Mike Zielinski

Mike Zielinski

I spend my winters mentally paddling a surfboard in the blue Pacific waters.

I spend my winters physically freezing in Berks County and wincing behind a snowblower when needed.

While my mind is preoccupied with applying sunblock on a Maui beach, my body is removing snow from my driveway and sidewalk.

While my mind may not be along for the ride, I still rank snow removal right up there with wrestling a rhinoceros as a non-fun activity.

If God wanted me to be a snowman, He would have given me a carrot for a nose and two buttons for eyes.

Granted, I loved playing in the snow when I was a kid in a different century. And in my younger adult years before my spinal MRI resembled a Rorschach test, I looked upon snow shoveling as a good form of exercise.

Now that I’m playing on the back nine of my life, snow shoveling can stop my heart faster than suddenly discovering my entire financial portfolio has been hijacked by a Russian bot.

So I’ve segued to a snowblower bigger than one of Patton’s World War II tanks. My snowblower has six forward and two reverse gears, a headlight for those midnight storms and can toss snow from my driveway all the way to Montana on a particularly windy day.

Of course, operating my snowblower can be a tad tricky since I don’t have a commercial driver’s license and my safety glasses for some reason think they are glazed doughnuts. My neighbor still hasn’t forgiven me for taking out some of his bushes the other winter while navigating my snowblower blind.

I still haven’t forgiven Santa for not bringing me a heated driveway and sidewalk system for Christmas. OK, that may have been too greedy of an ask.

Granted, if I could afford to keep my driveway and sidewalk free of snow and ice with radiant heat via a network of resistance heating cables, I would instead spring for a trip to Maui this winter until the spring thaw.

You have to love that warm sunshine!

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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