December 18, 2007

The weather outside


On a deadend county road, snow stays pure and white. When I go out to shovel the driveway, I cut into beautifully glistening drifts and toss soft chunks of snow into piles, working until the driveway has white walls on both sides. After a big snowstorm, every road, driveway, and path acquires these walls, making it seem like we live in some kind of magical play fort. Few kids can resist turning those walls into snowforts, complete with tunnels to crawl through and secret places to hide.

Last winter, a knee injury (possibly the most embarrassing sports injury in the history of sports) kept me indoors. I missed shoveling snow. Yesterday it felt good to go outside, bundled against the cold, trudging into snow past my knees. Our driveway is long, but of course, I have a houseful of teenagers — unlimited labor. By the time, I was beginning to get tired, Shaggy Hair Boy and Boy in Black had joined me, and they worked until the cars were clear and the driveway scraped down to the bottom layer of ice.

On a snowy day, the outside world is muffled and quiet. With my head wrapped in fleece, I couldn't hear much of anything as I plunged the shovel into new snow and tossed it atop the pile. Those soft piles of snow made a nice resting place when I decided to take a break and just watch my kids work. Fresh snow confirms to your body when you flop into it; no piece of furniture could be as comfortable as a snow drift.

Shoveling snow gives me a satisfying feeling of accomplishment: the driveway looked different when we were done, and the car had been freed so that I could go to the grocery store. When we came stomping into the house, we shook snow off our bodies, dripping water everywhere, and crowded near the fire to get warm.

That's Shaggy Hair Boy taking a break in the photo.


Yankee T said...

I swear, you make the season I hated so much when I lived in the northeast sound so wonderful.

kathy a. said...

my kids would do practically anything to have a few days in that snow! i'd help stoke the fire and make some cookies.