day if I needed him (he was heading out), which of course is lovely but there was no way, after he had already shoveled for me as he thought he'd been asked, for me to say well, no, actually I can't dig these cars out.
But dig them out I did, with paths on all sides where I'd dug up the heavy snow which I carried around the cars one shovelfull at a time. And then, four hours later, a plow came through the middle of the street (there was close to 10 inches just sitting in the road) and buried all three cars in that heavy wet dirty plowed city street snow. So I dug the cars out again, and I dug out tunnels on both sides and cleared away enough snow from the plowed pile in the street to move the cars if necessary and by the end of that task my arms and back weren't so much hurting as simply giving up. Then I remembered the backyard, where I learned that drifts of two feet or more compact the snow at the bottom into something of amazing density.
Yesterday I was aching -- I still am -- but not in a seriously damaged way (more in a muscle soreness way) and I should be able to dance tonight. I had dug out so well that i was able yesterday evening to move the cars across the street where they can stay put until the next snow emergency.
Now they are predicting another storm, of unknown but possibly great accumulation, starting tomorrow and lasting through Friday. So you'd think my whine would be that I have to do this all over again and maybe this time I won't be so lucky finding parking spaces on the street (that's always a gamble during parking restrictions). You'd think my whine would be about more shoveling when I'm not quite healed enough to do it.
But no. That's nothing compared to this whine.
Because I recently turned 50, it is recommended medical procedure to schedule a colonoscopy. Mine is on Thursday. This involves some really unpleasant advance preparation: Two days of low-fiber diet, an evening of strong laxatives, a day of liquid fast, then an evening taking prescription medication that is designed to mimic a really bad case of food poisoning. Then no water in the morning. Is that too much information? I couldn't figure out how else to summarize. You also have to arrange for transportation to and from the procedure, since you are in no position to drive afterwards. Nor to shovel snow, I imagine.
So I won't be able to shovel on Wednesday night (that's the sickness-night) or Thursday morning (that's the weak and dehydrated morning) and I certainly won't be able to shovel on Thursday evening. Friday morning is the earliest I'll be able to start attacking this snow, which could be icy and wet and sleety and of great accumulation.
If the snow isn't completely blindingly blizzardlike, I might be able to get some of the guys on the Morris team to help out on Thursday night. So is that my whine?
No, my whine is that there now exists the possibility that I won't be able to make it to the appointment on Thursday morning. The appointment is near where I used to work, about 14 miles away. After all the body-abusing unpleasant preparation, this will be just awful. How unpleasant? When I picked up the various Wednesday-night medications at the pharmacy last week, the pharmacist gave me a sympathetic look of great pity and said, sweetly, "Oh, this is not going to be pleasant." Then the woman checking me out said the same thing.
If this is all for naught, I think I have as much justification for whining as one can reasonably have without moving in to the realm of actual tragedy.
UPDATE: The winter storm watch turned into a winter storm warning, including the Twin Cities, with my appointment time smack in the middle of the storm. So I called to postpone and that was ok. I was able to postpone my GI appointment by a week, in time to avoid beginning all the medical preparation (although even two days of no fiber has been odd). Let's hope this solves things...