Since winter is on the horizon let me say that I kind of like to shovel snow. Not deep snow, then the shoveling becomes work. Just light snow. The line from light snow to deep snow to me is set at about four inches. Over four inches and it is more work than like. Then, an over four inches and wet snow is a, let’s wait until it melts a bit snow. And finally over four inches and blowing into drifts is a, put another log on the fire snow.
Not everyone likes to shovel the white stuff. It is work. It is usually cold when you are out in it. You have to bundle up so much to stay warm wearing layers of layers until you feel like what I like to refer to as the Michelin Man syndrome, all poofy and not able to bend in the middle. However if you fall down you bounce pretty well! But more about the shoveling, of snow that is…
Why on earth would I enjoy this treacherous, cold winter task? Well it has to do with instant gratification. There are very few times we get instant gratification. But there are many, many times that we want that instant gratification. Why is that? What is it about wanting to see our accomplishments as soon as we have accomplished them? I would applaud researchers who work tirelessly looking for the answer to questions that have plagued humans since the beginning of time. Sure the questions about God and the end of terrible diseases, those will always go without saying. But also there are the questions like, why do M&M’s only melt in your mouth? Or is it really a small, small world? (Good luck getting that song out of your head today!) How can anyone just keep looking and looking without ever having the opportunity to say, “I’ve done it!”
Well in a roundabout way that is why I like to shovel snow. Just one scrape across the deck or side walk and you can turn around and see what you have accomplished. I tend to not stay within the snow shoveler’s guidelines of back and forth, back and forth. No I make big wide paths. As a matter of fact if you have a long enough sidewalk and enough snow and a little flare, you can actually write your name in snow. Well that paints a picture doesn’t it? Moving on…
I’m more of a to and fro gal shoveler. No I did not stay within the lines in my coloring books either! I like to get the shoveling done make no mistake. There is the instant gratification sure, but you also get rewarded with a warm cup of cocoa and a clean tissue for your cold, quickly running nose when you’re done. The whole process of making pathways, scooping to and fro in the cold crispness of winter, scooping fluffy frozen water into piles looking over your shoulder instantly seeing that you have accomplished something, well there is a lot to be said for it. But make no mistake, over four inches of the white stuff falls and it truly does turn into winter work!
I can see how someone may not be impressed by this proclamation of how snow shoveling can be a good experience. Let’s look at it a bit differently. Who out there who has ever mowed a lawn, has not stopped after ten or twenty feet, turned around just to look to see if the mower is mowing? And in looking back did you not feel that instant gratification of getting something done? The smooth cut. The little line of clippings that if you don’t have a grass catcher, are laying in a row next to the newly cut grass. Seeing that your work, you’re oh so precious Saturday time spent on this mowing project is making a difference? We don’t even have to get into the smell of freshly mowed lawns. I’m betting most of us have done that look back. Might just be a quick sneak peek, but inside there is this little whoopee happening. You might not take it all in until you are done, lying in the hammock enjoying a cold drink—and using a clean tissue for your ever running hay fever sneezing nose. But I bet you take it all in at some point. That runny nose thing? Now there’s the correlation between winter and sumer.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and comments with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.