Monday, March 03, 2014

Keeping the Day

     The other day, my mom called me.  Yeah, my mom, the real, bona-fide person who gave birth to me.  She was concerned about the amount of snow on the deck of her vacation home in the Great White North.  And, since I am a good son, and I have both a corporate jet and snowshoes - oh, and a shovel - I saddled up and decided that I would check it out for her.  Except there wasn't a horse involved.  I didn't use a horse, so strange with the saddle, no?
     Anyway, I went to this place to check on the deck and clean it off.  I should note to you that the snow is not plowed from the driveway of this house, and it has been shut down since the fall.  Oh, and it has been a really snowy winter there.  And there was some ice somewhere along the way.  And I knew that, so I was prepared for what I was facing.  But then again, I wasn't.
      I got there and strapped on my snowshoes and set off over the plow wash from the road.  For those of you who don't know what plow wash is, here is the the Wikipedia entry for it.  Wait, that is the Wikipedia entry for Centennial, Colorado.  I guess they don't have a Wikipedia entry for plow wash.  Anyway, it is the big mound of snow alongside the road that is created when the plow pushes the snow off to the side of the road.  So I went over the plow wash and all was good, until I got beyond the plow wash and the snow was really dry and fluffy and I sank into it.  Down to me knees.  With my snowshoes on.  It sucked.  But I waded my way through it until I got to the house and deck.  I walked onto the third step because the snow was so deep.  I saw that the snow on the deck was piled up to the top of the railings.  So I got to work, breaking through the ice and crust and compacted snow (perfect igloo or snow fort snow, by the way) and hurled it over the side until it was all removed.  And it sucked.  But somewhere in the middle, about the point where the deck curves around the side of the house, I stopped to take a break and realized that it didn't really suck at all.
     It was cold outside - like hovering around zero cold - and not zero Celsius you European or Latin American or Canadian or Asian or African or member of the scientific community or anyone other than everyday American freak.  Zero degrees Fahrenheit, which is cold.  But the sun was out, it was midday, and the sky was a color blue that summer just can't replicate.  The house sits high on a hill overlooking a lake that is rimmed with a mixture of pine and deciduous trees.  The mixing of the colors was awesome.  Blue sky.  Green trees.  Brown leafless trees.  White snow.  Yellow sun.  Yellow snow where I just peed.  It was stupendous.  Then looking back towards the road up the hill, the same landscape but with one deep, well defined path where I had come in.  And deep the deep red of the siding on the house. It looked a little bit like a postcard that you would send someone who had never seen winter before.  Or like something that Norman Rockwell was about to paint.
     My thought immediately snapped to my cell phone and its attached camera.  The application that allows a picture to be posted, for the location to be attached, with a time and comment for all of the world to see.  Snap some photos in each direction, maybe a couple of the shoveling work in progress and everyone could see.  The phone was back in the car, tucked safely into the compartment below the stereo, and now that the trail was packed down it would be a cinch to run back and get it.  I went for my snowshoes but I stopped.
This is not a photo of that day.   I am trying to you.
that I learned about in kindergarten.  None of those people where there to see that.  None of them were there putting in the work with me, although in all fairness to my friends a ride on the corporate jet is usually enough to get people to help me with just about anything.  And in all fairness to the Unpaid Interns, the threat of whatever I am threatening to do to them is usually enough to make them help me with just about anything.  But they weren't there shoveling Patsy's deck in the freezing cold, about two months too late.  I was.  So I earned the day.  I was greedy and wanted it for myself.  And I kept it for myself.  Like a rat.
     The point here, Company, is that sometimes you have to keep the day for yourself.  The Internet is great.  Super great.  And sharing with your friends is great.  Super great.  But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to keep a little something for yourself.  Dinner with your significant other where you don't check in on Foursquare.  A photo of the kids blowing bubbles at one another that doesn't make it onto Instagram.  Maybe updating your parents on a status that never finds its way onto Facebook.  A great one liner that Twitter never, ever sees.  You've gotta have a little something to keep to yourself before you lose all your individuality.  Sometimes you just have to keep the day.

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