Well, I was. That was before our first storm hit and we had to clear the snow with our new tractor, Bobo. We got about 8 inches this time around. Not too much – perfect for giving our new tractor its first run at plowing. We were optimistic about it, thinking how quick and easy this was going to be compared to using our snoblower. That was before the tractor got stuck several times, one time almost for good. That time my husband finally conceded that maybe I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the tractor felt like it was going to tip. Empathy always blossoms within us when we experience what someone else went through. It’s the one true way that people can understand what others feel. I felt panic; so did he. I felt like jumping; so did he.

Anyway, the problem is that we have a long, narrow driveway with not much room to manuever because there’s a bit of a ditch on one side and more of one on the other. Plus, the tires kept spinning on us. “We need chains,” my husband kept telling me. “No, doy,” I kept replying as I grabbed the piece of wood I had pried off one of the kid’s forts and stuck it under a tire. We were out there for 3 1/2 hours and still didn’t get the whole driveway plowed. The funny thing was, it started to snow when we were out there, giving us another inch. It was supposed to be done by the time we headed out. Someone, somewhere, was having a lot of fun at our expense.

So we ended up shoveling the rest. My husband did most of the work because he broke one of the shovels, leaving only one snow shovel and a spade, which was just about useless. This is the same husband with the injured wrist that he’s supposed to be wearing a splint-like thingie (yes, I’m a writer) on to protect it. He took the splint off before going outside and forgot to put it back on. He was supposed to wear it so that in 2 weeks, the doctor could see if it’s healed (or have to do an MRI). Well, there goes that theory. Of course it’s not going to feel any better. He was manhandling a tractor and shoveling for 3 1/2 hours. You do the math. Anyway, not knowing he didn’t have his splint on, I attempted to help with half a shovel when I should’ve taken over with the regular one. Needless to say, I’m going shopping for new shovels soon. My 3-year-old will love the half-shovel, though. It’s just his size.

What does all this mean? I really do try to relate this stuff back to my writing, though it isn’t always easy. I hadn’t expected to spend so much time on clearing the dang driveway, which means I’m not much farther along on my editing. It also means that we’re going to get tons of snow this year in New England because we don’t know how to plow without getting stuck, and I’m sure there’s something else that this is all supposed to mean, but I can’t remember what.

On a nice note, yesterday my son brought home a card signed by all the 3rd graders thanking me for coming to their class. That’s what makes this job worth it. The adulation of my fans.

Modestly yours,

author of The Chronicles of a Writer: Descending Into Madness