Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shoveling Snow for Money, Another Tradition Lost?

It snowed a big snow here, over night. For some people, that's probably not news. You probably get a lot of snow over the course of the winter. Here, on the sunny side of the mountain, we rarely experience this.

As I was out shoveling our sidewalk (I really enjoy doing this! Seriously.), I remembered that as a kid I DREAMED for snow.

Partly because of school being cancelled for one reason, but the other part of it was the tradition that if you woke up early to a snow day, you woke up to the prospect of earning some cash.

My brothers and I used to dress as quickly as possible on these days. We'd grab a shovel (sometimes it would be a huge fight) and out and off we'd go. 

We went all through town, hoping to shovel someones freshly covered sidewalks and drive ways for money.

We wouldn't be the only ones in town doing this-there would be lots of others out there we'd compete with. 

I remember there would always be a few "good" paying houses that everyone in town would vie for. If you weren't up early to get that worm, you were outta luck until the next big snow.

But, each and every time, we shoveled someones sidewalk, we were doing more than just a public service, or the small odd job for money. We were carrying on a tradition. A tradition that we had learned from our parents, who had learned it from their parents and so on.

There were some people we just did for free, because you knew that was the right thing to do.

By about mid-late afternoon, almost all the houses in our small town had been done. We would all take our little money stashes, and head down to the local gas station to splurge our frozen bodies on warmth of the inside and some hot cocoa.

It's these childhood memories, that I treasure. It's these childhood memories that also make me sad. Since I've lived in a LARGELY snowy state, I have NEVER had the pleasure of having a little, overly eager face, knock on my door, and offer to shovel my side walk. Not once, in my eleven years of living here.

Perhaps it's just something that happens in each person's state. Or, perhaps, it's because, it is the death of a tradition, from my generation. I hope and pray it's not the last one.

As I started shoveling snow this morning, I noticed there were several sidewalks that still had yet to be done. I know it's a school day, so most of the kids didn't have that opportunity to do their own.

As I finished my own side walk, I started in on two of the neighbors' side walks. I usually do this, because like I said, I do ENJOY shoveling snow. There's a peacefulness about it. Plus, it's just another simple thing to do, to show others, that you care.

But, again, as I put away my shovel, and looked over my kids, I wonder if they'll ever get to experience the joy, of those cold mornings. Those days when they're out earning that "cold" cash, as we did. I hope so. Even if they're doing it for free, I want them to experience that at least once in their life times.

Did anyone else remember doing this as a kid? Do your kids now carry on this tradition? 

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The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one that seeks him.
Lamentationa 3:25

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