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why don't they make ski-barrows?

After the big snow the beginning of last week, it was all I could do to shovel out the essentials: the walk, the driveway, and the path to the chicken coop (and even for that much I really appreciated some help from our across-the-street neighbor and his snowblower after our next-door neighbor's plow service buried the back end of Leah's car...). So for a few days the areas at the back of the house were completely impassible. I finally got to work there this weekend—because the compost situation was getting a little out of control, and also because I do enjoy having the back deck cleared if I can manage it. It's a great space at any point, and all the more so when it's surrounded by snow. And who knows when we might want to have a fire? But it's not been easy to get it shoveled.

Part of the problem is that I waited too long, and the first load of snow developed a crust which then got covered by more snow from the next storm or two. But even more challenging is the fact that there's just not that much room to put all the snow! Sure, some of it I could just push off the edge, but before long the level of the piles was up as high as the deck (it only stands a couple feet off the ground at its highest point above ground level). And I could only pile in a few spots, since I didn't want to bury the fireplace or bank too much snow around the chicken coop for fear of it leaking.

After some contemplation, my solution was to dig out the wheelbarrow and use it to carry loads of snow over to dump on the garden beds, where it will act as a (very weak) fertilizer. Of course, to do that I had to fashion a ramp down from the deck out of a 10-foot length of 2x10, because the snow ramp wouldn't support the wheelbarrow. The challenge of walking up the slick snowy ramp was balanced out by the fun of sliding down it behind the full wheelbarrow. Then, since I couldn't actually push the wheelbarrow on the snowy ground, I had to shovel snow from the single dump pile at the base of the ramp to all the various garden beds. Needless to say, the project is ongoing—would be ongoing even if it didn't keep snowing more. No complaints, though: I do love playing in the snow!

the wheelbarrow on the snowy deck

is this sane?

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