Kids Shoveling Snow
It was the day after a blizzard – time to make some scratch.
Just after breakfast, the gang received the relay call. Bundled up and raring to go, we hit the streets with our shovels. Door-to-door, we knocked out driveway after driveway at about five to ten bucks a pop.
We headed back to my house for warmth and lunch. On the way, we crossed paths with the competition. A snowball fight ensued.
The doorway pooled with the melted, dark, gray slush from our boots. Our socks hung in front of every heater we had in the kitchen, dining and family room. Grilled cheese and hot cocoa never tasted better.
Recuperated, we trudged out into the great white again, shovels over shoulders.
“No-no-no-YES-no-no-no thanks,” pretty much summed up the afternoon.
It was approaching dinner time and we were determined to get one more “yes” before calling it a day …and before frost-bite set-in.
We ventured down a street we normally didn’t travel on and found a nice long driveway still buried in fluff that was almost waist-high. This was a ten dollar job. The house was behind the garage, a peculiar set-up. A middle-aged woman opened the door. She gave us the creeps. Age had not been kind to her. But, she smiled, strangely, and said we could shovel her drive. We set the price and went to work.
This job nearly killed us. It was the deepest snow of the day because of a drift. It was also the tail end of our grueling labors. We were tired, aching and oh so cold! It was difficult to feel our fingers and toes. We were anxious to finish.
The apron of the driveway was particularly tough. The snow there was higher than the rest. Actually, it was more of a hardened sludge, compliments of the snow plow. We muscled our way through and collapsed on our backs when we finished.
It was time to get paid and go home. We were whipped but smiling.
We went around the garage to the front of the house. It took some determined knocking before the woman finally came to the door. She seemed angry at our incessant pounding, but we weren’t going anywhere, we knew she was home. In short, she snarled that she didn’t know who the hell we were or what we were talking about.
All of the pleading in the world wasn’t going to change things. We got ripped off.
Defeated, we backed off the porch and down the steps. The door slammed and we heard a cackle inside. She sounded like a witch.
We rounded the garage and saw the streetlight illuminate a perfectly shoveled drive. Then, out of the blue, we mustered an unexpected energy. Justice had to be served. Dinner was calling and we weren’t coming. We had more work to do. For some reason, cold and fatigue were gone. We buried that driveway in the snow that we had previously removed and then added more snow from elsewhere. This wasn’t your fresh fallen snow, it was packed!
Days later, even the competition couldn’t chisel away our concrete-like concoction.
By Rocco Satullo, author of a memoir and novel