Snowy days, like the one I watch from my office window right now, often inspire images of frolicking in the snow and steamy cups of hot chocolate afterwards. When my husband and I lived in our condo, that’s what they amounted to.
The first winter we spent in our single family home, however, a snow day meant something else; someone had to shovel the driveway. For the first few years, that’s exactly what we did. My husband tackled the lion’s share. I muddled along, helping but complaining.
Then one day, when we received a small financial windfall, he went out and purchased a snow blower. Hallelujah!
Visions of watching him remove the snow while I watched him through the picture window pranced in my head. Maybe I’d enjoy a hot chocolate or even a glass of wine while he cleared a path for our cars in the winter wonderland. Bill had a new man-toy and I’d received an honorable discharge from the tiresome chore of removing snow. Life was good.
The first day he had a chance to use it, he called me into the garage before he even started.
I went downstairs, thankful I hadn’t poured that glass of wine yet.
He stood in front of the snow blower. “I got a lighter blower so you could use it, too.”
“That’s okay. I don’t need to use it.” I turned to leave.
“What if it starts to snow in the morning, after I’ve left for work? You don’t want to shovel, do you?”
I stopped and faced him. “Won’t you just do it? I mean isn’t that why we got this?”
He snorted a laugh. “You should listen. You may need to use this one day.”
The lawn mower and leaf blower are close friends of mine. I’m that wife. The one who helps with outside chores. He probably figured I’d like to add another friend to my posse of gas guzzling acquaintances.
About a month later, we had a storm. It started after he’d left for work and mounted as the day wore on. By 3 p.m., if I didn’t remove the snow, he might not be able to pull into the driveway.
I begrudgingly went out and took a shovel. After about three shovelfuls, I dragged out the snow blower. The day he gave me instructions returned, but most of it was a clear as a dirty windshield.
I tracked him down at the office and returned to the garage with the cordless phone. This time, I listened to everything he said.
Somehow, I got it started. In truth, it was fun. Way more fun than shoveling. When my next-door neighbor came out to do his driveway, he wandered came over to our house with his roaring machine and offered to help.
Today, during our storm, my husband is home but he’s sick with a cold. Guess I might get a chance to play with the snow blower today. Yippee! Okay, it doesn’t warrant cheers, but it’s better than shoveling.
How do you feel about shoveling and snow days?