Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Big Snow

We got a big snow today. We have actually had quite a bit of snow this winter in the Chicago area where I live, but it always seems to be followed by rain and/or enough of a thaw that it quickly becomes a non-issue.

For me it is an issue because I am currently living in a big house with a hundred-foot driveway and no snow blower, plow or other mechanical means of clearing the snow other than an old-fashioned shovel.

I got stuck in the driveway earlier in the week for the first time this winter so I know I was going to have to do some digging if I wanted to get my car into the street without getting stuck.

I have an old Honda Accord with front wheel drive and newer tires that is pretty good in snow. But there are limits, and with about a foot of the white stuff on the ground, I knew I was going to have to move some of it out of the way.

My larder is getting a bit low and I thought I would go out to do a little shopping today. I was putting off going out and finally got myself going about 4:30 with just an hour or so of daylight left. It wasn’t enough time.

I got about half the driveway done and was feeling pretty bushed. Mind you, I am almost 65 and overweight so I took it pretty easy. I don’t want to become another victim of the old cliché. I decided I would make do with what I had in the house and finish the dig out tomorrow.

A couple of interesting things happened while I was shoveling. My two closest neighbors were clearing their paved driveways with their snow blowers; two men and one wife.

I thought how nice it would be if one of my neighbors offered to help me with his snow blower. Didn’t happen. Of course I have a gravel driveway so it doesn’t exactly lend itself to being cleared by a snow blower. Was that the reason? Probably not.

I haven’t really met my neighbors, except for saying hello once to the guy next door when we were both in our driveways when the weather was warmer. I am just house sitting and have only lived where I am for a few months.

It just made me nostalgic for when I was a kid growing up. I lived in a housing co-op where the neighbors knew each other and helped each other.

The other thing that occurred to me as I was digging was how vulnerable we really are and how fragile our lives are. We take our comforts so much for granted. What would we do if suddenly we didn’t have electricity, or running water, or what if I wasn’t healthy enough to clear the driveway myself?

I know that Soul is Eternal and so I am not really talking about life and death. I am just talking about planning for the uncertain future.

I named my blog What Now Grasshopper? because this has been an old tendency of mine, to not take life seriously enough. By this I am definitely not suggesting that we lose our sense of humor and became nothing but grim and practical. A sense of humor is a vital survival tool. But there is a balance somewhere.

Perhaps it is in part the 9/11 Consciousness, in part because I want to make my life more useful and be of more service. It is significant to me too that I haven’t felt much like writing until I went out and did an hour of honest work. What’s that about?