I was going to write about America falling apart at the seams (a la David Brooks NYT 1/13/22), but then it snowed.
Snow can be magical even as it can be overwhelming, dangerous, and disruptive. A big snow means a day of digging out and snuggling in.
Rabia could sense it early Monday morning. She can only see outside from one spot in the house and when she saw what she had been sensing a kind of quiver emanated from the inside out.
I was excited too. I hadn’t used my battery powered snow blower in a couple of years, not since we moved into Solar Village. We downsized the yard as well as the size of the house and so most tools and implements were sold off or given away. But I kept that snow blower. Anyone with a snow blower loves to overflow their own walks and venture out clearing the neighbor’s walks too. It’s a unique kind of fun, or if not quite fun, satisfaction. My back being what it is these days, shoveling is out of the question but snow blower? Sure.
I arose early to see what Mother Nature had delivered. Tiptoeing to the door (but not really, I don’t tip toe anymore) as if down the stairs on Christmas morning to see the tree with presents under it, I saw the snow through the glass. Rabia was next to me wagging here tail. But immediately I was confused.
The section of the porch between sidewalk and door was clear. Wind? Is it drifting badly, I wondered.
The battery had been charged the night before and sat by the door ready to go. On with the big Muck boots that cover and warm from ankle almost to knee. On with the long coat because the blowing snow cakes on everything. Knit Carhartt hat over my ears and Turtle neck-sleeve below my chin. Gloves in hand I opened the door to enter magic.
What? A cleared walk? It was not yet seven in the morning and someone had shoveled my walk. Not only mine but those to the left and the right.
It has been since my twenties that I have tracked an animal but snow makes it pretty easy. I was going to solve this crime. There were boot prints in the snow moving south. I was on the case: a secret snow thief had shoveled all the walks from one end of “Upper” Village, as we call it, to the other. Rising very early, even before this would-be snow thief did, the mystery shoveler had come and gone with stealth.
Hmm, even before I got to the end of the boot prints I could see they stopped at a sidewalk five or six houses away. Oh, wait, he’s there shoveling his own walk! Stop thief! You took my snow away!
I had found the culprit, a doctor no less. Dr. Ron did it! With only his intrepid shovel by his side he manhandled the snow away. Just to be kind, he shoveled the walks of his neighbors even before the light of day. How could I write about America falling apart at the seams when I awoke to that? And then, of course, there was Rabia who pranced and danced and ran crazy-eights in the snow.