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02/15/2007 Archived Entry: "Shoveling snow against the tide"

I'm sooo glad I pay my property taxes.

It's me, PSM. Hi.

So winter finally arrived here in New Hampshire, bringing with it about twenty inches of snow. I spent a good hour and a half anyway yesterday morning shoveling out the driveway. I didn't mind it too much as it was light, powdery snow, not the heavy wet stuff we usually get. Still, the hardest part is always the furrow the snowplows leave at the streetside. That stuff is always laden with sand and much heavier and compacted. Removing about twenty feet of furrow took longer and more effort than the whole rest of the driveway. Felt good, though.

In the afternoon I figured I had better go out and shovel again, as it was still snowing. Even though the town where I live is the epitome of rural New England Nowheresville, we do still have a sidewalk, and during periods of snow that sidewalk is cleared by a little Bobcat lookin' thing with a snowblower on the front of it. And when I went out in the afternoon, you know, just to do a little supplementary shoveling, I found that Mr. Sidewalk Guy had been through, and had blown about ten cubic yards of heavy, sandy, compacted snow onto my property, completely plowing me in!

Oh, I had plenty of time to stew over it while I set to the backbreaking task of undoing the damages. No thank-ee, dearest, I don't need my jacket; I got my smoldering bitterness to keep me warm.

How is this any different than dumping one's trash on someone's private property without their consent? It's only too easy to imagine Neighbor 1 getting angry at Neighbor 2 for shoveling all the snow off his driveway and into the driveway of Neighbor 1. I wouldn't stand for it and neither would you. And so I wondered, what would Jerky McSnowplow have done if I had a six foot high wall in front of my property? What would he have done if I had confronted him and told him, don't you dare dump that stuff on my land? How would the town like it if I just shoveled all that snow right into the back of my pickup and dumped it on the steps of Town Hall? Just returning this property to the possession of Winchester, New Hampshire. Just, you know, being a good citizen. Wouldn't want to be accused of stealing what rightfully belongs to the town, dontcha know.

But that brings down a whole other set of problems. Stir the entrenched good ol' boy network, and you risk finding yourself in violation of all manner of building codes (such as they are around here, that is). Burn permits may not be so easily obtained come springtime. You could find that the cops are suddenly very interested in cracking down on motor vehicle infractions in your area. Your. Very specific. Area. And you might be surprised how much your property value has appreciated the next time tax assessments are updated.

Anyway, it's a new day. The snow has stopped, and my egress to the street is once again unimpeded. My back hurts. To date, the local government has done nothing but ignore me, and evidently a little back pain is the price of keeping it that way.

Next time maybe we'll see how Frosty the Poohead likes concertina wire and caltrops.

Posted by Penguinsscareme @ 09:33 AM CST

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