Sunday, December 15, 2013

So Much Fun

The snow started so timidly last night, I could count the flakes drifting cautiously past the shadow of my CRV, as though they felt self-conscious being seen. By midnight, their courage having grown in proportion to their numbers, enough had gathered for me to shovel an inch off the front patio; by morning, they reached, shamelessly, halfway to my knees. 

Depending on your inseam, that can be a lot or a little. Mine's 36 inches, so this was a lot. The dogs, by the way, agreed with me. When we went out for morning bathroom break #1, my Yellow Lab took one step, then looked at me and intuited, "Where did all this come from?" 

"From the sky, big guy," I responded, aloud.

Now, if I was a kid, an arguable point on days like this, I'd be torn between anticipation and lament. Anticipation because it snowed and that meant play, lament because it fell on Sunday and not Monday, guaranteeing a snow day. Overall, though, I'd be gladder than sadder since this much, this close to Christmas, ensures this year it will be white. 

We didn't spend much time shoveling snow when I was younger, certainly not in comparison to what I did today. My father would clear off the back walk to enable my mother to reach her car, but otherwise, we'd trudge through the drifts to the barn to feed the horses. If we'd had a snow thrower, it would have been different, but as they hadn't been invented yet, it makes no difference. Besides, dad was raised on a ranch where knee-deep snow was common and no one thought twice about it. 

I probably wouldn't think about it either, but for the fact that snow accumulates in Maine. At the foot of the Colorado Rockies, where I grew up, snow is like a relative, just passing through. Back here, the snow moves in and sets up housekeeping. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of snow days I had in high school. Back here, it takes both hands and a few toes to keep track of them.

One thing is incredibly similar, though, between the snows of my older youth and those of the younger one I discovered as a medical student, and that is, any snowfall is a chance to play. My new snow brush -- the one I use on the car? -- has a  movable head that lets me pull the snow off the car in sections, creating little avalanches as I move from the hatchback to the windscreen. 

With snow flying in all directions and oblivious to the cold, it came to me: I cleared the cars the same way as a kid. All I had then was a straw broom, so my avalanches had to move away from me. The push broom from my father's shop was okay, but the brush was too soft to work very well. My new one is perfect and as it was then, creating avalanches is still, so very much fun.

Am I ever glad.

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