Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoveling Woes

My body was confused.

It was all, “Why are you overworking me?”

I paused and took a deep breath.

Shoveling snow sucks I thought. My heart was thumping unnaturally. I could feel sweat forming on my brow. Gross.

Basically, my body was baffled because I was actually….exercising? Or I was doing something that made it feel like I was exercising.

I stared at my driveway. I still had the other half to shovel.

It sucked.

I got back to work and grunted as I pushed the snow aside. We only got 4 inches but it felt like 40.

I was hunched over, grunting, when I heard someone call my name.

Crap, crap, crap.

It was the lady who lives a few houses down. Why did she look so happy? Didn’t she see all this snow?

“I saw you out,” she began. I’ll call her Fern.

“Yup. Gotta shovel,” I answered in a strained voice. God, I was in pain. I just wanted to go back inside and take a nap.
Fern waved a hand in the air like it was no big deal. “My husband is doing ours now.”

Oh, rub it in Fern. I continued to shovel and knew what was coming.

“Layla is doing ballet, as you know, and she’s doing wonderfully. She wears the cutest little leotard and blah, blah, blah…”

Well, really she didn’t go blah, blah, blah but it came out that way to me.

See, Fern is someone who talks about her kids. Constantly. She’ll show photos of her kids. Constantly. I’m all for being proud of your offspring, but there is such a thing as overkill. Like, I love my kids and think they are fabulous, but I understand that not everyone cares to hear about them on a daily basis.

Fern does not get this.

Fern has 3 kids and they are all apparently perfect angels. I don’t agree, because I’ve seen her kids and one of them once sat in the middle of the street, arms crossed firmly over her chest and refused to move until she was given a lollipop.

“And Deacon is doing indoor soccer and he scored FIVE goals and he blah, blah, blah,” Fern continued.

I rolled my eyes. Fern is one of those mothers who doesn’t send her kids on the bus. When I announced that my son rode the bus she looked like she was about to have a heart attack. “Do you know,” she whispered at me, “what can happen on a bus?” I replied, “Yes. I get to save gas.”

“Layla’s plies are fantastic,” Fern gushed.

“Yeah, the way Natalie jumps off our couch is pretty fantastic, too,” I said.

Fern blinked at me. I don’t think she gets my humor. But Fern is the type of person who would chat up a homeless person about her kids.

“Andrew is starting football,” Fern prattled on.

I wanted to stuff some snow in her mouth. I don’t mind discussing my kids, but it’s not all I want to talk about. It’s why I don’t constantly dedicate blog posts to them. I’m still me, Amber, the chick who loves chocolate, writing, books, and discussing if there ever will be a show as good as Lost again.

I had to stop shoveling again. I felt like I was going to faint.

“Are you okay?” Fern asked. “You look pale.”

I nodded. “I’ll be fine. It’s probably this hat I’m wearing.” I am not a hat person. I tend to look sickly when I wear one. Or just really, really bad.

“Anyhow, I better get going. Bye,” Fern said and walked off. She was probably worried I was going to pass out in the middle of her My Kid Is The Best story.

Finally. Silence. Well, except for my breath coming out in loud puffs.

It took me awhile, but I finally did it.

See, this was the before picture:

And the after:

I rewarded myself with a Twinkie and a hot chocolate.

And a vow to try and avoid Fern.


  1. I think that may be the most snow I've seen! You can come join us in sunny south Georgia! *Not to rub it in* :)

  2. Shoveling snow sounds terrible. As does your neighbor Fern.

  3. I'd have had 2 twinkies, one for the shoveling, and one for having to deal with Fern!

  4. That might be the snow that is headed our way tonight!!

    I wish I had been there with you during the whole Fern thing. We would have wonder twin powered her butt.

    She would have been silent after that.

    The Twinkie and Hot Chocolate were more than worth it, huh

  5. '“Do you know,” she whispered at me, “what can happen on a bus?” I replied, “Yes. I get to save gas.” '

    That made me laugh.

    Nice job on the shoveling...not fun, I know. Spring is coming, never fear.

  6. Fern sounds like the type that includes a three page resume of her children in every Christmas card.

  7. I do talk about my kids all the time on my blog, but that's because I don't have much else to say and who really wants to hear about yet another person's feeeeelings? Plus, their stories are funnier. Now, in real life, I try not to discuss my kids nearly as much and I definitely wouldn't be a Fern about it.

  8. Hehe. I would have loved to have been a snowman on your front yard witnessing that conversation. Too funny.

  9. WOW! That's a bunch of shoveling... kudos to you!

    I'm not fond of those mother's either... I'm not a bragger by nature... so I just don't get it!

  10. Here's a tip - IPOD!

    I realize it's tricky with the winter gear on but I have found that a pair of earbuds does wonders when I want to avoid neighborly chit chat. And yes, most of the time I don't even have the things plugged in to anything.

    That, or have an extra twinkie in your pocket to offer up/stuff into Fern's big mouth.

  11. Great job!! I'm surprised some neighborhood boy wasn't going around offering to shovel. There's good money to be made!!!

    Your housing is really nice. Army housing...not so much!

  12. Great job shoveling! I'm happy just to get the sidewalks done.

  13. What a -----------! I'm so sick of winter and snow. ugh! I hate those moms who do nothing but brag about their offspring.

  14. I know your pain. Yesterday I shoveled one foot of snow from all around our house, it nearly killed me. Next time you see Fern coming, my advice is to just run the other way, really fast.

  15. I can't stand the "Ferns" of this world.

    I'd have died shoveling all that snow.

