There used to be a lady who melted the snow. She lived next door to my mom. I don’t remember her name, probably something like Dorothy or Ida or another name typical of that era. She was the typical older white lady, blue hair, walked every morning, and canned. She looked sort of like Tweety Bird’s grandma, real cute like that. She worked at K-Mart for like 22 years at the time I temporarily worked with her in one of my stints at K-Mart. I was absolutely amazed someone could work at K-Mart for 22 years. Wow, I still am.
She was funny, and she made bad ass salsa. She said she used to make jelly too but it wasn’t worth it when you could buy it for less than a dollar a jar. Anyway, I remember when straight line winds came through and knocked over her beautiful cherry tree. She cried. Her husband had planted it for her and she cried. She told me, even if they plant another one, she probably wouldn’t see it grow and progress to what that cherry tree was. See, she was in remission. She had battled breast cancer and won, or whatever they call it. I think it’s winning when someone goes in remission but I might be wrong because I never dealt with that. *knockonwood*
Anyway of all these things I remember about her, the one I know I will never forget.
She melted snow.
Mind you, this was Minnesota, but she hated snow. As much as I did after 6 months of snow. So at the first sign of spring, which is probably April, she would take a shovel and start dismantling the big pile of snow that had accumulated at the bottom of her driveway. The pile left over and built up from the snowplow going by all winter. She would shovel a load into the street and start breaking it up.
We watched her do this from the window and my mom finally asked her what she was doing.
“Melting the snow.” she said “the sooner all this is gone, the sooner I could plant my flowers.” She waved her arm over the pile.
“So what if it snows again?” My mom asked her.
“Well it probably will. But that there is one less shovel full I have to melt.” She pointed with her shovel at the load she just threw in the street. I remember the sound of her shovel dicing it up and breaking it into nothing.
My mom was fired up, she started on our pile by the mailbox. It snowed the next day and she gave up.
But not that little old lady. She was out there attacking the even bigger pile the snowplow had shoved by her driveway. Throwing it in the street, slicing it with the shovel, breaking it up so it started the slow process of melting.
Crazy, I know. But she believed in herself.
I guess that’s the beauty of living that long, you don’t give a shit what people think. Or if they think you’re crazy.
You believe in yourself.
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