Greeting Spring With An Ice Scraper

By Jay Sedmak
SNPJ Publications Editor/Manager

The countdown continues... five, four, three, and now just two days until spring’s official arrival. So what was I doing with an ice scraper in my hand this morning? Easy explanation: if you live in Western Pennsylvania, chances are you were scraping and brushing away ice and snow this morning. Not that it’s unusual to wield an ice scraper in Western Pennsylvania in mid-March, but come on – spring starts on Wednesday. How ’bout a break from the winter mess already?

Since we are this close to spring now, everybody is getting their brackets in order for March Madness, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Have you made your selections yet? I have, but at this point my picks are subject to revision – after revision, after revision – since it’s only Monday morning and I have until Wednesday evening to fully complete my brackets and submit them for my annual bracket pool. I detailed my trials completing NCAA brackets in a blog post last March, so I think I’ll spare everyone the aggravation of reading them again. In the nutshell, nothing has changed.

Getting back to the ice scraper, I certainly was caught off guard this morning as I stepped out of the garage to retrieve my newspaper. (As a side note, I made my daily jaunt to the end of the driveway a little earlier than normal in anticipation of seeing the NCAA tournament brackets in their printed form.) While I did notice a white patch of slush just outside my garage door, I failed to take into account that the near-freezing temperature had turned the slush in the middle of the driveway into a thin sheet of ice. I have the feeling I looked rather comical walking my driveway the way one might scale an icy ledge: striding cautiously between slides, which were even more pronounced on my return descent to garage level.

Having managed the newspaper-retrieval maneuver with minimal bodily harm, I thought I’d pull the car from the garage into the driveway and allow the rain-snow mixture to wash away some of the winter grime that had been accumulating on my door panels over the course of the past week or so. Again failing to take into account the near-freezing temperature (which was actually sub-freezing as I would later discover), I found myself battling an ice-covered vehicle in the early morning hours. This wasn’t exactly the way I’d planned to start the day, but fortunately I had my ice scraper handy and didn’t have to tear the garage apart searching for an ice removal tool. I guess there’s always a bright side...

And speaking of bright sides, spring will soon arrive, bringing with it the promise of better weather – well, maybe not better weather, but at least different weather. With only two days to go, I’ll welcome spring with a new mantra: “Anything different is good!” Here’s wishing you a pleasant spring and the best of luck on your March Madness brackets!

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