I am amazed by the sense of satisfaction I felt just moments ago, looking back at my cleared driveway, the gentle flurries drifting slowly around me. It was almost magical, in an I-just-shoveled-the-driveway-and-now-I-want-someone-to-be-proud-of-me kind of way.
It's dark. It's cold. I had been dreading taking the garbage out, but when I got out there, I decided that I should probably clear my walk. And then my steps. And then shovel a (shovel-width) path from my green bin to the carport. And then, some kind of energy hit, and I shoveled the whole back driveway. Well, ok, not the whole thing, but it's now wide enough to drive my car into my garage. Or would be if I could fit my car into my garage. Project Cleanout is still underway.
At about the mid-point, I heard some clanking and clicking. I froze, since the sound was coming, if not from my backyard, then from my house. Sure enough, I saw the curtains over our back door start to move, and two little heads peered around it. Uh-oh. As I had tucked them in and snuck out of the house only about 15 minutes before, I expected that they would be a titch distraught. They didn't disappoint.
"Mommy! You're not supposed to shovel the backyard!"
"Go back to bed. I'll be in when I'm done."
I watched them re-lock the latch and lower the security bar. I wondered if they had already locked the front door, and, if so, if anyone would get out of bed when I started banging on the door.
But, I digress. After finishing the rest of the back driveway, hauling the green bin and black bin to the front steps, and having a nice little chat with my neighbour, I took a moment to look again at our little home.
I had used today's naptime (one hour! no arguments! go!) to its fullest, and our front entrance now boasts Christmas lights, festive greenery, and a wreath. In just forty (40!) minutes, I was able to test our two strings of lights, wrap them up each side of the steps, up the posts, across the top, connect them together, run to the garage (at the time, it was through knee-deep snow), get the extension cord, plug the lights into it, feed it around the house, under the side steps, onto the back deck, over the deck box, under the deck rug, and plug it in.
Well, truth be told, that part only took 12 minutes. The other 28 were spent running back to the garage for the timer, plugging that in, checking out the front and noting that there were 5 wraps on the right, but only 2 on the left, disconnecting them and unwrapping the right so that there were 3, stepping back to realize that there were only TWO on the left, like I first noticed, so climbing back up the ladder to disconnect the strings again and make sure that the wraps were congruent. They weren't. I somehow had miscounted (yes, miscounted to three), so had to do it again, then decided to wrap the two light strings around the wreath for extra stability and pizzazz.
All of this was done with incredible awkwardness. I could picture my neighbours cozying up in front of their windows with nice mugs of hot cocoa, just to watch the ordeal. Sure, they'd feel bad, just watching me, but not enough to end the show. But eventually, I was done, and it looked fine. Just fine! Stop badgering me!
So, yes, I took that moment, and admired the lights, the wreath, the snowflakes... and held my breath as I tried to open the door.
PS - the two of them were waiting for me, on the stairs, blankies in hand. "We're scared," they said. "That's silly," I replied, and led them back up to bed. "Tomorrow, you can go see the nice hockey rink I've shoveled out for you."