Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Randomly Tonia

Broken shovels and sidewalk ballet


Winter storms brought plenty of snow, wind and cold to the streets (and sidewalks) of Kimball.

As a native of Kimball, I was prepared. I readied myself with a hat, scarf and gloves, to go out into the frigid temperatures at 6:30 in the morning.

Okay, first I had only to face the cold of my garage, and at 34, it was cold.

I carefully made my way to work. On with my mission - snow removal on the sidewalks at the Western Nebraska Observer.

Once at work, I readied myself further, gathering the snow shovel, ice melt and broom.

Okay, first I made some coffee, then fortified myself with a cup and checked my email.

When it became apparent that I could no longer procrastinate, I armored myself with coat, hat, scarf and gloves.

I gave myself a little pep talk, took a deep (warm) breath, and stepped outside.

I was prepared! I was prepared for the cold; I was prepared to clean the sidewalks, even while it was still snowing. I was even ready for the slick, icy walk - I wore my warm snow boots (though the snow drifted higher than my boot cuffs).

I won’t lie to you, dear readers, I’m not proud that the words “I’m Ready” played over and over again through my head in the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Actually, I was not really ready for the snow that snuck into my boots, soaking my socks and freezing my toes, but I convinced myself that once I was done I could warm them in front of my little space heater.

“Onward, soldier!” I told myself, stooping and scooping for what seemed like hours (okay, minutes), until my fingers cramped into claw-like appendages.

I moved quite a bit of snow, but alas, I was not prepared for the failure of the old, plastic shovel against the weight of several inches of snow.

I did not ready myself for the snap of plastic and wood when the valiant old shovel gave up under the pressure.

What’s worse is that I was ill-prepared for the sudden and unexpected snap back.

Some of you may guess what happened next... The shovel snapped, my feet slipped every which way as I tried to regain balance and the next thing I knew was that I was looking around, at 6:45 in the morning, from a (blessedly soft and bitterly cold) snow drift to make sure no one saw what just happened.

I am grateful to report that not even my pride was hurt, as no one saw my (undoubtedly graceful) fall.

Following my icy sidewalk ballet, I found the pieces of the worn out shovel, went inside for more coffee and some quality time with my space heater and found a few kids ready and willing to help us out.

To those kids, and all the kids willing to scoop snow, to the (in my opinion) underappreciated City workers and to the unknown man with a four-wheeler and blade who cleared our walk earlier this week, Thank You!


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