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

No Regrets

We were under a winter advisory watch from late yesterday afternoon until this morning because of all the snow we were supposed to get — three to six inches, they said. And boy, did we get snow — the full six inches that were forecast.

You’d think this is the sort of day that would make me regret moving back to Colorado, but rather to my surprise, it made me especially glad to be back here. I’ve never lived anywhere else where the aftermath of a winter storm (even though technically it was an autumn snowfall rather than a winter storm) is so invigorating, almost electric, with absolutely still air, blindingly blue skies, hot sun. Of course, there is the chill factor, but that was easy enough to alleviate with proper clothing, and pleasant enough for all that.

Even shoveling all that snow wasn’t a problem — it was hard work, but that work also gave me an excuse to be outside to experience the day. I suppose by the end of winter — if we get many snows like this, that is — it might be a different story, but for today, even the shoveling was a joy.

A Colorado friend who is now living in a mostly snow-free area wanted me to make a snow angel, but I had to turn her down. I can just see that — lying there with snow wings on either side of me, freezing to death because I couldn’t get up. My becoming an angel for real is not the sort of angel she wanted to see, I’m almost certain. Besides, the snow is so powdery, I doubt the image of an angel would remain even if I could still play around like that. I couldn’t even form a snowball to make a tiny snowperson.

As I was writing this, I got a call from a local friend, asking if he and his wife could stop by. I said yes, and asked when. He said, “Open your door.” So I did, and there they were, just pulling up in front of my house. What a lovely surprise, and another reason to not regret being here.

Apparently, they had made a dish to take to church for a meal afterward, as they always did, but no one else showed up. So they thought of me.

We had a good meal and a great visit.

And a good day got even better.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Snow Day

It snowed last night, so much so that the entire town is closed down. And so am I. I’m not going anywhere. I would have preferred to stay inside, too, but as a homeowner I am now responsible for keeping my sidewalks shoveled. I doubt anyone would have hurt themselves if I hadn’t shoveled, because of the town being closed down, but I tend to err on the safe side.

Until today, any snow we’ve had since I’ve been here were easily swept off the sidewalks, but this snow was heavier, so I swept the front wooden ramp and shoveled the front sidewalk.

I worried about cleaning the snow off my new sidewalk/ramp in the back since the handrails have not yet been installed, and slipping on snow and ice is not on my to-do list for today. (Or any day!) I thought it best to just use the front entrance until the snow completely melted. (I prefer the rear since I have a sort of mud room — really, just a designated area — back there, which keeps dirt out of the house.)

But then, inspiration struck. There’s no rule book that says I have to clean the snow from the house outward, so since I was outside anyway, I cleaned the back ramp from the bottom up. No slips or falls!

I’m exhausted now, of course. Shoveling a mile of sidewalks is hard work. To be entirely truthful, a mile is a bit of an exaggeration. I think it was only a little over 120 feet when I count the front sidewalk, the back sidewalk, and the ramps. But that’s still a lot for a woman who’s only months away from being officially “elderly.” A young elderly, but still . . .

With any luck, I’ll be rested soon, which is good because I’ll have to go out again. The snow had stopped for a while and now it’s snowing heavily. (Probably because I cleaned the sidewalks. Life seems to like playing pranks like that.) What is really lucky is that although I don’t have good snow boots, I have excellent all-weather hiking boots. They kept me from slipping today, and they’ll be especially great when I hike the two blocks to my job tomorrow.

So what’s the moral of this blog? The lesson learned? There’s no real point to this blog that I can see other than when things are worrisome, look at them from a different direction, and when necessary, work from the bottom to the top rather than top to bottom. Or something like that.

***

“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God
Click here to purchase the Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.