Ice and Rain

There’s something about an incoming snow storm that makes me feel like nesting. Instead of writing, I spent most of the afternoon scraping our very long driveway of 1/4 inch of sleet. There’s a large hill involved, and my beloved had yet to return from teaching his last classes of the semester. I confess I was also thinking of the predicted several inches of snow. It’s one thing to have snow on the driveway, but quite another to have a thick layer of ice below it that must melt before the driveway is passable.

I didn’t ask the boy to help right away. I liked the solitude of the afternoon, the rhythmic sound of the shovel blade against the asphalt. The road that runs along our property is steep, so I was able to watch the progress of the light traffic. The school bus had no problem, and neither did the Amish children in their horse-drawn buggy as they headed to their homes near the orchards. (They attend classes at a house a couple of miles away.) I worked for about an hour and a half with the dogs playing nearby. By the end of that time, the road had become more treacherous and a Jeep and a pickup truck were both stuck on the hill for a good amount of time. The drivers figured it out, finally. One made it up the hill, the other backed down very slowly. Scout, our Rat Terrier/Rottie mix, barked his encouragement, and thus assured that none of the drivers pulled in our driveway to ask for his assistance.

The sleet had turned into a light rain by the time we reached the gate, and I called the boy outside to help clear the parking area up near the house. He was excited–mostly, I think, about the prospect of popcorn and hot chocolate at the end of our task. We worked for another 1/2 hour, while the dogs got soaked and chewed on sticks. The boy was not delighted when I headed down the driveway again, pushing away the small amount of sleet/snow that had accumulated all over again. But I felt compelled. I wanted it clear, clear, clear. When I reached the bottom third, I looked up to see him wearing a look of disbelief. I’m always engaged in overkill–a perfectionist at heart. Of course it was a Sisyphean task. As I type now, hours later, I can hear more sleet against the window. I had been thinking never enough, never enough. But sometimes we just have to say enough is enough. I called the dogs and we trudged up the hill again to go inside.

Now we are cozy. Beloved is home. School is cancelled for tomorrow. It was definitely enough.

(Fiction word count today: 0)

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