In the above photo, if you squint through the middle of the Japanese maple, shift your vision slightly to the right, and use a smidge of imagination, you’ll see part of our front walkway covered in snow. Yes, our snow drought here in southwest Virginia is over. We’ve had no snow in December 2022 or January 2023. Each winter Blacksburg usually receives a foot of white powder, but this year snow has been AWOL, much like my blog writing.
I ask you to imagine snow on our deck and if you can’t, here’s a photo from March 2022.
Hold that image. The front deck walkway covered in snow is important because it helped me with my writer’s drought.
When we first woke up Thursday morning and saw the snow, my husband suggested that it would be good to sweep the snow off the walkway. Except for a few years here and there like Atlanta, Georgia, and the Kwajalein Islands, he’s lived mainly in New Jersey, snow country.
So I listen to him about snow removal as he knows more about that subject than I who had always lived in the South, except for these last ten years in Blacksburg. For me, Blacksburg is semi-south, as it gets way more snow than I ever had to snowplow or shovel in 62 southern years. I’ve learned it’s best to remove it quickly before it melts during the warm part of the day and then refreezes at night to form a lovely skating rink on your front deck.
I get the big broom because John said sweep the walkway. In my heart I know he really means shovel. We’ve known each other for 11 years, and by now I can translate the spoken word to the unspoken meaning. Instead of following my intuition and because I don’t like the snow shovel, I started with the broom.
When I had swept about halfway down the walk, my boots and broom left impacted snow, sure to be hard to remove with a broom. Immediately I halted and retrieved the hated snow shovel. I always think it is much heavier than it is.
But Voila! This snow was fluffy, the shovel light, and I cleared the deck having fun as I pitched the sugar-like snow onto the ground where it belonged. I still had those impacted snow prints that I had to carefully remove with the shovel. I did not want to scrape up paint with the impacted snow.
As I looked down at my fairly clean deck with only those icy boot and broom imprints, I thought about my struggle to write this blog. Sometimes I have the wrong tools (like the broom):
- My laptop is not charged so I can’t escape to the loft where I feel comfortable writing.
- I’m out in the car and see a situation or experience a moment that inspires me, but I have no notebook or pen for jotting down the idea.
- I think that Word Press is just too difficult (I long for PageMaker) to quickly post my ideas and photos—too much hassle and my ideas fade away, much like the snow did on Thursday.
But I can avoid those problems. I can keep the laptop charged, store pens and tiny notebooks in my purse, and sign up for Word Press classes (if only I could figure out those international hours). I’ll do these tasks because I must think of myself as a blogger. I must take myself seriously. My son Michael encourages me to acknowledge I am a writer and to act like one! He sounds more like the parent and I the offspring. My writing sisters Sarah, Alice, Alisa, Anne, Jennifer, and Betty do the same. Thank you my writing friends.
The mistake with the broom that caused the icy boot and broom prints are like the mistakes I make in writing (probably several in this post). Okay, I don’t really hate the shovel just rather dislike it. Sweeping sounds easier (and is) than shoveling, but in this instance, I should have gone with my first instinct. I needed to shovel not sweep the snow. I need to shovel words onto my blog, not sweep them away with excuses that are pretty pitiful. I need to stop worrying over not writing and write what I feel and believe. And believe me, it’s easier to shovel snow than it is to write.
I need to click those keys, hone those Word Press skills, and let the words flow.
So I came in from the cold and headed for my laptop. That writer’s drought was about to end.