I Heard the Sign Before I Saw It

I peeked out the curtain, and sure as the National Weather Sevice’s warning detailed, the snow had fallen and continued to. I heard a hum which I initially mistook as a rumbling from the furnace that sits underneath my bedroom. I panicked and quickly walked over to the vent. The noise was near. It was not from down below. I pulled the curtain over to the right, and then I saw him, my neighbor across the street pushing his beast of a snowblower up and down and back and forth across and over his driveway and sidewalk.  I saw the crack in the window, slid the pane over to the right, turned the locks down, and went on with my morning.

The question of the morning was “When would I clear the snow?” As I flipped the french toast a noise startled me. Its distance neared. No sooner did I look up from the skillet when he walked by the kitchen window. The snow spat out and stuck on the orange brick of my neighbor’s home. My neighbor Len finished clearing the snow at his house and was now busy plowing my driveway.

If the length of a person’s driveway was the measure of their fortune, then I’d be rich.

My detached garage is directly behind my home, the driveway runs about 100 feet alongside the home and into the backyard. Clearing the snow is a chore, even with the green machine that Alison gave me for Christmas in 2016. Watching Len zoom back and forth past the kitchen window was a lovely sight. It was the perfect sign, and I was so grateful to see it.

Earlier this week, when I plowed and shoveled one-third of the amount of snow that is on the ground this morning, I thought I’m done with this. The weight of this house is huge. Financially it eats a disproportionate amount of my income, and physically from clearing snow to cleaning gutters, and much more, this house demands a lot.  I talked to my therapist about it Wednesday, and we agreed that I just let it go. So, I took it off my plate of worries and asked God to figure it out for me.

Len’s visit to my driveway this morning is not a clear cut sign, but it is one, nonetheless. He and my neighbor Bill gathered at the confluence of my driveway and the street’s sidewalk. The two men were part of a snowblower posse running wild on South Ellyn Avenue this morning.  Their gas engines hummed. I ran out to offer my thanks and coffee. Bill asked for vodka, instead, a request to which I replied I didn’t have any and added that he’d have to settle for my appreciation. They nodded and smiled, kept moving, their snowblowers spewed the snow and made channels in their wake. Their efforts cleared the way for whoever chooses to travel outside today.

I don’t know if the sign means I am free to go to where I need to go and sell the house, stay put, or last if it’s in response to the last comment I made to my therapist Wednesday night about loneliness and how I yearn to feel love once more. It really doesn’t matter. I’m grateful for the sounds that signaled the signs arrival, because I both heard and saw them I am reminded that I am loved by many, near and far.






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