Jason writes, “two chores I find extremely satisfying are bagging groceries and (especially) mowing the lawn.”
Not that it matters a whole hell of a lot but I concur.
After a successful stint at bagging groceries in my high school days I find it a necessity to “bag” my own food. Primarily because most people in the today’s grocery industry are morons who don’t know what good bagging is — the vocation has lost a lot of it’s craftsmanship. Secondarily, I beat my best friend in a grocery store “bag-off” tournament to become that years local champion (I lost the state competition by 3/100th of a second to the dork from Wasilla, the latch-key home of the Warriors and bitter rival to Palmer, the distinguished home to the mighty and magnificent Moose).
I had the fortune to grow up in an area where land was abundant and in huge quantities and my parents owned a whole acre of it. Later in life I would find out that land ownership was great until you had to mow it. This was before the days of riding law mowers mind you. An eight hour day was required to get that beast groomed and looking good enough to be the poster lawn for Scotts products. Which is something of a feat as grass is a hard beast to tame in Alaska and sod is mostly known to the local population as something the British say in those PBS shows on Sunday evening. Still, there are few things better than the look and smell of a well mown yard.
Yet no matter how much I enjoy those occupations, nothing beats shoveling snow. Especially when you’re out there in the middle of a deep snowfall, trying to keep an area free of the over abundance of white fluff which seems unlimited in quantity as it blankets the area around you. The world slows down and gets ghostly quiet as the snow continues to fall and accumulate. Even the commotion of a shovel scrapping against the ground looses it’s audible bite and starts to sound more like a metronome than a digging device.
As far as laborious tasks go, shoveling snow hits on all cylinders: the combination of hot and cold (sweating on the inside while freezing on the outside), the building small mountains of snow to impressive heights or maybe it’s the ability to carve and sculpt paths and areas in ways that are only available during the dark and cold months of winter.
Perhaps science can better explain why these things are satisfying but I do know this to be sure, I miss the snow, and the shoveling of it.