I just came home from an interview (in black suit, winter jacket and tennis shoes) and optimitistically stopped at a hardware store to pick up a shovel and some de-icing salt. Now, I am getting pretty broke so I chose the smallest shovel and a few pounds of salt.
I get home, hoping to de-ice the thick layers that have solidified on our steep stairs (imagine me holding onto the railing with dear life every morning for work). Well, it seems like optimism got the better of me. No sooner had I finished sprinkling the stairs, that I run out of salt and notice that I haven't bought enough after all. I feel like I used table salt because I barely managed to make a dent in the ice.
I start using my trusty shovel but not amount of shoveling will budge that rock-like ice. Then I really start madly hitting the surface with the sharp sides of the shovel and soon enough, ice sprays are flying around my deranged face. I feel like Glen Close with her rabbit in the movie Fatal Attraction. After all that panting, I am ready to cry: very little has been dislodged.
Then some neighborhood kids run up to me and say "Miss, miss, can we do that for you?". A little taken aback, I say "well sure but let me check whether I have cash to give you". They respond "well that's alright, we'll still start shoveling". In a matter of minutes, the kids start discuss the problem, and get the stairs cleared in no time. I really can't afford to be spending any money right now, but they were so efficient and willing to help that I gave them $10. And took a picture too.
View from my window. The kids are discussing how to approach the problem
Still, I'm convinced they managed to shovel quickly because I "loosened" the ice.