It was already light out when I awoke, lighter than usual on account of the snow reflecting the day’s sunlight back into the atmosphere. And the birds were chirping, loudly, mainly because any chances of finding food for themselves was buried under three-feet of snow.
I climbed out of bed, skipped Jim Cantore’s report and looked out the window. Snow was everywhere, and a few of my neighbors were beginning to bury out of the blizzard’s remains. I decided to join them, and within ten minutes, had assembled a haphazard, not-very-winter-ready outfit, thinking in my head that suede skate shoes don’t really get wet in the snow.
I dug down the stairs, heaved snow in the direction of the street, and slowly carved a path down the stairs to our sidewalk. It was around this time when I spotted a middle-aged Latino man digging snow in my direction.
“I’m coming that way,” he said. “Don’t go crazy shoveling, I will be there soon,” he continued.
It was a Monday morning, just after Christmas, and I had nowhere to be, nor any other way of actually exerting myself physically for the remainder of the day, and possibly week. So I waved him off and kept shoveling in his direction.
Within 20 minutes, I had cleared the sidewalk in front of our house and was clearing the sidewalk of the bakery next door. The other man was doing the same, and we had only about five-feet of snow between us to go until the sidewalk on our side of the street was cleared enough for someone to comfortably walk down without falling and/or suing someone.
We continued shoveling in each other’s direction.
“My friend, what shall we do when we finally clear this path,” he asked me.
I told him that I hadn’t planned that far ahead.
“We shall high five each other and drink a beer,” he rejoiced.
I laughed to myself, shrugged my shoulders and said sure.
By now, our shovels had cleared a path down the sidewalk. He smiled, actually high-fived me and disappeared back down the street. I returned to the front of my house, and started widening the path down the sidewalk to make it more accessible, not really thinking much about his apparent plans for us. Within a few minutes, the shoveling man reappeared from around the corner, running in my direction, with two cans of Coors Light in his hand.
He cracked both cans open in front of the bakery stairs, and toasted me on a job well done. And there we stood, amid the shoveled snow, on a city street buried under a blizzard, drinking cheap beer at 11 a.m. in the morning.