  16. Great job! I hate shoveling snow too.

  17. Ugh. I share your feelings completely. My kids mean the world to me and I wouldnt trade them or change them for anything. But, they do not define who I am as a woman. They are just a really awesome part of who I am. Thats why I like to blog about ALL things related to me. Not JUST my kids.
    I dont like your neighbor at all. In fact, moms like her are why I have so few mom friends.
    Oh and also, we got 14 inches last week. My body is still angry at me for moving all that snow and I didnt even get a twinkie afterwords.

  18. When I run into a mom like Fern, I make sure to tell her all the very bad things about us. That way, she'll steer clear of me and my kids in the future.

    You deserved that twinkie!

  19. Woohoo!!! You go girl. What a great job ya did on your drive and just think of the calories ya burned!!! More that that twinkie and cocoa baby! :o)

    You had me rollin' in the floor!!! Some people just don't get it. Kinda like the guy who called just as I plated up supper. Hubs tells the guy ,"I'm just sittin' down for supper." Guy talks...talks.. and hubs gives me the call me to supper look so I yell...loudly..Supper's gettin' cold!" Guy keeps talkin'! I yell...nachos are gonna get soggy. Guy puts wife on phone to talk. What's with that???

    Take care out there. Our snow is fallin' at a rate of two inches and hour...on my shoveled paths. Here I go again....

    God bless ya! :o)

  20. I hate the people that talk and talk and talk about themselves and their lives, and after they walk away you realize they didn't ask you a SINGLE question about your life. Ugh.

  21. You could consider developing turrets? It might make her go away faster.

  22. BwaHA! I know a Fern or two myself!

    Congrats on not passing out!

  23. I don't care where you live, you'll always find a neighbor like FERN!

    You'd think her husband would be kind enough to come over and shovel your driveway being that your husband is away. You'd think he'd want to spend more time outside and away from HIS WIFE!

  24. I firmly believe that the parents who only have glowing things to say about their little darlings are covering up some pretty awful stuff. No one's kids can be that amazing, seriously!

  25. I have to agree with PicklePits and suggest the earbuds, even take it one step further and suggets the kind you can plug into a cell phone. You can be talking to someone and mention your "annoying neighbor Fern and how she does nothing but talk about her kids, blah, blah, blah.... As if I cared! I mean REALLY! How much can one person talk about their kids..."

    *turning around to face her*

    "Oh hello Fern. How are you today?"

    Bet she shuts her yap after that. At least maybe for a while...

    I would have spiked the hot chocolate with something strong.

  26. Fern sounds like a brat and drinking water would have helped your body with all that exercise and sweating. Finally, only one Twinkie and a hot chocolate??? Twinkie comes in pairs, what happened to the other one, eh? I'm with Pat, why didn't the husband come shovel your a good neighbor and a manly man should.

  27. Dude, where are the neighbors to help the wife of the stationed soldier?!?

    I would have helped you, hon. You should move closer. Then again, we got about 2 feet. It was a bit more than what you are whining about.

    I MEAN, um, not WHINING. I mean rightfully complaining about. Yes. That is what I mean.


  28. Fern sounds desperate for attention. Awkward!

  29. rude Fern should have sent her perfect husband over to do your drive way too! Hello....! But than the reward of a twinkie is just a snack!

  30. Yes, wait a minute, try shoveling three feet, not two inches.
    But have another twinkie anyway.

  31. Hi! Just caught your post! Love your writing and hope you enjoyed the treats!

  32. Good job, Amber! At shoveling the snow and not smacking Fern. You deserve far more than a twinkie.

    My sister in law should be named Fern. In fact, that is why I love caller id - I see her calling and I ignore the call or tell hubby it's for him.

  33. I'm surpised that you didn't start burying Fern in the snow...
    She sounds like a twat waffle.

  34. Man... and I thought shoveling horse manure was bad.

    Hope that hot chocolate was spiked with a shot of brandy. For medicinal purposes, of course. ;)

  35. You rocked that driveway.

    Also, you make me question being really excited about a chance of snow tonight - but we just don't get much and I can't help myself!

  36. Ugh! I hate snow! Man, I hope I'm not a "Fern" to my neighbors. I'll have to keep an eye on that! ;-)

  37. You're a saint for not throwing snow at Fern. I probably would have. And what exactly can happen on the bus?

  38. Oh Amber Baby, I feel your pain! We were at 81 degrees on Sunday. Still, if it's going to snow in the SF Bay Area, it will snow when Alex is not here. If I shovel snow, I will die, so I will have to beg a neighbor to loan me her husband for a while. She can have him back as soon as he finishes. Fern is such an attractive name for a gal.

  39. We've been getting hit about every 3 days. Lately it's mixed with rain which makes for very heavy snow.

    Fortunately (or not) Almost Hubs is also a Snow Nazi, which means that someone (mostly me) is out there scraping it up as soon a s the first flakes hit the driveway.

    The plus side? I'll still fit into my wedding dress dispite all the chocolate and candy I ate over the Hoildays. -J

  40. I swear that it only snows at my house with my husband is out of town. All the other husbands drive by and wave at me. I curse the day that God invented snow. This morning I just drove through it. The neighbors all have nicely plowed driveways. Mine has a nice tidy path of tire tracks.

  41. THAT is A LOT of snow! Good for you for your reward, I'd have chosen coffee & a big fat donut :) I would have totally passed out. My lungs panic when I walk up too many stairs. MAN am I out of shape.

  42. Hey! Look at you!

    You cleared a tiny piece of sidewalk!

    Tom would be proud.

  43. Nice of Ferns husband to help you out. :P You should have handed her a shovel while she was there....


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