kevin was already in the kitchen with all the lights on making breakfast by the time i woke up at 9:30am. i knew he showered because there was two wet foot prints on the bathroom carpet and he didn't turn the hot water completely off so it was still dribbling from the shower head. i didn't know what his plans were for today, but when i heard the sounds of his backpack zipper, i knew he was going out. he left by 10:30am, destination unknown, but the fact that he took his laptop meant he was going to the office.
today was a weird day: i had nothing to do but wait until the snowstorm later in the evening, so i could go clean up by around 11pm or so, when it starts to taper off. i had a english muffin sandwich for lunch, washed down with a mug of hot chocolate. it was cold enough that i turned the heat on to 65°F (normally during the i endure a brisk 60°F), and roasted some hazelnuts in the oven while vacuuming the house to warm up.
in the late afternoon i informed my sister of my plan: shovel my own sidewalk around 10:30pm, walk down to the cafe and shovel the sidewalks there, then get a ride to belmont (there was also the option of catching the 75 bus) where i'd spend the night and wake up at sunrise to clean the snow off the solar panels, before finally taking the bus back to cambridge.
kevin came home by 7pm. he mainly kept to himself, but when i caught him in the kitchen while i was making a meatball sub for dinner, i told him that i was going out later tonight to shovel and wouldn't come back until tomorrow morning.
as for the sub, i heated the meatballs (5) on the stovetop, before pouring in tomato sauce. i read the instructions and it said they needed 15-20 minutes of stovetop heating; by that point the tomato sauce had already been cooked dry, so i had to add more. i toasted the sub roll with some provolone cheese in the toaster oven, before adding the meatballs. they get bigger once they're cooked, and i had a hard time fitting the final 5th meatball. i sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top and sliced the sub in half. it was pretty satisfying, crispy bread, gooey cheese, hot savory meatballs. the meatballs did taste a little processed though (maybe the meat was too grounded?), reminded me of school cafeteria lunch. a meatball sub would definitely taste better with handmade meatballs (which aren't that hard to make, but using readymade frozen meatballs saves me time).
when i went out shoveling around 9:40pm, kevin asked if he could help as well. i said okay, even though there was just a little bit of sidewalk to clear. i'm still not exactly sure how much snow experience he has. it definitely snows in his hometown of taiyuan shanxi, and temperature wise it's about the same there as it is here, but the few anecdotes he's given me makes me think it when it does snow, it's not a lot, since taiyuan is landlocked. he said the last time they had a big snowstorm was back when he was in grade school, and judging by the amount he showed me using his hand, it was close to 2ft of snow. as much as i'd like him to experience a real new england blizzard that can dump feet of snow, i also don't want to see that personally, because it'll be a nightmare to clean up (from shoveling to solar panel cleaning). kevin did have a hat and when we went back inside, his hair was covered in snow.
i decided to leave early, at 10pm, in case my sister couldn't give me a ride, there was a bus going to belmont at 11:40pm i'd be able to catch. i gathered up my things and started walking to the cafe. it was still snowing (wouldn't stop until midnight or so), so i carried an umbrella. i wore my columbia interchange jacket which was really warm, but later i'd regretted this decision as i became too hot. i finally arrived at my sister's place around 10:30pm. a snowblower would make quick work of this powdery snow, but because it was so late i was reluctant to use it, so instead i shoveled everything manually by hand.
working my way from my sister's place to the cafe, my sister came out to help me after she cleared portions of her backyard. there wasn't that much snow, maybe 3 inches at most, and even though it was still snowing, the forecast said it would soon taper off. i could've really used the help of the snowblower to clear the long stretch of sidewalk along the edge of the parking lot. it wasn't that the shoveling was hard, it was there was just nowhere to put the snow, so i just pushed it off of the sidewalk. we were debating if the snowplow driver would come later in the evening. the past 2 snowstorms he didn't bother coming because he said there wasn't enough to plow (he doesn't come if it's below 3"); if he still doesn't show up by tomorrow morning, it means i have to come with and use the snowblower to clear the parking lot.
we were finally done by 11:30pm, my sister gave me a ride to belmont. by that point my jacket was already soaked and strands of frozen icicles formed in my hair. once i arrived in belmont, i put down my things and went outside to shovel the sidewalk and driveway then clean the cars. with i also went to the backyard to check the solar panels, they were all snow-covered. i did see rabbit foot prints, not sure how they're getting in, but i'll worry about that some other day. there was a dead mouse in the trap, but because of all the snow i couldn't find a place to bury it so i did a simple snow burial in a remote corner of the yard. i finally finished by 12:30am, with more cleaning tomorrow when i wake up at the crack of dawn to clear the solar panels. i hung up my wet clothes by the radiator, not knowing if the heat will kick in to dry them. it was 60°F in the house, which didn't feel cold at first, but the more i stayed there, the colder i felt, so i decided to go to sleep after doing some computer stuff in the living room.
i took a shower, quickly toweled off, then climbed into bed. my parents use a heated mattress cover but i didn't want to deal with the hassle of figuring out how to use it so i just waited under the covers until i warmed up.