Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Etiquette

This morning I had such a good time walking to Mass...and then the "Love is patient, Love is kind" verses were the second reading, and we sang "Here I Am, Lord," both things that remind me of my brave husband. And after Mass, we had chocolate cake, two kinds of brownies, cinnamon rolls and glazed blueberry muffins -- all homemade. The Lord is good.

But that's not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about snow etiquette.

I walked to Mass in some pretty good snow, and I walked home in a little snow also. But by the time I settled in with my lunch, we had such serious snow that I couldn't even see across the road to the house of the people from Bartlesville! (Yes, the people who just moved in across the street happen to be from Bartlesville. Small world, isn't it?)

I was transported.

And of course I wanted to go out in it. It seemed selfish to go out without Tula, so I put her little leopard-print fleece coat on her and out we went. But once I got out there, I began to worry, as I always do when there is new snow, that we were breaking some kind of rule. When we walk in the deep, fluffy snow, we make tracks. I know my neighbors gripe about the snow non-stop, but surely they find it beautiful. And surely our tracks mess it up for them. So I walked her around our own yard only and when her legs began to shiver, I brought her back in.

Then I went back outside, choose a good spot, fell down backwards and made a snow angel. It's been a long, long time since I did that. And I'm better at it now than I was the last time, maybe because this time I know there's enough snow to actually cushion the fall and not a hidden rock under there. I could have laid in the yard like that, watching the snow, for longer, but I didn't want my neighbors to think I'd had an event and feel that they should leave their fireplaces, bundle up, and come to save me.

Anyway...I'm leaving the topic: Snow etiquette. Is it neighborly to walk on the sidewalks when the snow is beautiful and new, or should you stay in until you actually have to go out to keep it in its pristine condition? Is it neighborly to shovel past your own house, or is it up to other people if they want the sidewalk in front of their house shoveled? The same goes for the snow-blower. I don't mean once this snow has stopped; then, I think everyone appreciates it. But is letting it be pretty until that moment comes the correct behavior?

It's not very cold now that we have snow again. My two-houses-down neighbor may come over to show me how to work the snow-blower. I have a secret: I kind of regret the snow-blower now, because I don't WANT my snow out of the yard! I like walking through the tall snow on the sidewalk and up the walkway. I like not knowing where the stairs end because the snow comes all the way up to the door.

On the other hand, I know not everyone likes it. And I'm not a good shoveler. So if he comes and I learn to snow-blow the sidewalk all the way to his house (because he likes to snow-blow from his house to the house of the next guy with a cool snow-blower), I will be glad. And all the Sackets Harbor dogs will have a path to walk, which means the little ones will be able to walk longer.

I'm rambling, but another thing: Is it good etiquette to rejoice in the snow when all around you your neighbors are hating it? I'm trying to hold back a little, but it's hard. I love this snow, and there is never enough, and it can't possibly outlast my enjoyment of it, no matter what they say!

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