Nemo.  Not quite the funny clown fish from the movie anymore, is he?  We will probably all remember him as the little orange bastard who snowed us in the weekend before Valentine’s Day. I’m going to rename this blog Our Year of Natural Disasters.  What is up with Mother Nature?  I suppose the East Coast had it coming to us.  Historically, we have enjoyed very few catastrophic phenomena. The West Coast has fires, land slides, and earthquakes.  The Midwest has tornadoes.  The South has hurricanes.  In the past two years, our area has had an earthquake, a hurricane, a few tornadoes, and some crazy winter storms. It’s like we are getting the crap kicked out of us by one nasty weather pattern after the next.  Luckily, winter storm Nemo wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Yes, we endured almost three feet of snow, but we never lost power or cable and therefore, we were snug and happy with our movies, TV and heat (in order of necessity).  We found lots to do: making lasagna, shoveling, baking cookies, shoveling, eating ice cream made from snow and more shoveling.  After about three hours of shoveling, my husband came in and said he needed a break.  It went something like, “Ugh, I’m spent, can I get a sandwich over here on the couch?”  After a little while, I hinted sweetly that I’d like him to help me with the kids.  That went something like, “Yo! It’s not like I’ve been sitting on my ass all day, time to get back in the game, dude!”  It’s a good thing he gets my sense of humor… or does he?  After my adorable quip, he challenged me to shovel a little and see how taxing it is (read: harder than running after the kids).  Ahhh dear sir, I accept with pleasure.  I think he was shocked by how quickly I threw on his snow pants and galloped out the door.
What’s that?  I am going to get some time outside, by myself, to exercise a little and enjoy the sun?  Peace!  And that’s what I did.  I shoveled between the two cars in the driveway, unearthed one and cleaned it off.  As I was getting to the part of the driveway behind the other car, to my delighted surprise, my neighbor walked over with his snowblower.  State Farm’s got nothing on this guy!!  Without a word, he simply removed all of the snow left behind the car!  Someone’s got a heaping pile of baked goods coming his way tomorrow.
All in all, I think I shoveled 90 cubic feet of snow.  That’s a rough estimate that should mean virtually nothing to everyone reading, but it means something to me.  It’s a personal victory.  I wasn’t sure that I’d have the strength to shovel three shovel-fulls, let alone the hundreds I must have disposed of.  I figured my weakened pectoral muscles wouldn’t allow me to rise up to my husband’s challenge.  But booyah, they did!  Truly, it’s my forearms and my back that are feeling the brunt of it now (yes, I know that my back pain is an indication of my poor form.  I swear I was bending with my legs, but I’m no pro here).  Although I am now on the couch with a glass of wine in front of the fire and typing is somewhat excruciating, I feel incredibly strong.  Take that, Mother Nature (and you too, my dear)!

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