The shovel has returned.

I woke up with a plan this morning: Coffee, shoveling, novel, in that order.

My plans to shovel were thwarted the instant I got out the door. I loaned the snow shovel to one of the neighbors, who is from a warmer clime and who looked like he needed to dig out his car in order to go to work. He accepted the shovel and took off down the street with it. That was an hour or so ago. Possibly he’s digging out a friend. Maybe he’s just running around, yelling “Whee, I stole a shovel.” Whatever he’s doing with the shovel, I haven’t seen him in a while.

I’m a little irked about this, because I  enjoy shoveling. There are a lot of reasons to like it: It’s cheap exercise, I get to interact with the neighbors, I get to be outside and there’s the instant gratification of physical labor.

But those aren’t the reasons I like shoveling.

I like shoveling because I can shovel any way I want to. I can shovel in a diagonal line. I can shovel in a circle. I can shovel half the steps and then decide to stop and go inside. I can shovel my name into the snow in front of our house.

I never do any of those things, but I can.

Why? Because of my childhood, of course. Continue reading