We haven’t had much snow this winter. This is fine with me because I can’t stand the cold, the wind and the working in those conditions when there is snowfall. But last night we had about 4 inches of snow. Since I had the snowblower serviced this fall, I thought it would be best to use it to clear the snow.
First I added the mixed fuel (seriously – why can’t it just be regular gasoline?). I quickly learned the tank on the snowblower is TINY, as the gas poured out the top and all over the snowblower and onto the garage floor. Nice. Then I pushed it into the driveway to begin this wretched task. I primed the engine – two pushes, just like the snowblower for dummies graphic showed me. I pulled the string. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. Again and again…NOTHING.
I stomped my boot in a hissy fit and punched the snowblower, because that will show it who’s boss. Nope. Still wouldn’t start. I texted a neighbor to see if overflowing the gas tank could cause it not to start. He said no and advised me to go back inside and have a cup of coffee. I did. After my temper cooled off I headed back outside after putting on snow pants, boots, hood and gloves AGAIN. I grumbled a complaining prayer and pulled the string. It started! Thank you, Jesus!
And so I began the job of clearing the driveway and sidewalks. The wind blew the cold snow into my face and down my neck. My coat was covered in icy wet snow and my hands and feet were cold. But I’m going to be thankful for this snowblower! I’m going to be thankful for legs that work and the warm house I get to return to after I’m done, I told myself.
The strong fumes from the snowblower, combined with my pity party drummed up memories. My head filled with images of my husband doing this job when he was able. I remembered the overwhelming exhaust smell on his Carhardt’s when he came inside after clearing the snow. I didn’t appreciate how he cared for us enough. I took for granted how he not only did these things for us, but took pleasure in doing them.
It isn’t that I’m incapable of using the snowblower, it’s that I hate it. It’s that I don’t WANT to use the snowblower. I want the division of labor that was our marriage. It’s that I want him here to do this because doing all of the things he used to do plus the things I did just makes me think of him and miss him even more.
If you have a spouse, will you please go thank them for the things they do for you and your family? I can’t rewind and pour extra appreciation on to my husband for these things. But maybe you still can? Did your spouse make the coffee this morning? Pick up a gallon of milk from the store? Run the kids to activities? Bring you the remote from across the room because you were too lazy to get up to get it? Tuck the kids in bed because you have a headache? Drop you off at the door so you don’t have to walk in the cold or rain? Hug you when you’ve had a tough day? Please thank them!
I suppose it’s normal to overlook the seemingly small ways our spouses love and care for us every day. But someday, when they are gone, these small things will feel like great big things and it might break your heart. I want you to have the chance to say “thank you for caring for me.” That would really make me so happy if you did that today.
I’m going to go shower the exhaust stink off of me now, but first I’m going to go punch the snowblower one more time.