6:15 am – Wake up to excited children bouncing around the house.
6:42 am – Get out of bed and realize that the forecasted 12 inches of snow are closer to 30 inches of snow. Briefly fantasize about instituting a “Hunger Games” style competition among Upstate NY meteorologists.
6:55 am – Don winter bulky winter gear in preparation to hike through the snow to retrieve the snowblower from the shed. Help screaming child #2 (age 8) into his winter gear, as he also wants to go in the snow.
6:59 am – #2 has had enough of the snow and goes back into the house.
7:10 am – Arrive at the shed to find that the snowblower is completely out of gas.
7:15 am – Arrive back at the garage to discover that the gas can is out of gas.
7:25 am – Commence shoveling driveway, while child #1 (age 11) and child #3 (age 5) shovel back porch for the dog.
8:18 am – #1 and #3 arrive to help shovel the driveway.
8:25 am – #3 loses a boot and has to be carried back into the house to fix it.
8:50 am – Remember that the riding mower has gas in the tank. Attempt to siphon little remaining gas from the mower. Fail at getting any gas, but succeed at getting a really interesting headache from the fumes. Continue shoveling to get a car out to get gas for the snowblower.
9:25 am – Realize that the driveway is about 60% clear and that #2 is screaming like a banshee after losing his shoe after jumping off the playset in the backyard. Commence looking for the shoe.
10:00 am – Give up looking for the shoe with #1 after shoveling off every inch of ground that was trodden by #2.
10:38 am – The driveway is shoveled enough to get the car out of the driveway. Clean off the car and head out for the gas station (for blower gas) and Wal-Mart (to replace the lost shoe).
10:42 am – Discover that the car did not, in fact, have enough inertia to make it through the snowdrift that the plow left in the middle of the road.
11:05 am – Free car from drift with the help of neighbors.
11:15 am – Successfully dodge fishtailing vehicles to arrive at the gas station.
11:25 am – Find a nicely plowed spot in front of one of the two entrances at Wal-Mart.
11:28 am – Discover that particular entrance is locked. Bond with other dads who also find themselves at this particular entry on a snow day.
11:32 am – Enter Wal-Mart to discover that Wal-Mart management has gone with “Christmas Rave” as the seasonal theme. Discover Wham! and the cast of Glee did not make the worst versions of “Last Christmas.”
11:42 am – Find shoes, boots, and decorative tins that can be packed with thank you cookies for the neighbors.
12:04 pm – Arrive home.
12:13 pm – Arrive at the shed with gas and power cord. The blower, miraculously, starts on the third attempt. Commence singing a medley of “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover” loudly in celebration.
12:35 pm – Turn off the blower and allow it to cool so that more gas can be added.
12:40 pm – Refill the blower with gas. Pull the start cord, and discover that the cord has decided to end its co-dependent relationship with the blower.
12:41 pm – Laugh uncontrollably in the driveway while my wife watches and contemplates calling a mental health crisis team.
12:42 pm – Give up and go inside for lunch.