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Why aren't the kids out shoveling snow?

Bill's shovel stands proudly next to his clear driveway. He wonders why more kids aren't out earning a few dollars shoveling snow. (97.3 KIRO FM/Bill Swartz)

One last scrape, and voila! I have a path cleared to the mailbox from the front door of stately Swartz manor.

Twenty minutes into snow shoveling, my wife Connie posed a valid question. "Why are you doing that? It's just going to snow a lot tomorrow."

I replied, "What if we have to get out and go somewhere?"

We really don't need to get out for a few days. There's food and firewood and snow to melt for water.

She's right though. Why did I spent the better part of an hour scooping heavy wet snow, and scraping icy tire tracks off my driveway? If only some neighbor kid had come by and offered to shovel, I would have gladly paid him or her at least $10.

But kids don't seem to do that any more. When it snows they're at the mall, or online playing the latest realistic war game. No teen in their right mind would be caught dead doing manual labor at their house, let alone a neighbor's home.

A woman in her 60's three doors down from me spent most of the afternoon shoveling her own driveway. Maybe I should have paid her to do mine. My arms are aching, and I know my back will feel it tomorrow.

When I was a kid in Pennsylvania we got severe snow storms. I shoveled that driveway two or three times a day. A few times I went door to door offering to clear carports and sidewalks for neighbors.

I made a little spending money and I felt good about myself for a job well done, and for helping others.

Parents today rarely ask their kids to help do yard chores. We have several neighbors who actually pay a company to come by and pick up dog waste out of their yard.

No way their kids would shovel snow!

Earlier this week a woman complained she didn't like snow because her husband mows lawns for a living, and he can't work right now. If he was inventive he'd rent a snow blower, or better yet hire a few teens and clear driveways and car ports.

As we brace for the largest snow dump in several years, wouldn't it be cool to see some kids out shoveling? I know they'd feel good about doing a good deed as well as having a little cash in their pockets.

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About the Author

Sports anchor, news reporter, emcee, and a man of many voices, Bill Swartz has been a jack-of-all trades during his career, especially at KIRO Radio and 710 ESPN Seattle since 2002.


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