Why I Drove 450 Miles For A Shovel

by Patrick on January 2, 2010



Remember that snowstorm we had two weeks ago?

It was quite the the snowpocalypse and it was the buzz amongst my local blogger friends.

Earlier this year President Obama said that we needed, “to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town” when it came to how the area handles it’s weather. As a native of New England I saw big snow storms every year, and I too considered DC’s response to snow to be very apocalyptic.

News of snow often causes alarm no matter where you live, but from my experience living here an inch or two of snow would be enough to have schools close and the city to shut down. So imagine the frenzy that a foot or two would cause. On the eve of the snowfall everyone flocked to the supermarket to stock up on bread, milk, booze, and about a week’s worth of food to last them through a day of snow. I wouldn’t be surprised if these same people proceeded to board up their windows and started to boil water because it just sounded like the right thing to do.

I wasn’t afraid. That night I went out to Alexandria to see Dog Sees God over a the Little Theatre of Alexandria. After the show I walked out to my car and it was covered with a god amount of snow. Nothing my snow brush couldn’t handle. Big fat flakes fell from the sky as I cruised down the GW Parkway back to my place.


I love my roommates.

When I woke up the next morning I looked out the window and it was a glorious sight of snow. It really reminded me of being back at home in Massachusetts. I ran downstairs like it was Christmas morning and I saw that Caroline was already outside trying to take care of the snow… with a rake.

That’s when I realized that even though I turned my nose at buying extra groceries, I forgot the fact that our new place didn’t have a snow shovel. I mentally placed it on my shopping list for the day after and proceeded to spend the day indoors. That night I put on my boots and ventured out to prove to the world I wasn’t going to let a few inches of snow keep me down.

I grabbed dinner at the only place that was open- Endo Sushi on Washington Blvd. I then proceeded to grab the Metro, or what little was still running and meet up with Maxie and JerzeyGrrl at Rosa Mexicano in Chinatown. We later ventured to Fado and I was able to make it back to Clarendon without too much trouble. Take that snow!

I didn’t realize snow would have the last laugh the next morning when I tried to dig my car up to go shopping. I had a compact shovel in my trunk from my days at Fitchburg State- but it wasn’t as efficient as if I had the real thing. At least I had something that resembled a shovel- my friend Mike used a mixing bowl to dig out his car in Bowie.

Well after digging out my car I drove down to Home Depot to solve this problem, I was eager to grab one and finish digging out my sidewalk and front steps.

I arrived to Home Depot and saw nothing but empty shelves that used to hold shovels. They were fresh out of any kind of shovel, much like every other hardware store I called in the area. Without a shovel I just let the snow around my house hang around, thinking that maybe it would just melt away. Of course freezing temperatures prevented anything like that form happening. There was a good six inches still frozen around my home when I left for Massachusetts.

I drove home the day before Christmas Eve and 12 hours and 450 miles later I walked into a Wal-Mart in Hudson, NH. There were shovels everywhere: hung up on walls, stocked up on shelves, there was even a small rack of them by the registers.

Everywhere I shopped that weekend there were shovels, because unlike Washingtonians- flinty New Englanders already owned 3-4 shovels.

So I bought a red shovel and tossed it into my trunk, excited to use it when I would return back to Arlington after Christmas.

The Sunday after Christmas after 12 more hours and 450 miles I pull into my place on Highland street… and see that all the snow has melted.

Despite a major snow storm, winters down here haven’t changed. It’ll snow once or twice, everybody freaks out, and anything that accumulates is gone a week later.

What did you think about DC’s snow storm? Were you prepared for the weather?

  • Reid

    Should’ve called me… we have 5 or 6 shovels and a small snowblower at my house.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      5 Shovels! You must have a big place.

  • http://www.ihatesomuch.com Maxie

    I don’t even own boots. We just use snowshoes in the mountains.
    .-= Maxie´s last blog ..I will never top my title from two days ago, so why do I even try? =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      You mean like tennis rackets attached to your feet? Hot.

  • http://www.photo-cyn-thesis.blogspot.com Cyndy

    We had shovels. We had to dig out of one place and into another. Four hours at each place. Fortunately the snow wasn’t too wet and heavy.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      Yikes- it only took me an hour with my car shovel.

  • http://blog.michaelcrane.net Mike

    Pittsburgh seems to have the same reaction as well, every year. Everybody freaks out for the first storm, then just complains until March. Although from what I’ve been reading, we at least seem to have better snow removal on our roads, even if it has been lacking this year.

    Happy new year!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..On a side note, ever notice how we never try to save the really ugly animals? =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      I wouldn’t expect a place like Pittsburgh to still be covered in snow a few days after the storm- like DC still was.

  • Carrie

    Yeah I drove home to Richmond a week after the storm and still got my car stuck on ice on my driveway (there’s a hill). We here in VA/DC do not know how to deal with any sort of snow accumulation.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      I just heard some schools delayed opening today- don’t tell me it’s because of the winds.

  • http://capslove.wordpress.com Dazey2

    Ah, the wonders of not actually owning a car! I thought the use of a large bowl was a clever make-shift shovel idea though! At college when nobody had a shovel, we used the dining hall trays which as many people know, also double as sleds!
    .-= Dazey2´s last blog ..Welcome To The Tweens =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      Oh dining hall trays. Somebody back home from college asked me if I knew where I could get some.

  • http://flipflopsintherain.wordpress.com flipflopsintherain

    i was sooooo not prepared. that’s my karma for mocking everyone’s fear.
    .-= flipflopsintherain´s last blog ..flippy through the years =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      Karma is a bitch. I’m sorry you had to trek it when you were so close to my place.

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