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A brutal winter is generating ‘senior moments’

As soon as I did it, I knew it was a mistake. But it was too late, the ‘senior moment’ was over.
I happened to be on top of my flat roof in the back of our house, shoveling off the heavy snow onto the yard. The first two-thirds of the two feet of snow were light and fluffy. The other one-third was not. It was compressed snow, turned into ice, turned into water.
In other words, it was heavy.
I didn’t want to shovel too deeply for fear of damaging the roof membrane. But I wanted to get enough off to ease the strain on the roof and quicken the pace for getting rid of the monster icicles on the roof eaves. They are world class icicles this winter.
In order to get onto the flat roof, I had two options: one was to use a ladder, the other was to climb through an upstairs rollout window that was just wide enough to squeeze through. I chose the window because the ladder was in the garage behind who knows what and would have taken me almost as long to extract it than to clear the roof.
Anyway, all went well, much of the snow was tossed off the flat roof and then I had to decide: Should I haul the sloppy, wet shovel back through the house, or just toss it off the roof?
I chose the easy way and gave the shovel a toss.
That’s when it hit me. Why’d I do that? It landed in the middle of the yard that required wading through the snow drifts to retrieve it. Walking in snowbanks up to your knees is like running in water. It does not work well, and it can be exhausting.
That, however, was not the only ‘senior moment’ of the week.
Earlier, I was driving on Highway 22 near Miller Manufacturing, heading to Hutchinson. I accelerated to 70 on the speedometer, but it didn’t seem like I was moving very fast. It got up to 75 and 80, but still didn’t feel right. Then I looked down. I had accidentally hit the metric button on the speedometer. I was going 70 kilometers an hour or about 45.
No wonder it didn’t feel right!
Another slap to the forehead. It’s been one of those winters.
The only thing that would top it off might be getting hit by one of the huge “snow boogers” that line Union Avenue near the railroad tracks. It seems the vehicles speeding over the tracks knock off the snow clumps from the vehicle wheel wells and onto the street. It looks like a mine field.
I can only imagine the accident report. “Old walker struck and killed by flying snow booger.” It’s not exactly what I want on my tombstone.
But it could be worse. You could be killed when an airliner empties its toilets over a residential area from 30,000 feet. Perish that thought.

Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.