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Valentine's Day spent on ice no labor of love

February 18, 2007|by TIM SHEA

Happy Valentine's Day. Do you need ice for that drink?

The great ice storm of 2007 has passed and unless you happened to own a four-wheel drive vehicle or a Zamboni, chances are you were stuck at home Wednesday as the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex worked on its massive outdoor expansion.

It was a romantic day as my fiance, Sherri, and I spent it doing what most couples do on Valentine's Day - shoveling our cars out in a futile attempt to get to work.

Sherri didn't make it to work and spent the day getting caught up with Maury "I Have the Results of the Paternity Test, and you are NOT the Father" Povich. With my car stuck in the middle of my parking lot, I had no choice but to call a co-worker to ask for a ride so that I could make it in to work.

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How was it that I was unable to get out of my parking lot Wednesday, but on Tuesday night, when the weather was starting to get bad, we drove to Rouzerville, Pa., just to eat at Applebee's.

I figured it would be a great night to get out. It wasn't doing anything outside at 6:30 p.m., plus we wouldn't have to wait for a table because weatherman Lou Scally told everyone not to go out on the roads. Fewer customers also would mean better service.

As we crossed the Pennsylvania state line and the precipitation started falling from the sky, I turned to Sherri and said, "I'm not sure this is such a good idea."

Since it wasn't such a good idea, I forged ahead anyway.

We got to the restaurant. We didn't have to wait. The service was good. And the precipitation was getting heavier.

Luckily, getting home wasn't too bad. As I found out Wednesday, it's getting started that's the problem.

I also found that out Thursday as my parking lot still was clogged with snow. At 7 a.m., I woke up to the sound of a car engine. Another tenant who couldn't get out of the parking lot on Wednesday was at it again. He needed to turn the car around 180 degrees in order to get out of the lot. He got help from another tenant, who was pulling out more props than you used to see in Gallagher's comedy routine.

After about 45 minutes, he finally was driving out of the lot.

And like a good neighbor, I spent the entire 45 minutes watching this from my window.

Since I couldn't get Alexander Ovechkin away from the Washington Capitals' game in Tampa to help us out, Sherri decided not to even try getting out of our skating rink. She was on the cell phone to work immediately and a few minutes later, was on her way.

I went back to sleep and awoke again at noon, which is early for me. I looked out the window and the rescuers finally had made it, armed with a snowplow and other removal equipment. When they were done, the lot was in good enough shape that I was able to get my car out.

The next time this happens, I'll be a lot more prepared to deal with the elements.

How much does a Zamboni go for nowadays?

Tim Shea is a Herald-Mail copy editor. He may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2329, or by e-mail at tims@herald-mail.com.

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