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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Hitting The Wall

Blizzard_2 1-24-16 0030The good news? I finally took a shower.

The bad news? I am starting to forget where I hid some of the best snacks way back on Friday when visions of being snowed-in still danced in our heads.

The Kit Kats are MIA. Since the National Guard is all tied up, the fear that I’m alone in this crisis is real. The kids may be in it with me but they are firmly in the “who can forget where the chocolate is?” camp and unwilling to cross into enemy territory to assist.

For those who know me well, the missing chocolate can only mean one thing…

I’ve hit the wall.

The downward spiral began when I tried to walk the dog yesterday, Sunday. We were trapped again. The path to the street had been covered by the plow overnight and was too high for me to scale with the dog. The street corners that bookend my block were piled high with at least 4 ft of snow. So, I was left to trot the dog down three houses and back six times.

It also meant that I was left to shovel. For those that know me well, they know that mama doesn’t shovel. I hate shoveling. God gave me three strong boys so I would never have to shovel again. I’m not even good at it when I try.

But, Snowmaggaden-pocolypse-zilla calls for extremes measures.

After a pitiful 30 minutes of shoveling, I was exhausted. The snow was hard and heavy and mocking me. I had, however, cleared a path to the street. I couldn’t wait to go back inside and brag about my accomplishments while everyone else slumbered.

No one cared. Everyone in my house had been shoveling for two days straight making me a second-rate substitute.

Damn, where was that chocolate?

As it turned out, that would be only the beginning of my shoveling odyssey. Stiles Shoveling, Inc. was taking on water. We had more clients than we could handle and the sheer amount of snow meant some clients didn’t even get a first pass on Saturday.

Clearly, the CEO and publicity manager– my husband and I—were going to have to bail water too in an all hands on deck day.

The upside was the beautiful weather. We all shoveled without coats and the boys had on shorts under their snow pants. It almost made all that treacherous work bearable. Until you stopped that is.

Forget spin class. Forget Crossfit. Forget boot camp or the Barre Method. Snow is nature’s workout baby. Holy cow.

After shoveling out our driveway, I moved onto the client at the end of our alley and worked on his driveway. Four solid hours of shoveling with one break to cook lunch for everyone, and my core was on fire. And my shoulders, biceps, lower back, quads and hamstrings.

When you are vertically challenged, the energy it takes to toss that snow on top of the growing pile is monumental.

Short and old is no way to go through a blizzard.

I believe your AARP card should be the equivalent of the Get out of Jail Free card in Monopoly but replace “Jail” with “Shoveling.”

I retired from the crew and hobbled back to my normal snow duties in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what I was cooking for everyone else, but this girl was downing Advil pronto.

When I raised my arms to shampoo my hair a few minutes later, I’m sure a tear ran down my cheek as my muscles burned.

Note to Orange Theory Fitness: Institute shoveling classes immediately. Guaranteed full body work out and results. Low equipment costs and overhead.

I was again mesmerized by the snow amassed on my deck. It looked so beautiful and shimmery you could almost overlook the fact that the sheer height of it obscured the latch on the gate and the weight of it might just collapse the entire thing.

By 9 pm, I was toast. We had walked the dog into town to see what was open and assess the roads. I had cooked, cleaned, showered and shoveled.

I was feeling a true sense of accomplishment. I deserved a reward. If only I could find those Kit Kats.

Tomorrow’s blog covers the reality that my Yukon may be trapped in my garage forever. Will I ever carpool again?

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Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.


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