On Maintenance & A Forgotten Date

Originally posted December 9, 2008

It’s a little surprising – though maybe it shouldn’t be – how much more strenuous taking care of a house is than it was to take care of an apartment.

We’ve had two light snowfalls in two days, and although we’re not responsible for clearing the long driveway – our landlord either does it himself or hires someone to plow it – it is our responsibility to clear the sidewalk that snakes its way from the backdoor around to the front and from there to the street. And so far, we’ve been woefully ill-equipped to do so.

We’ve never needed real snow shovels before. For years we’ve carried in our cars those collapsible shovels designed to help you dig out of a snowdrift. They’ve served well the few times we’ve had to shovel any snow here in St. Cloud, as all we’ve ever needed to do was to shovel drifts from around our second car in the parking lot after a heavy snow.

But they don’t do too well clearing a sidewalk. And neither, once the snowfall hits an inch, will a wide broom. With less than an inch, the broom can work, but it takes a lot more effort with the broom than it would with a standard snow shovel. The aches in my legs, shoulders and forearms are providing testimony to that even as I write. So pretty much as soon as I get this post up this morning, I’m going to head over to Handyman’s, where the Seversons have supplied my family’s hardware needs since I was in junior high, and pick up two snow shovels.

I will say this about the differences between a house and an apartment: I’m in better shape now than I have been for some years. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to oil myself up and win any contests. But frequent activity – from hauling boxes around in the heat of August to taking care of any number of minor outdoor chores and walking up and down stairs several times a day for any number of reasons – has given me plenty of exercise. I’ve actually lost more weight in the four months since we began the move than I did in the four months or so before that when the Texas Gal and I were regularly going to the gym. (As our time available for the gym dwindled while we prepared for the move in summer, the frequency of our visits decreased and we ended our membership; we may renew it.)

(One of my readers the other week left a comment asking how things went on my recent visit to my doctor. As I expected, Doctor Julie told me I was in good shape for a middle-aged man, except for the cholesterol, which was still high [though not quite as high as it has been]. That was the only real concern, and she said she was pleased that I’d lost some weight. Since the visit, I have found ways to remember to take my cholesterol medication, the generic equivalent of Lopid, regularly.)

I Just Forgot
For some reason, I’ve been a little distracted lately, not noticing some things I should notice and forgetting stuff I should remember. Readers will recall that I forgot to post December’s First Friday piece last week until Saturday.

And yesterday, I didn’t think at all about its being December 8 until I stopped by The Hits Just Keep On Comin’, the superlative blog offered by my pal jb in Madison, Wisconsin. When I did, I realized with a start that yesterday was the twenty-eighth anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. I hadn’t remembered it, hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t written about it.

But jb remembered. And he invited regular commenter Yah Shure – a regular visitor here, as well – to look back to that evening in 1980, when Yah Shure was the deejay at WJON here in St. Cloud. It’s a great post by both Yah Shure and jb, and the only thing I can say beyond “congratulations” to both of them is that I wish I’d thought of it first! If you haven’t read it already, do so.

(And while you’re at it, take a look at the pensive take on the anniversary posted at The Great Vinyl Meltdown by another friend of mine, caithiseach.)

As to the anniversary of Lennon’s death, even had I thought about it, I’m not sure I’d have more to say. I’ve written twice about it, I think, once when pondering the year 1980 and then again on the anniversary of Lennon’s death last year. In any case, I forgot about it yesterday. But it was only for a day, and we’ll let Bob Seger take it from there.

Bob Seger – “Rock And Roll Never Forgets” [1976]


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