This is something I wrote maybe five years ago when I was young and foolish and my back didn’t go out with every heft of the snow shovel.

I look out at the pristine snow that fell yesterday and last night in heavy wet flakes to drown everything in white. It’s not the snow I care to shovel.


Like a bone to a dog, like catnip to a cat, like chocolate to a dieting woman I embraced my sequestering at home. But not the idleness.

Idleness came on me by degrees. First was the loan of my car to my daughter. Second was the shriveling up of my internet service. Then the snows came.

I’m not a snow person, but I looked on the bright side; I didn’t like driving in it and I was now absolved of that. And the precipitation wouldn’t have allowed me to get internet reception even if my neighbor hadn’t secured his service.

So, I did what recluses everywhere do when they have time on their hands. I created an activity for myself. I became like Edmund Dantes and shoveled. I became obsessed with the snow in my front door yard, shoveling it and maintaining it as a thing of beauty. It was something I’d never done before, since I was always too busy.

I shoveled and groomed the yard with the precision of a fastidious hairdresser, the result I endeavored to achieve would be a yard with nary a snowflake out of place. The pristine white snow was scraped to an average depth of 3/8 of an inch, more or less. That depended on the undulations of the underlying gravel of course. I shoveled patterns into the fresh snow, becoming annoyed when someone parked on my creations. Especially when the parker never even noticed my handiwork. Yesterday I scraped an overall scallop pattern onto my shoveled snow. I dreamt of a bargello pattern with the next light snowfall, perhaps with a Greek key design on the five foot high wall of snow that I’d thrown up like bulwarks around my proscribed area.

These walls of snow are tended with the care of a plasterer; careful use of the shovel on the downward thrust through built up snow banks yields a smooth, marbleized, vertical surface ready for the application of carved reliefs or even frescos, if one desires. Color might be needed to break up the monotony of all white. Spray paint? A dog?

However, all this shall pass. Spring will come again and I will need to get away from all this foolishness and embrace more permanent things. I have been promised internet service, though the date varies with time. I’ll get my car back, though that date is indefinite also. But in the meantime I have the snow to warm the cockles of my creative heart and hand.


That was then, this is today. I’ll probably go out at some point and shovel because I’m crazy.

I never got my car back; my trusty yellow VW bug. My daughter drove it till it had 250,000 miles on it and then passed it on to a restorer. I got a new yellow bug. Then I switched from #%&*@#%$%&%$# to Charter for my internet service and have miles to go on that each day before I sleep. Just like good old Robt. Frost. Or was that Jack Frost?

The snow will eventually disappear and the sound of turtledoves will return.

Life is good.

About Eleanor Ingbretson

Native New Yorker. Transplanted to New Hampshire years ago, but still considered a flatlander by the neighbors. Writer of fantasy and mystery and whatever else takes my fancy.

Posted on December 30, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. If you don’t use the artistic snow shoveling in your writing, you will definitely roast in hell for wastefulness!


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