Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow business and frugal forecasts

Saturday, the blizzard howled around our home while we watched Blacklist and Madame Secretary.

Overnight, the clouds parted and the nearly full moon shone down, making everything shine.

Early Sunday morning, I woke up with the sun and shoveled a path down the driveway to the street.  We have a garage out back, where our car gets to sit safely sheltered from the storm.  So the front driveway, I cleared just enough for pedestrian traffic.
A walkway from my front door toward the street,
in the early morning light.

The boys, I woke them just before 8 and sent them out to shovel -- not only a walkway for our home, but also driveways of three of our neighbors.  These neighbors, they paid the boys big bucks.  There's no business like snow business!
N-son walks down the sidewalk with his shovel,
on his way to helping a neighbor.
It's true there was a lot of snow for the boys to clear.  A lot.  The boys, they didn't finish shoveling until 3:30.  Aches and pains.   Some cold feet.

Not to mention, sore backs from throwing snow onto higher and higher mounds of snow business.

While the boys made piles of money busting their backs shoveling other people's snow, I got to sit back and be all "yay, me" while I enjoyed the fruits of frugality.   To wit,
  • Because we're down to owning only one car (that we keep in the garage out back), we could get away with shoveling a mere walkway in the front driveway.   Even that one walkway took an hour or more of work -- this was a LOT of snow.  We have the luxury of minimal shoveling at our own home, thanks to our minimal car ownership.
  • In fact, because we only own one car now, we offered up the other half of our garage to a friend whose New York lifestyle makes owning multiple cars difficult (but she owns them anyway).  As a result, my husband gets to drive around a sporty little rag top Miata this winter -- when it's not snowing, that is.
  • The basement is chock-full of food that I bulk-purchased or canned this summer.  No last-minute grocery runs necessary.  We've been feasting on home-made bread, waffles, hot soup.  Ymmmm.
  • The insulation and new gas furnace we installed in 2009 and 2012 cost a lot of money, but what those past costs mean nowadays is that from now on, our home is way more energy efficient and comfy than before.  Pre those upgrades, we spent $3800/year on heating oil and cooking gas; last year, we spent less than $700.  All this snow is just a reminder to me about how happy and comfy I am in this home; the blizzard was a little gift of gratitude.

Okay, maybe it was a big gift of gratitude, three feet deep and fairly chilly.  But what a lot of fun!

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