Each year the snow piles up. Many hours are spent each week pushing snow around the in-laws’ 6 car open air parking lot (9,000 Yen per car/month – inquire in comments); a task that is boring, cold, and ultimately unrewarding. It will all just pile up again, without warning, without regard for your life.
There is a process here in Sapporo when it comes to snow removal. Many residences have a snow trap ( as I have labeled it), or 融雪庫, which melts huge quantities of snow with pressurized hot water. We move the snow to the snow trap with wide bodied, two handed, push shovels. These are more like small plows and can hold 5-6 cubic feet of snow per dump.
For these hour+ long removal sessions I am in a catatonic state, my earbuds tuned to a podcast, my limbs moving robotically, no thoughts other than when this ordeal will be over.
And each year I dream. Dream of a day the father-in-law will relent from his stubborn ways and allow us to purchase a snowblower. And not just any snowblower. No, sir. For when I dream, I dream of one majestic snowblower painted blue and white, with tank-like treads and a push button auto-start. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Yamaha YSF1070T:
Just take a moment to marvel at this beast. Its blue body contrasts wonderfully with the white top. Its pristine dual black tracks cleansed by the pure snow, self propelled, LED lighted for glorious night snow removal sessions, a control panel that puts you in charge — not the bastardly God of frigid precipitation. The day is coming when this 21st century marvel will be waiting for me after a tough day at the office. Quality of life will improve. Food will taste better. And winter will be a joy again.