If, in your zest to lose weight and get in shape, you had insisted that you wanted to do all the snow-shoveling this winter, you might find yourself second-guessing that decision on the morning after yet another fresh snow. And after you bundle yourself up and spend a good 30 minutes outside in the fresh air, you might take off your hat and unzip your coat for a minute and stand there and stare at that last bit of shoveling; the end of the driveway where the snowplow wedged a small but firm wall of snow. At that point your shoulders might be aching and you may regret your decision.You might even be feeling a little sorry for yourself.
It is then you perhaps hit upon the idea of warming up the car and turning the radio up full blast, with the door slightly ajar so you can hear the music perfectly. When the song from the old classic Peanut’s Christmas show starts playing, you find yourself smiling a bit as you dig into the hard packed snow, and you get your second wind and find an energy you didn’t know you had in you, digging deep and throwing the scoops of snow far, since the nearest pile on each side is getting quite high. Before long, the music has you thinking back to your childhood and scooping the long driveway with your siblings. Then you remember the snowball fights and snowmen, the forts your brothers built and the hard work your Dad did right along with all of you. You remember carrying piles of wood to stack so that your home would be warm that winter. You remember your Dad getting stuck on the long steep road past your house, and pushing his truck out of the drifts. You remember, too, the Christmas party (or was it New Year’s Eve?) at your oldest sister’s house and crawling up that same hill with your brother that night. You think about the silly things you did with your siblings like taking your shoes off and running through the snow barefoot, or careening down a hill on your brother’s back while he steered the sled.
And before you know it, you are laughing outside, all alone, the music and memories swirling around in your head. And that last bit of the driveway gets cleaned out with hardly any effort at all.
And the lone tear that escapes and freezes on your cheek isn’t about the effort of your chore or the additional snow that is expected, but about the childhood that is lost to you forever.
Then you hear yet another song emanating from the car, one your Dad used to play over and over, and you haven’t heard at all this season, “If We Make it Through December,” by Merle Haggard. And standing there in the snow, leaning on your shovel, muscles aching in that satisfying way they do after a good workout, you are grateful for all the blessings bestowed upon you; a healthy husband, good kids, a warm house, a short driveway, a dear mother who is still around, and yes, those siblings who grew up with you and who are now your friends.
And suddenly, you realize~ Everything’s going to be alright, I know…
…If we make it through December, we’ll be fine.