Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh Death

Oh Death please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you'll remove your icy hands

..or as I would put it:

Cry the winter knife
Over iron and shadow
When will the light fall?

Our frantic whisper
Hot wind, sunshine, run, play, dream
We ache for summer

Moments stare sadly
Still water rusts the thousand
Time sleeps without will

Basically I'm sore, exhausted, and cold. And I love it. Sunday was mentor fun day at OSU's RPAC (unsure of the acronym, but it's OSU's new workout facility. I spent a few hours there with Dave, both of us getting winded and banged up pretty bad playing basketball and volleyball. While this was going on, snow was accumulating when I wasn't home to clear the driveway and sidewalk. After hanging out at RPAC, I went to a friend's surprise 40th birthday, getting home at about 8pm, too worn out to clear the snow. I also didn't get up early enough this morning to clear it before going to work.

After work today, Stacey wanted me to take her out sledding, so off we went to a local hill. At some point, I went down to the bottom of the hill to play catcher, to prevent Stacey from sailing off into the trees if she came down too fast. [Sidenote: This reminds me of a Dan Simmons story in his short story collection Lovedeath called Entropy's Bed at Midnight, although I'd like to think I was freaking out about my child's welfare slightly less than the protagonist of that story.] So when it was time to trudge my way back up the hill, I wanted to go faster and decided to jog up the steep, snowy incline. When I got to the top, my heart was racing and I couldn't stop panting for a minute or two. 250 pounds, 75% grade, 40 yards, extra muscle tension to maintain balance on a slippery surface -- 'nuff said.

So when we got home, I just had an hour or two of daylight left, and wanted to clear the snow from the driveway, so I grabbed my little wussy snowshovel and went to work while Stacey started on a snowman, and played with one of the neighbor kids. The snow had a thin layer of ice on top of it, and some of the snow had partially melted and refrozen since the precipitation yesterday. So the shoveling went slow, and I was less than 100% when I started. But I kept going.

An hour later, I finished, getting as close to complete clearance as I could. I came close to stopping a few times, but the knowledge that some of the neighborhood kids were out and potential witnesses kept me going. I didn't want them to see me give up, so I kept plugging away, slowly, mindful of my pending heart attack, the racking pain in my palm from holding the shovel, and my knees and back from hunching over to sling the piles of snow.

And now, Oh Death, won't you spare me over til another year. Pain and fatigue like I haven't felt since I managed a pizza shop. A nice hot shower to relax the muscles, reruns of The Crodocile Hunter, and I'm at peace with the world, anxiously expecting a restful night's sleep. Like Grandma says, hard work never hurt nobody.

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