A Lesson in Listening

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.

images-14The 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.

images-16I “uh-huhed” my way through his demonstration, giving him no more than half my attention. When he finished, I waltzed back inside, each and every instruction slipping down the old memory drain.

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.

Ariens-Path-ProI shooed him away. “Thanks, but I’m good. This is fun!”

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?

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10 responses to “A Lesson in Listening

  1. Sorry, Sharon, but this post was like the adults talking in Charlie Brown for me. Not the writing, but the topic. Snow is not a pleasant conversation for me, but I did like the whole financial windfall part and having fun with the snowblower. Enjoy. Hope your husband feels better soon.

    • No snow in Ghana, I guess. There are moments I’d say lucky you. I just came in from blowing the driveway. The snow is super high. Not as fun as blowing away 5 inches. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. It’s a little crazy but…I actually like shoveling. There’s just something about the motion, the shhhk-shhhk sound of plastic scraping pavement, the general muffling of the outdoors. I love pushing aside the white, watching it build on either side of the shovel. Kind of makes me feel like I’m pushing up and leveling mountains–like the goddess I am. 😉

    I also like playing with the snowblower. Mountain-creating-and-leveling-goddess, on steroids!

  3. Haha, the snowblower is like shoveling on steroids. My inner goddess likes blowing it away for the same reason. It’s productive, the fruits of my labor quite obvious when through by the mountain along side the driveway. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I don’t mind shoveling a little bit. It does wear thin pretty quickly for me. We have a snow-blower but it’s strictly Mr. Troy’s domain. I suppose I should learn how to use it. I did learn how to use the riding mower and that can be kinda fun…… 🙂

    • Lol, when I was a kid we had a riding mower and I loved it. If I couldn’t have a horse, it was the next best thing. You’d like the snow blower. Give it a shot! Thanks for stopping by, Maura!

  5. Well, we don’t have snow here in sunny SoCal, but I lived in MI for about five years and I loved the snow. But then, I didn’t have to do any of the work!

  6. We don’t have a snow blower, but we do have kids. They’re great at shoveling everyone else’s driveways…This year we’ve had a lot more snow than normal and are blessed with a wonderful neighbor who has come by with his snow blower on the really bad days. One day we’ll probably invest in one. After the kids move out!

    • Lol, those kids do come in handy on a snow day. My girls always moaned and groaned when we asked for help (but did it anyway). Now they go out because they need to unearth their cars from the mounds of snow if they want to drive before the spring thaw. Bill and I watch, while our cars sit the garage all toasty. It’s nice to be a parent…
      Thanks for stopping by Diane!

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