Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The value of the snow shovel January 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

WE MINNESOTANS VALUE our snow shovels, an essential tool to clear our driveways and sidewalks of the never-ending snow.

A snow shovel at the ready at St. Luke's Church, Faribault.

A snow shovel at the ready at St. Luke’s Church.

When I recently photographed a snow shovel inside the entry to St. Luke’s Church, Faribault, I wondered how many times I’d snapped images that include shovels. So I searched my files and selected a few to show you.

My little neighbor boy shoveling the driveway in February 2013.

My neighbor boy shoveling the driveway in February 2013. We start ’em shoveling young here in Minnesota.

My neighbor across the street shovels snow Saturday morning.

Shoveling snow at the same house during a December 2010 blizzard.

My husband shovels the end of the sidewalk while our neighbor works toward him with the snowblower. What a great neighbor.

My husband shovels the end of the sidewalk while our neighbor works toward him with the snowblower following a December 2010 blizzard that dumped 1 1/2 feet of snow on Faribault. We have two snow shovels, a scoop shovel and a snowblower to handle snow removal at our house and a neighbor’s place.

Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church in Faribault is prepared with a trio of snow shovels.

Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church in Faribault is prepared with a trio of snow shovels.

My husband shovels snow from our Minnesota backyard patio a year ago.

My spouse shovels snow from our backyard patio in March 2011. Most of that snow was shoveled from the house and garage roofs earlier in the season to prevent ice dams and to reduce the weight of deep snow on the roofs.

What would we do without our snow shovels?

Tell me, if you live in a snowy region, what’s in your snow removal artillery?

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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22 Responses to “The value of the snow shovel”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    We only have shovels. We keep debating a snowblower but haven’t taken the plunge yet. I have adopted the “not going to worry about it” attitude this year. The driveway always gets plowed and I get to the sidewalks when I get to them. If the city wants to clear them I will gladly pay them. I wish we lived in a bigger place at times where i could Craigslist it—-our Craigslist is somewhat lacking but I know in a bigger place it would be easy to find someone to do it when I needed.

    • Hmmmm, I bet there are lots of snowplowers who would gladly clear your walk and driveway. Just a matter of finding someone who knows someone who is reliable and good.

      Clearing our sidewalk is usually top priority given the high volume of pedestrian traffic past our house. I tell you, yesterday I got mighty cold shoveling two driveways plus sidewalks past our house and the neighbor’s place. Part way through the task, I stepped inside to warm myself.

      At least no snow to shovel today which is good given the -30-something windchill. School is starting two hours late and many schools are closed.

  2. cecilia Says:

    A big red truck!? and snow shoes! the wind just keeps blowing it back.. we have snow shovels too, mine is smaller, so i can get more done, but this years snow is light and fluffy so far!.. COLD audrey.. too cold.. c

    • Oh, yes, on a farm you need something more substantial than shovels. I can only imagine how the prairie wind plugs your drive and yard not longer after you’ve cleared the snow.

      I, too, am thankful that the snow has been light, making removal easier. But that also means the wind can whip the snow causing white-out and blizzard conditions, especially in the western parts of Minnesota.

      Too cold is absolutely, spot-on correct. At least I don’t need to venture out and do chores like you. Stay warm, C.

  3. Use to have a snow blower and then moved out West – do not own a lawn mower either – no grass to maintain. Plenty of shovels, brooms, rakes, pick axes, hoes, etc. though. I think there are 2 if not 3 snow shovels in the garage right now. The weather here does not know it is Winter and has been in the 50’s. Happy Thursday:)

  4. Colin prefers a grain shovel too, as Randy is holding in that last shot – not sure why!

    • The grain/scoop shovel was all we used for years. It works great for scooping that hard-packed snow at the end of the sidewalk and drive or shoveling away deep snow. The snow tends to slide off the other shovels because they are designed more for pushing snow than lifting it. The metal shovel helps remove snow to bare pavement of cement, something the plastic one won’t do. So each works in a unique way.

      When the snow is really deep, Randy digs out the snowblower, which is ancient and bulky and breaks down far too often.

  5. Ah ha – I see a collection forming 🙂

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    I don’t own a snow shovel and I’ve never shovelled snow so I have no images to show you in return! I love the image of the young boy across the road starting young with shovelling xx

  7. Marilyn Says:

    You ask the rhetorical question: What would we do without our snow shovels? My answer: A great deal of much more interesting, edifying, and fun stuff! Sadly (yes there is always the obverse side to every coin) it also means escaping to a climate that makes me sweat. I think about this dilemma almost every day. It is not a true phobia, but I sure don’t like the feel of wet sweaty skin!

  8. treadlemusic Says:

    My DH!!!!!!!!! ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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