The snow sure is pretty though, isn’t it?

I spent quite a bit of time shoveling the driveway. Except for losing this time to other, more satisfying tasks, I don’t really mind clearing the driveway. Scraping away chunks of snow has that same sort of satisfaction one might get from more personal grooming endeavors. Plus I’m listening to music. And while not an actual workout, it’s a little fresh air and activity.

Now, I share a driveway with Mary, so she watches out the window and feels guilty. Which she shouldn’t. In fact, I was actually thinking to myself that clearing the driveway for our neighbors as well as ourselves makes it much more satisfying, because I feel like I’m doing a good deed. Plus I’m more careful and conscientious, because we don’t want anybody breaking a hip! Although, frankly, I’d have to be conscientious, anyway, because Cute W is a bit OCD about the driveway (and the house, and maintenance issues in general). If I do a less-than-stellar shoveling job, he’s been known to head outside after work and dinner, wearing a head flashlight and tidying up my messy edges. Which, in turn, makes me a little bit nutty, because if I’d known he was going to go out anyway, I could have skipped the whole thing and stayed inside nice & cozy.

So, today, Mary waved me down (between the music blasting and the snow blower, this was a job) to tell me that they didn’t need to go anywhere. Really, never. They were just fine. No need to clear anything at all. Spring would come eventually. And then I had to tell her that of course there’s always Cute W. And she had to laugh, because she’s noticed that he comes out and “fixes” my driveway clearing. We like to chuckle about our husbands. We ladies have to be patient, of course, but the men do, too!

Mary called later to say that she’d made dinner. No cooking for me, because I must be exhausted. But, she warned. It was nothing much. Shamefully simple. Not worthy of sharing, really. But we wouldn’t go hungry. Just a little something. Shameful. I ended up running over just as Gene was about to lug over this basket.

Mary is the queen of what we call in the customer service biz “managing expectations”. She had convinced me that I was getting nothing much. I told her that Cute W was out of town, anyway, so we weren’t being fancy. In fact, I’d pretty much planned to let the girls gnaw on crusts of stale bread while listlessly poking at unidentified containers in the freezer. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

Anyway, here’s what we got:


Notice that the decent-sized pot of chowder is dwarfed by the basket of ginormous salad with homemade dressing and extra mandarin oranges (fought over by children), extra cheese for soup garnish, a loaf of bread, homemade brownies, and some fresh flowers for the table.

It almost makes me hope for more snow on Friday. Well, you know, almost.


  1. Sunny Savannah

    There is an entire blog on how to be a good neighbor.
    What makes a good neighbor? What makes a bad neighbor? How can you become a better neighbor? I think you and Mary have it figured out!

  2. jo anne

    Mary and Gene are my idols! My parents, however, are also always helping others…just not so fancy! I admire these couples who have lasted through so much.

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