i only slept 3 hours last night, maybe too excited about the snowstorm arriving today. i woke up at 9am so i could make it to belmont before it started snowing. this was important to me because i wanted to set up my camera so i could take a snowstorm timelapse video. i left the house by around 10am, taking the 73 bus out of harvard square. by the time i was walking from the bus stop to my parents' house, it already started to snow.
what's unusual about this snowstorm was how cold it was, with temperature in the low 20's. it felt even colder with the biting winds that blew the very light snow around. we were still making some last minute preparations, with me storing some stray items from the backyard into the garage and my father trying to start the two-stage snowblower. we didn't use it at all last winter as we didn't get very much snow, so we weren't sure if it'd even start. after several unsuccessful attempts, a neighbor walking his dog suggested we prime it a lot, which seemed to do the trick. the engine started, a smoky smelly loud affair, but the snowblower was operational.
around 3:20pm my father and i went to the cafe. partly to pick up some ingredients for dinner, but also to get a headstart on the shoveling while there was some daylight instead of letting it pile up all the way into the evening. the accumulation wasn't too bad, and although people had already walked on the sidewalk, it was light enough that it'd either blow away or wasn't much of an obstacle. nevertheless, there was enough to plow. i went with my father to start the one-stage snowblower we have in storage in my grand uncle's backyard shed.
although the snow was light enough that i could've hand-shoveled it all, it was much easier and faster with the snowblower. i pushed the blower for a bit while my father went to go check on my grand uncle, and he took over again when he returned. we returned to belmont by 4:30pm, where my father pushed the larger snowblower from the garage and cleared our sidewalk as well as our next door neighbor's. he actually came out to thank us.
for dinner we had chongqing-style sauerkraut fish mixed with rice. we used a little swan brand sauce packet that i brought back from changshou, have to use it before it expires. the package didn't come with very much chinese sauerkraut, but fortunately we had some of our own to perfect the flavor (the homemade sauerkraut had the perfect amount of sourness). my mother also cooked up some squid with chive flower stems.
a bit after 7pm my father and i went back to the cafe to do some more shoveling and to give my 2nd aunt a ride home so she wouldn't have to walk in the snowstorm. the snow removal we did a few hours earlier cleared enough of it so that the rest that fell since then simply blew away. there was no reason to plow again. i did shovel the steps to my grand uncle's place. after dropping off my aunt, my father gave me a ride back to my place.
steve and paul still weren't home because the sidewalk and the front porch hadn't been shoveled yet. honestly, even if they were home, it wouldn't surprise me if they still didn't shovel, or just haphazardly shovel the sidewalk (scratching up the front steps with a damaged shovel) before moving on to cleaning their 2 cars. but i have a confession to make: i enjoy shoveling snow. it lets me feel a oneness with winter, and affords me some much needed exercise. i also like lauding over the fact that i do all this shoveling while my upstairs neighbors cower in their room, that feeling of moral superiority.
i started on the steps first, then did the sidewalk, before carving a path into the backyard and shoveling the backyard. as if that wasn't enough, i also dug out that all-important convenience path from the sidewalk to the street so many people seem to forget. afterwards i sent freddy some snow photos (he'd wanted to see snow during his november stay). he sent me a photo of sunny bogota, where they never get snow.