IN WHICH Mojo's Saintlike Qualities Are Obvious To All

So Mojo lives where there's snow. Not huge SCADS of it, like they get in Buffalo, or this year in Boston. But enough. It can be cold, too, although sustained subzero temperatures only happen a handful of times a year. It's cold enough for snow, but when the sun comes out and it warms to the late twenties or early thirties it can be downright pleasant.

The first year we moved to our current house it snowed A LOT. Enough that I marveled about it, and wondered if life up in the hills was going to be THAT MUCH different than the balmier river valley where I grew up. That season proved to be something of an anomaly, it turns out, but I didn't know it at the time. It is forever remembered in Squeaky Ball the Movie, where you can see the five and six foot drifts that surrounded the house for much of the winter, and I used to amuse myself (while torturing the dog) by throwing his toys out into the drifts as far as I could, and watch him battle his way through the deep snow.


The drifts THIS year have been not quite so big, but big enough. The unsullied snow is maybe thigh- to waist-deep, and the path leading out of the main door has not quite become as tunnelesque. It's deep enough you don't really want to have to wade through it. Plus our "new" dog, Rosie, is a good deal less ambitious than George--a bad heart will do that, I suppose--so I tend not to torture her by throwing her toys out into the drifts.

Anyway, this is not about the dog(s) at all, but rather Snow Removal. Which we chiefly do with a combination of snowblower and shovel. Snowblower for the bulk of it, and shovel when we have to. The driveway, the turnaround, the spots where we park the cars, the path to the woodshed, the path to the front door. Oh, yes, and a path to where the fill pipes are for the oil tank. As you might have guessed from my last blog post, we primarily heat with wood, but we DO have an oil furnace that kicks on every now and then. And part of the snow-clearing ritual that accompanies every snow is keeping the path to the fill pipe for the oil tank clear.

There was only ONE TIME I have been remiss in this duty. The Favorite Husband was away for a week--I believe he was in Mexico on some sort of bidness--and we had a 16--20 inch snowstorm. Which is a good amount. Very wet, heavy snow, too. So wet and heavy, as a matter of fact, that it killed the snowblower within the first ten minutes of starting it, so I had to shovel out everything entirely BY HAND. It took me THREE SOLID DAYS. In fact, I remember I finally reached the Favorite Husband's back bumper the morning of the day I was to pick him up at the airport. Nearly two feet of heavy, heavy snow, with a good-sized driveway, all by myself. But again, I digress.

I was so exhausted that, when I finally proclaimed myself finished, I realized I still had not shoveled the six or eight foot path leading to the oil fill pipe, and I made the fateful decision that IT COULD WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT DAY. After all, we had already gotten an oil delivery a month or so before, and they figured out that we didn't use up that much oil, so they often skipped months. I never knew when they were going to show up, but I figured I had at least a couple more weeks. A day of rest before clearing the path wouldn't make much of a difference.

Or so you think. As luck would have it, THAT VERY NEXT DAY we had an oil delivery, while I was out gallivanting. The driver took one look at the uncleared path, and... well, if it were ME, I'd leave the customer a vaguely snarky note explaining they would get their damned oil when THEY cleared the path. Instead, the oil delivery guy took our snow shovel and dug his own path. And then THREW OUR SHOVEL up against the wall of the house, so the only way we could retrieve it was to wade through six-foot drifts some eight or ten feet to the side of the house, and then wade back.

Mojo was NOT PLEASED. It's not like I made it a habit of making the oil guy's life miserable. It was the FIRST and ONLY time I had not cleared the path to the fill pipe, and I maintain I had a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE with the snowblower not working and me doing everything ALONE and BY HAND like I was Laura Friggin' Ingalls Friggin' Wilder. Plus I REALLY wasn't expecting him. A note on the door saying "Tough--no oil for you!" would have been FINE. But THIS--this was just plain MEAN. All I could think of was, if I were some poor elderly woman living alone and the oil guy had done this to me, I'd have a FREAKIN' LAWSUIT on my hands.

Anyway, that happened probably a DECADE ago, and Mojo being Mojo I have nursed a GRUDGE ever since. Every time we get an oil delivery I kinda wonder to myself: was THAT the man who threw my shovel into a snowdrift? And I HATED him. I hated him with a fourteenth-century Florentine frenzy, as Gilbert and Sullivan used to say. Every time I paid my oil bill I'd be muttering "Here you go, you shovel-throwing bastards." Or words to that effect.

Anyway, we've gone through an especially snowy patch this past month. Not like Boston, with their six or eight feet of snow on the ground, but a more managable--but still significant--three or four feet. It's been a lot of snow, with a foot or so of new snow every week. And every storm, I am out there shoveling the damned path to the oil fill.

And then yesterday I get an oil delivery. Totally unexpected, but that's beside the point. At the bottom of the bill, there was this:

Gas Bill

Awwww. So now I don't hate him any more. The End.