By Tom Morrone, CFP®, CPA
One of my least favorite things to do is shoveling snow. Even when I was younger, much younger, shoveling snow ranked along with having a cavity filled at the dentist. Come to think of it that is about where it still ranks and actually now ranks right around having a colonoscopy. This feeling comes from a cross between the physical excursion and strain on the back and muscles coupled with my hatred with the cold weather.
I am fortunate for many reasons and one of the many is that I hire a contractor to do this heavy lifting of the white stuff that accumulates and covers the driveway and walkway to our house. Though the majority of the work is done by someone else, I still wait for the arrival of the plow truck and "supervise" the job from the window. I am somewhat anal (no surprise) as to how and where the snow is shoveled and piled and want everything just so. Regardless of how good a job is performed, I always seem to go out after the contractor leaves and put my finishing touches on the job.
I would think that most people would just be happy with the snow clean up as done by their contractor and I do not want you to think I am being too picky but it is much easier to go out and do some clean up than to have to do the entire job. Now it is time to whine a little bit about the cold. Of course when I go out I put on the tundra gear from boots, to coat, scarf, hat and gloves. Sometimes there is a hooded sweatshirt in the mix for that extra layer. I would rather be bundled up to a point where it is almost difficult to move around than to be cold. Many times I go through the transition from initially being frigid to working up a sweat. I definitely feel for people that regularly work outside in the elements during the winter months and the toll it must take on the body.
One of my snow removal issues is having a clear path to the mail box. Also another issue is removing all snow near the walkway that could later melt and then freeze to cause ice and creating a slip and fall hazard just waiting to happen. I also tend to widen the path of the entire driveway and neaten everything up so the entire surface is once again available for cars and people. I know, I know, it is crazy but it drives me bonkers when the driveway or walkway has snow on it. It is a good feeling when it is all to my level of satisfaction even though I may have a sore muscle or two in the end.
Another reason for keeping everything free from snow and ice is no longer having the need to spread salt or sand to help make the areas for foot traffic not as slippery. The other issue with the sand and salt is it gets tracked into the house and makes a mess inside. It gets ground into the carpets and can scratch the hardwood floors. It is hard to be me because I worry about the stupidest of things but again that is one of the curses of being so anal.
My apologies for sounding like a baby when it comes to snow but it is what it is. The solution is deal with it and not be such a baby about the snow..........or just go to FL for the winter and out of sight, out of mind. Hmmmmmmm.