February 14, 2014

The Joy Of Complaining

The Joy Of Complaining
By John R. Greenwood

Here is a tale of woe I felt needed to be told. Since everyone from Atlanta, Georgia to Watertown, New York has at least one tale of woe to tell this winter I thought it might be fun to express my thoughts on the subject of snow removal. I, like most men love to bitch about snow removal and all the problems that come with the white stuff. We hold our backs and whine every time we come in from snow-blowing, snowplowing, or old fashioned shoveling. 

We always add a little more to it than is necessary. We knock the snow off our boots with a little more intensity just to make the snow sound deeper than it really is. We huff and sigh, making sure our wives are within listening distance. We cock our ear to the side, listening, hoping to elicit a sympathetic sentence or two about how cold or tired we must be. If we're lucky there might even be a fresh cup of coffee or hot chocolate waiting at the kitchen table. Let's just say, whenever there is more than three inches of snow, we like to, "Play it up a little". Now my male counterparts will be angry at me for sharing this long kept secret but I'm all about honesty, it comes with the name John. I have no choice but to tell the truth and the truth is, we love it. We love playing in the snow. We can't get away with making snowmen after the age of thirteen so we have to resort to snow-removal to get our winter playtime in. As much as we wince at any snow predictions that exceed 6"-8"-- it's all just an act. We get an adrenaline rush when were hear anything nearing a foot or more. 

No matter how bundled up we get or how loud we whimper--we are little boys inside and we can't wait to step out the back door into the white depths of a winter storm. Anything above the knee adds credence to our stories about what we encountered while we were, "digging out". I have added some photos to this piece as proof to how much we love the fight between man and snow. Every snowbank we create with a shovel, plow, or Toro is another snowman or snow-fort from our past. Although advanced age and achy bones make it a little easier to fake snow-regrets, deep down beneath the hooded sweatshirt and wool hat lies an old man in boys clothes. A childhood joy of snowball fights with the kids next door lives just under the surface of each one of us. So to all you guys out there who are ready to add a bucket-loader full of embellishment to your storm woes, I just let the cat out of the bag, I couldn't keep silent any longer. It's all that Fox News talk about political transparency that has me a little skittish about complaining anymore. I guess I felt it was time to come clean. 


  1. I am so glad that you explained this to us and it makes perfect sense to me now. My husband is 80 years old and had quadruple bypass surgery a year ago and also had a pacemaker put in his chest. He loves his snowblower and can't wait to get outside. I cannot talk him out of doing this since I can do this job as well. Enjoy your snow.

    1. The story had to be told. As for enjoying it, I've had enough fun for one day.

  2. After two days of relentless snowfall my pastor came with his son to dig out the front part of my house including my two ramps. So far nothing has been done to the back deck and ramps. I am in Virginia where snow is supposed to be a rare event.