Snow Story

It’s snowing again, new snow piling old, and all I can do is marvel. I haven’t seen this much snow since about a month before Jeff died.

We got snow on the western slope of Colorado, of course, but nowhere near the amount people got in the mountains or in the big cities on the front range. That month, though, we got dumped on. Normally Jeff and I would have worked together to clean out the circular drive, but he was too ill to do much of anything, especially not anything so labor intensive as shoveling snow. I wouldn’t have worried about the snow, knowing it would eventually melt, but I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get out in case of emergency.

So I shoveled. And shoveled. And shoveled.

Making matters worse, the idiot neighbor down the road who hated us for no reason that I can fathom (except perhaps that we were strangers and city folk at that), plowed the lane in front of our house, and let the snow pile up in front of our driveway. I couldn’t even manage to get over that snow hill to ask him politely (or maybe not so politely — understandably, I was rather on edge those days) to remove the snow he had dumped there. Not that he would have done anything about the blockage anyway.

So I shoveled. And shoveled. And shoveled.

After Jeff died and I went to the high desert of California to look after my father, I experienced a snow shower now and again, but most years there wasn’t any snow at all.

One winter, after a snowfall in the nearby mountains, an acquaintance wanted to see some snow, so we drove up to Big Bear. She threw a snowball, we trudged around a bit, then went into town to get something to eat. And boy, was that town packed full of people! It seemed as if half of southern California had a yen to look at snow.

It seemed strange to me then, and still does, actually, that snow was a tourist attraction in that part of the world. I mean, anywhere I’ve lived, except for there, if you waited long enough, snow just happened. I suppose the benefit of visiting snow as a tourist is that you don’t have to shovel the stuff, but even shoveling is not that much of a hardship if one takes it slowly.

Well, it looks as if the snow has mostly stopped. So guess what I’m going to do?

Aww. You guessed it.

Yep, I’m going out to shovel snow.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

2 Responses to “Snow Story”

  1. Estragon Says:

    There’s something sort of zen about shoveling snow. You clear it, but in doing so, you know the cleared bit will; drift in again, be snowed on again, eventually melt again, and look much like it did before you lifted a shovel. Regardless of whether you clear it or not, nature will take her course. Resistance is futile, but resist we do. It’s just our nature.

    The “tourists” somehow don’t quite get that.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s truly a different world when it snows, with different priorities, different values, a sort of “let it snow” attitude. (Though to be honest, I always disliked that song. What else can one do but let it snow?)

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