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Friday, January 22, 2016



There is a big storm heading for Jersey, probably even bigger a little to the south.  The TV weather dudes and dudettes are all having stormgasms because in this area winter has been no fun for them. 

In expectation of lots of snow, New Jersey has amended a law.  For the last few years it has been illegal for kids or anyone for that matter to go door to door soliciting money to shovel walks and driveways.  Whoever enforced this law in past snowstorms would have been one of the biggest ass-holes ever, but those people do exist.  Thanks to Jersey legislators and Governor Christy shoveling will be legal for this storm.

Whoop-tee-doo!  Law or no law, I cannot remember the last time any kid knocked on my door and offered to shovel snow for money. The problem is, shoveling snow is work; hard work.  I don’t think kids today like hard work.

Years ago, my friends and I attempted this hard work.  We had heard of kids making the rounds on a previous storm and making as much as $50.  Fifty dollars in the fifties was a small fortune! 

When the next storm hit and school was called off, three of us got together with our shovels and hit the snow covered bricks.  Well first we dug out our own driveways, so we started off tired.  The first house we solicited offered $15 to dig them out.  An hour later we each were five dollar richer and still full of energy.

The next house was a stranger neighbor; Mrs. Krantz.  All we knew of Mrs. Krantz was she had no kids, we never saw her husband, and we were told to avoid cutting through her yard.  Why?  Just don’t do it is all we knew.

Mrs. Krantz seemed nice enough and she was prepared to pay another $15.  Once again we were done in an hour.  The drive was clear, except for iced in foot and tire tracks from when Mr. Krantz pulled out early in the morning.  These tracks were now solid ice and could only be removed by chipping them out.  No matter, the sun would be out by noon, and the ice tracks would surely melt away.

Mrs. Krantz did not agree. 

“I’m not paying you boys until the driveway is clear.  Those ice tracks are a hazard.”

We went back and chipped away.  The large aluminum shovels we had were not the proper tools for the task.  They bent at the edges and slowly became less and less efficient at the chipping process.  An hour later, we again went to collect our fee, but Mrs. Krantz was still not satisfied; apparently we missed a spot or two.

We went back to chipping, which is a bone jarring task, and finally thanks to help from a little sunlight Mrs. Krantz reluctantly paid up.

We were exhausted, our shovels were bent and no longer efficient, and by now most of the neighborhood was either dug out or in the process of being dug out.

It wasn’t $50, but at least we made $10 each. We needed new shovels, but pop would cover that expense along with new proper ice chippers.

I don’t recall shoveling for profit from any other storm.  We may have tried one more time, but we damn sure didn’t stop at the Krantz house.


  1. My youngest was the driveway shoveler. He'd go door to door and ask if whoever wanted their driveway shoveled and when they asked how much, he'd say, "you can pay me what you think its worth." He cleaned up! He made $20+ per driveway! That was a "few" years ago but to an 11/12 yr. old boy. He was rich! :) Great story with great memories Joe. Thanks.

  2. Mrs Krantz would be the local neighbourhood wicked witch then?

  3. We don't shovel snow in Texas. Well, maybe in
    Amarillo. That's because we don't have enough snow in Texas to shovel. We're more likely to mow neighbor's yards for a buck, which I did regularly as a kid. If shoveling snow is any harder, I think I'll pass. ;)

  4. There were big parties thrown in Montana when snow blowers were invented!

  5. I bought my first snow blower in 1980, for my children to use.

  6. I've only shoveled snow once or twice here in Oregon, but that was too much. The novelty of snow wears off fast.

  7. There's always one Mrs. Krantz, isn't there?

  8. This is why I don't live in snow country. Not shoveling snow. Period.

    I don't care for Mrs. Krantz either. Old biddy.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend Cranky. My best to Mrs. C. ☺

  9. ". . . it has been illegal for kids or anyone for that matter to go door to door soliciting money to shovel walks and driveways."

    What - is there some snow-shovelers union in New Jersey?

  10. One of the reasons I love living in Arizona, even though where I live we get occasional snow but it melts off quickly.

  11. Somehow I find myself saying, "OK Mrs. Krantz, we'll just put the snow back and be done. You have a nice day now." And that's exactly what I'd do.

  12. Of couse kids would not shovel snow because they don't know how to use a shovel. A friend's daughter was finishing her degress and stayed with me last summer. She was having her students plant a garden. She returned at the end of the day and was frustrated as she said told me, Not
    one kid knew how to dig a hole in the ground with a shovel. No one teaches anyone "how" to use a shove, do they? I thought babies were born
    knowing how to use a shoel

    1. I wrote this with the sun in my eyes....I'm so happy to see the sun. WOW.... Lots of typos. Oh well.....

  13. I've asked several of my neighbors here in Los Angeles the question, "What is snow?" & nobody seemed to know!!

  14. The 8 years we lived in Montana, no kid ever came to the door offering to shovel out the drive way. I may have taken them up on it, but I did enjoy shoveling myself; great exercise! Stay safe!


  15. I looking forward to shoveling the 12 to 16 inches we are supposed to end up with here in Western North Carolina. Normally we only get an inch to 3 inches. Most of the snow will be gone in a week. I have not even seem any of the kids outside to play in the snow let alone shovel the snow.

  16. Why would there be a law against soliciting for shoveling? Is it because the person isn't unionized? That seems like a ridiculous law ( as many are). Of course, where I live plowing is big business. However, nobody wants to shovel. My husband does all the plowing and shoveling for us - in a big snowstorm, it's hard work. I love Bob's comment!

  17. Sorry, but even if it were illegal, if my neighbor's kid wanted to shovel my drive, i'd pay him!

  18. We only have to shovel three steps and a six-foot section from the steps to the garage. And by WE, I mean my son. The rest of it? That's what boots are for. You can't shovel the country.

  19. Those iced in foot and tire tracks??? That's what made us move down south!!!

    Are they still warning out of shape people to be careful when shoveling snow? I remember that quite a few heart attacks always were attributed to snow shoveling.

  20. We've only had snow deep enough to shovel one time and that was in 93. I just let it sit until the sun came out several days later.
    I hope you guys don't snowed in too badly.


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