The Plight of the Poor Cordovians

Cordova, Alaska has gotten 18 feet of snow since November with more on the way. People are having to tunnel out of their houses, the National Guard has been called in, and to make things worse the entire area is out of shovels. You would not want to be caught in that much snow without a shovel or possibly two.
The plight of the shoveless Cordovians got me wondering the whereabouts of my shovel. We have battled through at least eight Missouri winters together. It is chipped and showing it’s age, but it is also seasoned. In all those years I cannot recall reaching the New Year without first reaching for my shovel to clean the drive once or twice. It seemed the end of 2011 had come an gone with no accumulation of note.
Come to think of it the temperatures hadn’t been all that bad either. The kids are still wearing shorts around the house and we haven’t had a heating bill over $250.00 yet. What had happened to the dreaded Missouri winter people have come to fear?
Regardless of where it was, I knew that it would inevitably return. In order to avoid having to tunneling out of the house with salad bowls I set off to find it, starting the investigation with the most obvious suspect, my son.
“Oh yeah, I used it to clean up the pumpkins that I ‘dropped’ on the sidewalk next to the house, but I put it back in the garage when I was done.” he responded without glancing away from his tablet.
A. The dropping of the pumpkins was far from accidental. His mother had asked him to carry them to the side of the garage and break them up in hopes of another crop in 2012. This somehow got interpreted as, ‘Smash them anywhere along the side of the house.’
B. He has never put anything back when he was finished, unless prodded to do so several times and I don’t remember prodding.
Never the less I had a possible sighting in early November, it was a start. I went to the corner of the garage where we lean anything with a handle, no luck. I scanned the rest of the garage, nothing. Unfortunately, there could be a grizzly bear sleeping in the garage and I might not see it. Note to self: this spring organize garage.
Still determined to solve the mystery I asked my wife if she had used the shovel. “What would I do with a shovel?” she quickly replied. I listed a number of things you could use it for. Scooping sand, feed, snow, dead pumpkins, yard clippings, even water if you were so inclined. “Scooping doesn’t seem like my department,” she laughed adding, “didn’t I see you carrying it to the basement a while back?”
Eureka, the basement! I was cleaning out an old cabinet and broke some mason jars. Yet another in the seemingly endless list of scooping possibilities, broken glass. I darted off to the basement and found the neatly swept pile of glass. Sure enough the shovel was leaning against the wall, patiently waiting. I cleaned up the glass and then headed back up stairs, shovel in hand.
I placed it on the back deck next to the door where it stands guard during the winter months, ready in a moments notice. As I came back in my wife asked, “It’s 50 degrees out, why was it such a big deal to find that old shovel?”
“You don’t want us to end up like those poor Cordovians, do you?” I responded triumphantly, she had no clue of what future disaster I might have just adverted.


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