Saturday, January 3, 2009


In the month of December, farmers removed the snow from their driveways with tractors while city folks used snow blowers. The city of Fargo used plows and graters to move the snow off the streets. Businesses had private snow removal business clearing parking lots and banking the snow on the parameter of lots; a mountainous pile which may be there until spring.

In the early part of the month, people complained their machines didn't work. Obviously the blowers weren't serviced before the first big snow fall. Hardware stores were out of snow shovels early. Odd, isn't it? We know this is snow country. Does JQ Public think there will be no snow? Maybe these are the same people that forget Christmas is December 25.

When living on the farm, Daddy plowed the circle drive on the south side of the house, a bucket width to the out buildings, and the road to the highway. The only hand shoveling was in front of the barn door to get the tractor out and a short sidewalk from the back door of the house to the curb. Snow piled as high as the scoop on the tractor would extend. The front door was drifted in, as well as the patio area.

What about our grandparents living in the country? What and how did they shovel in the Rosewood community? We know that Pete Mellem ran the grater, the roads were open. Did Benhard shovel a path to the outhouse? Did he made a path to the barn? Or was that building I remember not a barn anymore but just a crumbling red building?

What about my children's grand parents who lived in Rosewood. The detached garage sat to the west of the house and appeared to be lower elevation than the house. Was this hand shoveled? Did Lloyd have a tractor with a blade or scoop? Did anyone help him shovel? Was "pig tail avenue" as Shirley calls it, graded/bladed/cleaned so the kids could walk to Rosebank? If so, who did it? Did the Anderson kids wear snow shoes to school? Did they cross country ski to get there?

Daughter lives between two mountain ranges in Utah. Both appear to offer lots of snow which seems like all of it lands on her car, her driveway, and the streets she drives to take her daughter to school and then on to work. Who does her shoveling?

For the single women on our street, there are 'snow guys'. If Tom isn't attending to their sidewalks and driveways, the former postal worker across the street is. If not the two of them, a man in a Bobcat is clearing and depositing the snow on the berms. Bobcat man piles his snow in someone elses yard, if caught, he will be fined.

Papers in the snow belt are reminding their readers the walks must be shoveled, if not, the city will do it and charge the home owner. A retired man to the west of us posted a sign near his sidewalk, THIS SIDEWALK IS CLOSED UNTIL SPRING. His neighbors with snowblowers, shovels, and Bobcats keep it open.

If we continue to have vast amounts of snow, we, as home owners wonder where we will put it. In 1996-97, Fargo had 117 inches of snow. The average snow fall is 41 inches a year; we had 33.5 inches in December this year. In 1996-97, the driveway was narrower and the apron in front of the two car garage was smaller. The plan is to blow as much snow as possible off the apron, keeping the three stalls in the garage available. If we run out of room we can hire to have the snow hauled off or pile the snow on the east side of the apron and not use the third garage stall. There has to be a plan.

With a break in the snow fall, the city is removing the snow from the berms. Across the street is the fire hydrant. Posted high on a steel pole is a little fire hydrant sign. This is the first year the actual hydrant has been covered. Not because of the snow fall, rather due to the plows clearing the street.

We have our walk and the sidewalk clean for the mailman, paper boy, and the few walkers. There is no concrete showing, we won't see the actual street until February thaw or spring.

We are in compliance. We have our path to where.


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