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"I suppose that I'll need to be generous toward myself; not giving up, but GivenIn for now."

I arose early thinking that I would head right out to scrape off the overnight snowfall, but the snow still fell at a forty-five degree angle and the back deck drift looked close to two feet deep. I can't really tell in the dark, but my intentions conflicted with one of my more deeply-held convictions: one should never start shoving snow until the snow has pretty much petered out. This snowfall showed no signs of petering anytime soon. I peeked out the front and found our two step entryway an alabaster impressionistic sculpture of its usual self; a Brancusi, perhaps, concrete smoothed and implacable. Arming myself with my snow shovel against this monster would be worse than a soldier heading into battle armed with a twig. I'd have to sit and watch.

My acquiescence came easily, perhaps too easily for my Take Charge snow day attitude.
True, it wasn't actually day yet, a muted sunrise should arrive in three or more hours. I cranked up the furnace and fired up the gas fireplace before settling in with a frisky kitten on my lap, GivenIn for now. With Thanksgiving only two days away, the giving bug's been in the air. About half the stories on the evening TV news feature another turkey give-away. Some staffer from a big oil and gas law firm testifying that this day spent giving away always proved to be the most satisfying day of her year. A struggling non-profit continuing a tradition started fifty years ago. A church announcing free Thanksgiving dinner for anyone. The volume of needy either increases sharply this time of year or was simply out of focus before. I'm reminded of the times when employers would generously give employees a free turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas in lieu of union representation the balance of the year. So much for cheer.

I'd already GivenIn, and it feels like an equally cheap shot attempt to save myself from another embarrassing failure. I could, against all odds, charge that snow line, but, looking two moves ahead, I could clearly see that my efforts would simply make no difference. I'd be out again in an hour or two reshoveling what I'd just moved to one side while sacrificing half of each shovelful to the incessant wind. It would have been the personification of a fool's errand. Much better, I tried to persuade myself, to marshal my energies toward a more strategically targeted attempt. By then, the accumulation might have become eighteen inches or more, presenting a rock vs hard place dilemma. I'd be pretty much damned whichever alternative I chose, which is just how it goes sometimes. I'd GivenIn.

I would get to be my own free turkey this time. I will pretend to be homeless at my own soup kitchen, and I won't have to pretend very hard. The forecasters were correct when they predicted that travel would be impossible this morning. My home will be my prison for a few more hours, with me as the turnkey. If I really, really, really needed to go somewhere, The Schooner could doubtless get me there with its heated seats and rearview mirrors, and its full time all wheel drive. The street plows are out, more to reassure than to actually accomplish anything. The blowing snow quickly covers over whatever they scrape away. The plow drivers seem to be trying to give what they do not possess, GivingOut rather than GivingIn.

My decision seems not quite acquiescence, for I merely delay what will become increasingly inevitable through the day. I'm not really taking a break, but looking for a reasonable opening in the passionate play outside. The sky seems plenty insistent and the wind holds the definite upper hand. I could be more grateful than I feel. I could let go for now and simply accept that this one man snowplow can't quite be the benefactor I'd somehow set myself up to become. I suppose that I'll need to be generous toward myself; not giving up, but GivenIn for now.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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