While Cedar City does have winter, often bitingly cold, if not nearly so cold as Canadian winters, it does reach below zero [Fahrenheit] temperatures a handful of times most winters, and most winter nights have sub-freezing temperatures. We also have lots of wind. Because at almost 6,000 feet, Cedar City is high desert, we don’t get huge amounts of snow, but it does tend to stay around, and we usually get 2-5 significant snowfalls, significant being more than a foot where I live. And because I do walk a lot for exercise, half on trails and half on streets/sidewalks, when this occurs, as it has in the last few weeks, I do notice which houses evidence snow removal, which do not, and how much is cleared, either by shovel, snow-blower, or plow.
There are those houses, thankfully a minority, where no snow ever appears to be shoveled, and where the inhabitants merely pack down the snow into a solid mass on driveways and sidewalks. Eventually, this turns to ice or a reasonable facsimile thereof. In time, in our dry air, it eventually sublimates, but not before causing slips and falls.
Then there are those houses where only the driveway is shoveled, clearly indicating that the thought that anyone walks anywhere except from or to a vehicle has never occurred to the inhabitants. Next come the houses where the sidewalk to the street and/or mailbox is shoveled, as well as the driveway, but nothing else.
Finally, there are the houses where every walk and driveway is shoveled/cleared. Ours fits this category, except for the redwood deck that’s effectively unusable in winter and inaccessible except from inside the house – although I do clear the access to the bird feeder.
In observing all the different stages of snow removal or lack thereof, certain thoughts have occurred to me. First, clearing sidewalks – especially the walks other than those providing access to house, mailbox, or vehicle – is essentially a matter of both courtesy and safety to others.
Second, snow removal appears to be largely deficient in those dwellings harboring teenagers and young adults, except as necessary to obtain vehicle access.
Third, a high percentage of older couples still manage snow removal, although, understandably, it often takes them longer.
Fourth, after one or two winters, a certain percentage of retirees who moved here from California decide to move south.
Fifth, I’m really glad I have both a snow-blower and an ergonomic snow shovel.