The weather gods got confused. It’s understandable. Don’t put the blame on them. They’ve been listening to Bing Crosby croon about a white Christmas since mid-November. The Friday following Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. “Oh, you better watch out.”
A Staples High computer hacker reportedly broke into the instant message link the weather gods have been using. The nor’easter god said to his Canadian instant-message friends, “They want white? We’ll send them some white!” So they blasted us with a blizzard. We weren’t ready.
Suddenly the season is upon us. On Saturday, during the storm, I came to my office for a couple of scheduled counseling sessions-life goes on, even in a storm. Between sessions I stopped and sat in the sanctuary to ‘watch the woods fill up with snow,’ and listen to the sound of the wind.
By the time I got home the driveway I had shoveled early on Saturday morning was piled high and there was no way I could get my VW up that hill. So I parked the car across the street and made my way to the house on foot. On Sunday morning I was glad the car wasn’t in the garage. I needed to get to church, so I dug out the car and left the driveway with its four-foot high drifts for later.
The service on same-gender marriage is too important to use on a morning hit by snow, so we went to plan B. We sang seasonal songs and I read the story of Scrooge’s ordeal and transformation. We weren’t going to do Scrooge this year. That’s why the gods got together to send the snow!
After the second service I drove home to face my task. This is our ninth winter on West Parish Road, and I’ve always shoveled the driveway, telling myself it’s good exercise. This time the big drifts presented a formidable task beyond the exercise rationale. I was chipping away at it when a guy came to plow my neighbor’s driveway. I hesitated, then I broke through my resistance and walked over, and I said, “Do you have time for another job?”
“No,” he answered, rather abruptly, I thought. Then he said, “I wish I didn’t have to do this one.”
I went back to my task, chipping away at the drift, with less enthusiasm than it required. The next thing I knew the guy with the plow pulled up, waved at me to step aside, backed his mighty machine up the driveway, and plowed those dastardly drifts down to the pavement, delivering it to the other side of the street. He made another pass at it. While he cleared the snow off the street, I dashed into the house and got two twenty dollar bills.
I bolted out clutching the cash and got to the street just as he was pulling away. So I ran to the open window to proffer payment. He waved away the money, then he smiled, as if I had done him the favor. I was reminded of the moment when Scrooge whispered into the ear of one of the portly gentlemen who had been in his office the day before, pledged a big donation, and said, “Would you do me that favor? There are many back payments included.”
Suddenly the sacred season came plowing down my driveway. I got it. I hope you do, too.