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Sorta Random Sunday: The Buffalo Blizzard

This past week over Christmas weekend, it snowed a LOT in Buffalo. This should come as a surprise to no one. But this was more than just snow. It was a full on blizzard with two days of nonstop snow and winds reaching 70 mph. The first real blizzard in Buffalo since 1977.

I generally love snow but not deadly snow like this Buffalo blizzard was. We were very fortunate to never lose power, have plenty of food, and be warm the whole time. The worst we experienced was missing spending Christmas with family. Not even close to what many suffered.

With that said, as I spent hours shoveling out our driveway in the aftermath, I got to thinking about shoveling…

buffalo blizzard

And really any kind of shoveling is a bummer for me

Just don’t like to do it. Even just cleaning off my car.

Most of my life, I had to do these things…clean massive amounts of snow off my car and shovel to get my car out and go. Usually this happens early in the morning or after work. Basically the times when you least want to be doing this.

But now, I basically never have to shovel. We have a garage to park out cars at home. I also park in an enclosed parking structure at work. And we have a plow service to plow our driveway…a good example of an intentional spend for us. So no need for cleaning snow off the car.

And, it was a very intentional decision for Selenid and I to hire a snow plow service for our driveway. That way, I don’t need to shovel. I can enjoy snow without worrying about this!

But, last week, I did find myself shoveling

Once the winds and majority of the snow subsided, our plow guy contacted us saying that his equipment could not handle this insane amount of snow.

So, while the town sent out construction bulldozers to plow main and side streets, we would remain stuck, unable to get out of our driveway. Even in the event of an emergency.

So, out I went to shovel…

And you know what? I loved it!

It wasn’t easy. It hurt (a lot more than I’d like to admit the next day). But, it served a very important purpose and big why. With the right why, anything is possible. Plus, I had my kids out playing around and “helping” me which was fun.

My plan for beating the Buffalo blizzard

I started by clearing one 3-ish foot path from our garage to the street. This took a few hours and lots of back pain. But I made it.

Then, I started to clear another parallel 3′ path from the street back to the garage. That way, Selenid’s care would be able to fit through and we could get out as needed.

But luck intervened on our side. As I reached the street after clearing the first path and began doubling back, I saw a small bulldozer clearing a neighbor’s driveway. We approached him and he was a private plow service clearing client’s houses. We asked if he could do ours and he said he would try to come back later. Then we offered $250 and he agreed he better do it now so that he “doesn’t forget.”

Twenty minutes later and the 4-5 feet of snow blocking us was all gone! Best $250 we ever spent.

Better to be lucky than good…


That is how we experienced the Buffalo blizzard. We were one of the fortunate ones and thank you to all who texted or emailed to check in.

And thank you to all of the plow men and women clearing snow as well as all of the nurses, PAs, NPs, residents and physicians in general who were snowed in working way beyond overtime to card for patients during this time!

And as always, here are my a few of my favorite posts discussing some of the simple habits to get and stay on track in your FIRE journey:

What do you think? Do you hate shoveling? Does it have anything to do with FIRE? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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