Grateful for the Obvious

I had a half snow day this morning(!) And while I was out snowplowing my driveway, I remembered two earlier times in my life–one from about 10 years ago, and one from last year. First up? Last year, when I went to turn on my snowblower, gasoline started shooting out the side of it. This year? I used it with no problems at all. And while I expected it to work when I turned it on, I’m definitely grateful that it *did* work this time without any incident.

Because who needs a gasoline fountain?

Then there’s the simple luxury of working at a place that lets me have snow days. 10 years ago, I was a gas meter reader out in Utah. That was a job that made me really dislike two things that I’d always loved before: dogs and snow. It’s not that I began to hate dogs and snow, but I certainly had more than my fair share of incidents with both of them, and when that happens to you enough, you inevitably begin to dread them.

(Two quick dog story asides: First, I was reading meters one day and was at a house that hadn’t been read in months. It was my first time there, and I thought the reason it had been skipped was that the meter was deep in the bushes. There were bushes all around this house, and a big fence to boot. So I decided I’d actually get a reading this month instead of making a guesstimate. I’ve got the whole top half of me submerged in shrubbery, and then I hear it: a deep, bellowing bark that only a dog with extremely big teeth can really manage. I jumped out of that shrub faster than Usain Bolt, and there was this angry Rottweiler bearing down on me.

That was an interesting day. The day I learned you could use a clip board as a shield against angry Rottweilers. Good times.

Second dog story? When you’re reading meters, there’s a spot for people to write notes to future readers. Things like where the meter is, or tricks to getting a good read. Or notes about dangerous dogs. I was reading one house that had a huge 6 foot fence and a single note: WARNING: Doberman can jump fence. Let’s just say I took that house very cautiously.)

In any case, snow when reading meters was almost always yucky. You’re walking from house to house, and suddenly you’re not walking, you’re wading for a few miles. Talk about getting tired. It was the one time in my life when I consistently hoped for no snow around me.

I was reminded about those days when I was lying in bed this morning checking emails, letting the freezing rain do its thing outside while I was inside. I’ve been at this job over 7 years, and it’s easy to begin to take things for granted. To start thinking you have a right to them, and that they’re not just a luxury. So it’s helpful now and then to remind yourself what a luxury they are.

Working snowblowers and snow days are awesome

And that’s my deep thought for you today.

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