i was hoping that the forecast of heavy rain after a bit of snow would've cleared away enough precipitation that i didn't have to shovel today. but my mother called me at 10:40am (actually 9:40am since up until yesterday we were still under standard time) saying that my father was coming to pick me up to do some shoveling. i looked out the window and sure enough the landscape was blanketed in white. i went out to clear my sidewalk in the brief amount of time that i had and i ended up cleaning everything, as there was about an inch of wet snow at most, easy to shovel.
with the change to rain and above freezing temperature for the next 36 hours, we really didn't have to shovel since the snow would turn to slush and melt away by tomorrow. but my father also wanted to replace the paddles on the toro snowblower with the crescent wrenches i brought, so that was another reason why we were up this sunday. the paddles ended up taking far longer to install, with very hard to reach screws that required additional tools we were missing (needle nose pliers, straight-on hex wrench) and a two-person job that required one person to press the rubber paddle and screw in place while another turned the nut. after we attached one paddle, i went out to do some shoveling. by then it had already transitioned to rain. i made fairly quick work of the slush, and the restaurant people had already cleared the area around their entrance, so i didn't have to do that.
back inside the cafe, i helped my father attached the other rubber paddle. one of the holes was too small and he was trying to make it bigger with a knife. in the process he'd knocked over a can of white pepper powder and was cleaning that up. he had also filed the plastic scraper underneath the snowblower (really should be replaced, but in the meantime filed down so the burrs won't scrape against the new paddles). the final screw (on the bottom right most corner of the paddle) was so difficult to get in that we both nearly gave up. the sidewalk had already been shoveled, our work was pretty much done. that's when we found a straight-on hex wrench to replace the small L-shaped wrench we'd been using but couldn't get any leverage. with that we were finally able to install that last screw.
pushing the snowblower back into the tool shed behind my sister's place, my father fired up the toro to clear a portion of sidewalk and my sister's backyard. by that point the rain was falling pretty heavily, approaching a downpour. only then did my sister finally come out. she didn't even clear her steps, which i ended up doing. we finally left by 1pm, dropping my sister off in harvard square while we took her dog back home to belmont.
our worked continued in belmont, where we first cleared the sidewalk and driveway, before moving on back to clean the snow off of the solar panels. it wasn't difficult, the rain had "greased" the panels and gentle pushes was all that was needed to brush off the snow that was already fall on its own. it took about 20 minutes. afterwards we went inside, my jacket layers completely soaked as well as my gloves.
i had some leftover beef stew with noodles for lunch. while my mother watched some bottom-of-the-barrow british crime drama on amazon prime, i was surfing the web and snacking on pretzel rods, dried prunes, dried figs, shelled hazelnuts, and pomegranate seltzer.
around 5:40pm my father left for the airport to pick up my sister's godmother returning from taiwan. my mother made dinner and we ate first. when my father finally came back by 7:30pm, he ate dinner before giving me a ride back to cambridge.
sandy was in the living room working on her laptop with the television off, kelvin on videochat on her ipad. they stayed connected to nearly 9pm, occasionally chattering noisily, other times saying nothing at all, while i watched television and surfed on my laptop after a shower. just 4 more weeks left before *they* leaves!
i really feel like this is the last snowstorm of the season. all next week the daytime temperatures will be in the 40's 50's 60's, and the official start of spring will be in 10 more days. i haven't even started with my indoor seedlings but i should get those started soon.