Monday, January 24, 2011

The Snow Fairy

On mornings following a significant snowfall, when I am at breakfast, the Common Household Husband enters the kitchen and says to me, “I see that the Snow Fairy shoveled the front walk.”  Then he adds in a hopeful voice, “Did the Snow Fairy by any chance also shovel the driveway?”  And my answer is almost always “Yes.”

Dear Reader, I will divulge to you that I am the Snow Fairy

On mornings when the Snow Fairy is needed, I wake up early, usually to the dulcet tones of the salt truck driving by.  The environment be damned; I love the salt truck.  It makes possible Life As We Know It in Northern Suburbia.

I arise and flit down to the computer to check for a two-hour delay or cancellation of school.  As much as these drive me crazy, I am glad for a two-hour delay – on those days it seems like my children are leaving for school at a reasonable hour.  But delay or no, I know that there is no chance that either of my teenagers is going to wake up in enough time to shovel the driveway.

I put on my heavy winter clothes and shovel the front walk so that I can retrieve the newspaper.  Invigorated by the brisk air, I carry my favorite snow shovel through the house and down to the driveway.  Please note that “brisk” is my cheery term for “bone-chilling.” 

It is often still dark when I go into Snow Fairy mode.  I check for certain conditions to be met.  If snow is not blowing in my face, and if no one else is out using their snow blower, then the Snow Fairy is in her element. – the world is dark, quiet, and calm. 

Then begins my methodical task.  The peace that comes is indescribable.  Here is a finite task involving little brain thought.  It has quick and visible results.  It is utterly unlike child-rearing, doing laundry, or analyzing data.  It makes my husband happy.  There may be other tasks in the Common Household Mom’s life that fit that description, but those tasks cannot be accomplished while wearing snow pants.

There is just one dilemma that the Snow Fairy faces.  When I am finished shoveling our driveway, I should go shovel the driveway of my recently widowed neighbor.  It’s true that another neighbor will come later and clear out her driveway with his snowblower.  Shouldn’t I go over there just to show I care?  I am wracked with guilt, but the outside world has grown inhospitable. I am feeling less like a fairy and more like an extra in the March of the Penguins movie. 

Once I am back inside, the Snow Fairy disappears, and it is just me.  Time for a hot shower and breakfast, while reading that newspaper I fetched so long ago. 

Is there a snow fairy at your house?  Or perhaps you have not needed a snow fairy this winter?  Lucky you!
The front walk, after a visit from the Snow Fairy

3 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What a gracious fairy you are! (I, too, like the 2 hour delay days. It seems so pleasant to let my tribe sleep in and play a little before they go grind at school for a day)

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Yes, lucky me. I left my snow fairy self in Pa. and do not miss her one bit.

Joanie said...

I love your doing this because I can relate. I would like to do that alone, in the quiet dark. I understand. I shoveled for 20 years but quit 10 years ago. Alas, if I shoveled now, you may need to visit me in the hospital's cardiac unit. Your husband is a very fortunate man. I hope that he shows his appreciation to you. Maybe for Valentine's Day, he will give you a new pair of snow paints!