He tried to clear lot, got stuck for effort.
He has company though - Pickles the one-eyed cat and friends on the Internet.
John Shelley ate his last can of chicken noodle soup and smoked his last cigarette Tuesday afternoon.
By this morning, he figures he will have to dig his way out of his garden center and nursery on a 20-acre farm near Winterstown - or perish.
It's not all that bad, Shelley admits, but the blizzard did manage to put more than a fear of cold in him. Since Monday, Shelley's only contact with the world outside John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery has been by telephone and by computer messages on the Internet. And his only company has been Pickles, his one-eyed cat.
In a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon, Shelley said that he became stranded at his business after he had driven to the garden center in hopes that he could clear the parking lot of heavy snows. But after he walked 1,000 feet from the road to his store, 5-foot drifts had depleted him of all energy. For the last bit of his journey, he had to tunnel his way through snow walls.
"I was so sick when I got in that I passed out for an hour or so", Shelley said.
When he awoke, the 46-year old discovered that the electricity was on but the heat was off. He figured out the problem with the heat and settled down for a night of getting some paperwork done. He made his bed on the store's countertop, where he slept Monday night.
He said he found out Tuesday that friends and relatives were still snowed in and that he was on his own.
Ham, left over from New year's dinner, bottled water and some cans of chicken soup didn't last longer than the snowdrifts.
"It's a real mess here," Shelley said. "I've got to try to walk out."
Shelley figures that his escape will be a bit easier because it will be a walk downhill. And he intends to pace himself this time to avoid the heavy panting he experienced on Monday going in.
"I'm as fit as a horse," he said. "But I smoke a little too much -- a pack to two packs per day. And you have no idea what it's like trying to walk through drifts like that."
Recognitions | John's Journal