When I was going to start first grade my family moved from Korea to Alaska. The school was close enough to my home that I would walk to school every day (including when it reached -60 degrees out, I was just bundled up to a point that I could hardly move).
The first winter there we also happened to have record snowfall. It was crazy. People had to come shovel your ROOF for fear that the weight of the snow might cause damage. That’s a lot of snow.
Every school day I followed the same path. I’d go out our front door, cut across a field and then be on a sidewalk until I had to cross the street directly across from the school.
After the initial big snowfall I walked to school happy and charmed by the snow. Stomping along happily through the snow and taking it all in. This was a mistake. Because then more snow came along, and more snow, and more snow. The snow was deep enough that trying to walk through it would lead to thighs of steel, and/or a boot lost when your leg sinks into the deep snow and you wiggle your leg around until it finally pops out but whoops … no boot. This meant every day that winter was a reminder – I took some awfully big, goofy steps that first snowy day! By tracing the same steps every day I was able to keep cutting across the field, and avoid sinking into the snow. But unfortunately, my steps were hard to follow.
The next winter I had learned my lesson. After the first big snowfall I didn’t lift my feet at all, shuffling through the snow all the way to school. I created a nice, easily walkable path across that field.
This winter, confronted by snow again, I have also made some slight improvements.
I shovel the front porch because otherwise ice is liable to form there, and it’s no fun to walk on snow or ice in your slippers. With a clear porch I can let the dog out in slippers no problem.
And I shovel a bit of the grass because our dog is a dope, and she will wander aimlessly for a while if she sees no grass to pee on. Eventually she gives up and picks a random spot. But it’s easier if I have what I affectionately refer to as the ‘pee patch.’ If this spring that grass is dead, I’ll know the dog is overdue for a visit to the vet.