Last weekend Snowpocalypse 2019 was forecast for mid-Missouri, so I did my part by making the requisite run to the grocery store for snacks (something sweet and something salty), toilet paper (definitely don’t want to run out of that), and some easy sandwich fixings in case the power happened to go out.
The snow was really coming down as I slowly made my way home early on Friday afternoon. The roads were starting to get slick and by the time I arrived safe in my driveway, I was more than a little glad I’d rescheduled a 3pm appointment for earlier that day.
By 5pm, I’d already made my first scooping run on the deck and broken the push broom I was using. I knew if the snow kept up this way we wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon.
And this is what that same corner of the deck looked like on Saturday morning when I got up. I sipped my morning cup of coffee and knew we were officially “snowed in” at the end of our quarter mile long driveway…and the snow was still falling and falling.
It fell all morning long.
I didn’t have anywhere to go on that Saturday, and the meeting my husband had been scheduled to attend had already been cancelled earlier that week when the forecasted snowfall amounts topped ten inches.
We had plenty of food in the house thanks to my grocery store run the day before, and the power (thankfully!) was still on, despite the heavy snowfall.
But that didn’t help all that much because there’s something about knowing “I can’t go anywhere” that makes me antsy.
Around midday as the snow began to taper off, my husband and son got out the tractor and loader and went outside to begin excavating. I was eager to do my part by scooping the deck, back steps, and front walkway.
I was impatient and feeling a bit trapped, so I grabbed the scoop shovel to get to work. My husband cautioned, “Don’t work too hard. Temperatures are supposed to rise and be in the 40s before too long.”
Truth be told I felt guilty.
As much as I have tried to exorcise the word “should” from my daily vocabulary and thought processses…I felt like I “should be doing something.”
I was impatient.
So as my guys worked with the tractor moving vast quantities of snow, I worked with my shovel moving decidedly less. A path here. A trail there. A clearing along the way to the garage.
I really wanted to scoop off the entire deck and driveway, but I figured I’d give my husband’s prophetic abilities the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the weather forecast would be correct a second time and it would get warmer.
By Sunday afternoon we were able to drive the car all the way down to the main highway and take a quick trip to town.
And my husband was right — by Wednesday the snow was receding and the melt was on. Temperatures had risen and the river that flows in the valley below our house was on the rise with the runoff from the melting snow.
And today — one week later — this is what my deck looks like.
And as I look out at it, I’m reminded of the value of being patient.
Last Sunday I could have scooped and scooped myself into exhaustion to clear off the deck and driveway, and one week later, none of that would have mattered in the least because the only place there’s still snow on the deck is the spot where I threw the snow as I scooped.
Snowfall like this can become an object lesson in patience because patience — plus a few warmer days — did as much as all my scooping. And with far less effort.
How many times in life have I made work for myself because I wasn’t patient?
Don’t answer that!
But what I’m seeing these day is the benefit of waiting…of being patient. Long lines become shorter, clogs can dissolve, and snow melts.
And even though I’m really glad the road crews were out there working and getting the highway cleared for traffic, I’m reminded of a northeast Nebraska blizzard earlier this month where even the road crews were called off the job until the conditions improved.
We often hear people tell us that patience is a virtue, but Lou Holtz maintained “Patience isn’t a virtue; it’s a necessity.” And I think he’s right.
Because, while time may not always seem to be your friend, it can most definitely be your ally. And sometimes, patience can be more persistent and work harder than you ever imagined.
And from here on out for the rest of my life, I’m scooping the least amount of snow I have to, and then I’m going to be patient…because spring is coming.