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Letters: Nemo And Geezers

Late evening February 8, through early morning of February 9, on the heels of Sandy, another giant weather pattern was pushing a blizzard our way. Hello Nemo. Three feet of snow churning east to west at speeds from 40 to 60 mph and we were in its path. Roughly the same pattern as Sandy but not as ferocious.

A few flurries on Friday were the overture. The curtain went up a bit after sundown at King Kullen and Whole Foods. A heavy snow opened the gates about 8 p.m. Our nightlight was on in the wee hours so we’d know whether or not the power was still there. No trees down, but steady blasts of heavy snow were charging from the east.

At 7 a.m., the storm had passed and I was out in the driveway putting the shovel to work on our long, but straight driveway of heavily packed snow, not more than a foot deep. “Ha! I can handle that.” I pushed my shovel straight down the center to the street, and then started back on the left side swinging a shovel full onto the lawn in one motion. Another step and repeat, all the way to the garage. Then walk back to the road and start the next step closer to the Belgian block trim, I visualized the plan … when that side is clean, I’ll repeat the same step and swing until the whole driveway is clean. Both sides. Like IBM. It’s slow but rhythmical and not a heavy burden on the old ticker. I was making headway. Then “GRGRGRGRGR… it was the snow blower from Dave’s house next door. Brian, their 6-foot teenager, got me to unblock the driveway and let him in to help. A 91-year old geezer has no authority anymore, and this was a wet heavy snow. Brian cleared the top 12 of the 13 inches on the driveway. He shot it all onto the lawn and side garden. I wasn’t aiming to heave that far. “Thanks Brian” and a high five. He knew I was thankful. Getting the last inch of snow off the asphalt driveway and slate path was a snap.

A few minutes later, a plow came down our side of the road leaving a 2-ft. by 3-foot wide embankment of icy slush across the driveway. I was a few shovels into it when Rob, from across the road, had dead aim with his blower where I was digging. He did a great job clearing out the whole slushy wall the one plow left. There was only an inch coating of splotchy wet snow left to move the mess off the cobblestone apron. I went after it the IBM way. Exercising in moderation is good for old geezers. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” One thousand steps around the first floor with Siegie almost every day has kept us in the ball game this far. “Use it or lose it” is the phrase that pays.

Bob Lubbers