To Shovel or Not To Shovel?

In the early hours of New Year’s day we awoke to the rattle of ice against window panes. Ice turned to snow by the time we got up, and we committed ourselves to a traditional snow day, pancakes, hot cocoa and all. After lunch Jon left the house just long enough to shovel the driveway. We live on the side of the street without sidewalks.

“Walk me!”

Our dog Mamie was the only unhappy member of the household. At not-quite-two years old she is eighty-two pounds of boundless love, and dependent on two walks per day to spread that love around. But what were we to do? The weather was out of our hands.

The following morning I suited up and set out to walk the dog. Mamie galloped along like a—well, like a big dog who hasn’t been out in two days. I did my best to keep her under control.

We were all right on the snow-covered sidewalks, where people had neglected their civic shoveling duties. But the neatly shoveled stretches were sheets of ice, as were the plowed streets. After one treacherous block I was forced to turn back rather than risk a bone-breaking fall.

I turned the dog loose in the back yard and snapped pictures of snow-laden trees while she raced around in circles.

Jon repeated the back-yard solution in the afternoon, and we continued this way yesterday, too.

To be honest I was frustrated with the eager beavers who had shoveled their walks. I blamed them for disrupting our routine and making our lives more difficult.

Yesterday, temperatures rose into the upper thirties, and a day that began with frost-covered trees ended in the drip-drip-drip of thawing branches. “Tomorrow it should be safe to walk the dog,” I said, and Jon agreed.

This morning I clipped Mamie into her harness and set out, only to find that conditions had changed.

The walks that had been shoveled, though icy at first, now looked like this….

while the walks that had not been shoveled looked like this.

The shovelers’ work plus the thaw in the weather brought about safe conditions for Mamie and me.

From a humbled heart I offer you this insight. Do your work, right away. Though the result may at first seem disappointing, even counter-productive, give it time.

All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23

How are the sidewalks in your neck of the woods?


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