There’s an old saying that goes “If you have a job that you have to do a lot of, get really good at it and figure out how to enjoy it”. In New Hampshire in the dead of winter, that would be snow shoveling. Admittedly, this is a picture that was taken 5 years ago when we had more snow, but I love it, and I wanted to share it.
That year, we had tons of snow, literally. All of the hardware stores, Home Depots, tractor supply stores, etc. were completely sold out of snow blowers, shovels and roof rakes. A snow removal anything was unavailable for love or money. I had a friend plow my driveway, but that still left walkways, parking spaces and roofs to shovel. Each time it would snow, I would suit up with long johns and my trusty Carhardt insulated bib-overalls.
In winter in New Hampshire, style is much less important than BTU’s, and warmth actually becomes stylish in a weird way. I would start with the path to the woodshed, then hit my rhythm by the time I got to my studio/shop. As my body settled into a sort of physical mantra in the silent, white world, my mind would be free to wander.
I can’t tell you how many designs I developed shoveling snow, and how many stories. I made up bogus news items about snow shoveling competitions in which I would be the winner, I dreamed up stories about a young beaver who didn’t want to grow up and join the family timber business, I visualized what flowers I would add to my perennial border the next spring.
Instead of dreading the next snow storm, I started to look forward to it. Of course, this may mean that I’d gone nuts.
Last year, I finally bought a snow blower. I will admit that it’s big help, despite the noise and the fumes and the fact that I always get a face-full of snow. I still shovel off the roofs and clean up around the wood shed and the doors, but I shovel much less that I used to. Such is the price of being on the dark side of 65. I still love it though.
Enjoy your winter. Stay warm and dream up things that make you happy.