I’ve just spent an hour-and-a-half shoveling snow. Now, in general, I like to shovel snow. But today, a few things conspired to make the experience slightly less than wonderful. For starters, I miss my Old Faithful shovel. Its replacement is a mere shadow of the shovel that Old Faithful was before his demise. Also, my neighbor’s dog was let out halfway through the job and forgotten by his owner. Said dog quickly determined that I was not a natural part of the snowy landscape and in order to alert everyone in a five-mile radius of that fact, he proceeded to serenade anyone listening (read: me) with a repeating refrain of sonorous Beagle (read: bugle) songs (Arrrr-rooo!!! Arrrr-rooo!!!).
But the snow was lovely and light and as I shoveled–as I am wont to do–I considered the many blessings and curses associated with such a morning’s work:
Blessing: I’ve been wanting to lose some weight, and I figure I burned about a thousand calories today.
Curse: The residual lactic acid buildup from the previous day’s 100 crunches and free-weight training.
Blessing: The westerly wind when shoveling to the left.
Curse: The westerly wind when shoveling to the right.
Blessing: My new, short haircut tucked out of the way, safely under my hat.
Curse: My new short haircut after returning inside and removing the hat.
Blessing: The edges of the driveway.
Curse: The middle of the driveway.
Blessing: The snowplow drivers who keep the street cleared of snow.
Curse: The snowplow drivers who deposit a waist-high pile of sludge at the end of the driveway just as I am completing my task.
Blessing: Light, powdery snow when lifting shovelful after shovelful of the stuff.
Curse: Light, powdery snow when throwing it into a prevailing wind.
Blessing: The neighbor who approaches with his snow-thrower chugging away–headed right for my driveway.
Curse: The neighbor who cheerily waves as he chugs past on his way to some other neighbor’s driveway.
Curse: Light, blowing snow down the back of my coat.
Blessing: Light, blowing snow down the back of my coat after I’ve been shoveling for 45 minutes.
Curse: That I will need to see my chiropractor after this.
Blessing: That my chiropractor always throws in a lovely bit of massage with the adjustment.
Curse: The 1,000 pounds of snow that I moved today.
Blessing: That my husband is coming home and the next 1,000 pounds will be his responsibility.
Blessing: We’re going on vacation in three days.
Curse: Our main planned activity: snowshoeing.