Woke up to a winter wonderland today – a real one.
My street looks like a gingerbread village blanketed with fluffy white icing.
As much as I fantasize about moving to a warmer climate, this is the type of winter day I’d miss if I did.
Cold, crisp air, the quiet hush and powdered sugar drifting down from the trees and tickling your eyelashes…
… but also clogging roads, sidewalks, steps….
So I decided to shovel my own front path and steps today to make it easier for my paperboy (more likely paper man or woman) to get to the front door.
I bundled up and made my way outside but the snow shovel was nowhere to be found. Turns out it had snowed so much last night, the shovel itself was buried under meringue-like snow drifts.
I dug out the shovel with my mittens, then used it to clear the steps and porch. Then I spotted something quite miraculous.
My neighbour’s path had not been shovelled!!! I practically wept with joy! … Guess I’d better explain.
Every time I’ve tried to do anything nice for this neighbour — who’s about 80 but moves like lightning — he always beats me to it. Whether it’s raking leaves or watering flowers or retrieving trash cans, he’s always one step ahead – doing things for others before anyone can do him a good turn.
So when I spotted his snowed-in walkway I ran over (well, trudged is more like it) and started clearing his path.
That’s when I heard the knocking sound. It was coming from inside the house — from the basement. He was at home!
I froze for a second because: (a) I wanted to do this anonymously, and (b) if he caught me, he’d rip the shovel out of my hand and take over.
So I continued shovelling as quietly as I could, but every scrape against the pavement made me wince.
Then I got to the section right beside the basement window and I could see his shadow moving around inside and I could hear clanging noises. He must have been fixing some pipes or building a better mousetrap, or something.
I kept shovelling and prayed he wasn’t wearing his hearing aid. I started to toss snow so fast, from the street it must have looked like a fast-forwarded excerpt from a “How to Shovel” video.
I cleared the steps and his front porch, then tiptoed in my puffy snow boots back home. Not the tidiest example of snow removal work but at least I got to do something nice for him for a change. Better keep an eye on my shovel….
P.S. My hands took a beating today, so here’s a song for ’em. Enjoy!