I just finished clearing away the first wave of what is being billed as the biggest winter storm in decades in this area (as well as setting snow records in many other parts of the country). We received 4.5 inches of snow overnight by my measurement, and later this afternoon the main blast should start arriving in Northwest Ohio.
This year I have been blessed by the acquisition of a new snow blower, which my wonderful wife bought for me. After dutifully shoveling snow for approximately four decades in cities like Detroit and Toledo, I suppose I paid my precpitative dues.
I am amazed at what a time saver the snow blower has turned out to be. I cleared three driveways in about one hour this morning (I have two elderly neighbors who patiently endured the many years of noise and hijinks from our children, so I consider this to be a form of penance). With an old-fashioned shovel I estimate the same amount of work would have taken me at least three hours, and this does not include the street clearing I can bring about with the 24" swath of gasoline-powered doom I can wreak on accumulated snow.
Even better, I no longer suffer from the inevitable backaches that accompany snow shoveling. It was almost a foregone conclusion that my snow-clearing efforts would bring on at least moderate back pain, and I can recall a few winters where a steady snowfall over a period of weeks meant non-stop backaches for me.
Thus, I await the worst that Snowmageddon 2011 can send my way. Bring it.