Driveway tetris and other winter games

It’s beautiful here…and freaking cold. If I could have the snow without the frigid, I’d be the happiest girl in the world…but alas, they go hand in hand so let the winter games begin.

Games? what games?

Winter is a festival of playtime for us. The first wet snowfall is a requisite snow fight and fort building event…even if it’s a work/school night. Then comes the aftermath…ours is the yard along the street that looks like a crime scene while everyone else’s wears a pristine blanket of white across the now dormant grass. I love this about us. I hope this will be true forever, but the resulting soreness says that it will not. The friends of ours who show up unannounced on the first snow night says it’s not just our tradition anymore.

Winter storms also mean the game of who will win the battle to keep the walks and drive way clear so that there is an easy path to walk. Most years Old Man Winter wins this in the deep overnight hours, blowing drifts across the clear, but we fight back each time and eventually spring takes a vote and the paths stay clear for another season…alas, as we’re just beginning, it is up to us to keep bidding against the ice and slippery places of packed snow that my knees have come to hate in this most recent of my 5 decade fight to stay vertical in the winter. *sigh*

The other winter game around here is driveway tetris. We have a 3 car drive and 4 vehicles. I thank my pop for giving me mad packing skills as we turn autos to angle over the yard without the tires reaching it to wedge the cars in so the plows can clear the street.  There is little room left for the plow piles to block us in, though they still manage. I think they are on to this game of ours though…they have their own version…how much plowed snow can they get into the few scant inches at the end of our drive while staying on their side of the magic line that delineates street from drive? They are getting quite good.

I’m not complaining, far from it. This season, like the others, is necessary. Just like the darkness helps us to remember to appreciate the light, winter reminds us of what it means to be in the sweltering heat and humidity of Midwest summers when the temps and humidity numbers are close the mirroring each other, but not quite tipped enough to give us that refreshing summer rain that relieves the day. As much as I want to move to a warmer climate, there is something about fresh snow that has stayed my move for ages. There is something about a hot toddy and a steamy bath after being amid the flakes that has no equal in the other seasons. Winter days are when I pause to count my blessings simply because they are.

As we are amid the push and pull of the holiday season, the snow is my reminder of small miracles, tiny wonders, and the great joy that can come from things that cost nothing. I wish you all a moment of such simple clarity.

So snuggle in with a good book…it’s a great time of year to remember to do something good for yourself as you are busy doing or buying for others…the whirling white flakes say so and so I do. I’m off to another round of clear the drive and the tetris game of autos to put the day away before the plows come though again and leave a car trapped on the street. No one left behind…even as the temps go south of zero.




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