Several years ago, we lived in the Chicago suburbs, and at least two feet of snow fell over the course of seven days. A full foot of snow gently fell one night after my daughter’s band concert, and we were grateful to be at home, snug and cozy.

During this particular week, my husband was traveling on a business trip and delayed several days for his return to Chicago, and stuck in the warm Arizona sunshine. He honestly needed the extra break with heat and hiking, but our middle daughter had aches and 103 fever for two days, and stayed in bed most of the time. My husband usually shovels the snow for us, so I just let the snow accumulate in our driveway, and focused on caring for my daughter.

When the snow stopped falling, we had a mess. I used my huge pusher shovel to forge through the snow, creating paths, like a snow plow, and tried to make big piles… It took more than an hour of work to clear the driveway, and then I returned inside to warm up and take a break. After brewing and drinking a hot cup of coffee, I bundled up again and went outside, to continue clearing the rest of the driveway. The only marker out there to show the heaps of such a storm was our recycling bin, with the piles of snow surrounding.

It was wet and heavy snow, and quite the workout to remove. I piled snow onto the grass and under trees, but the cold winter air kept the piles frozen and present for most of the month of February. Fresh new snow would fall on top of old piles. Those two feet of snow did not melt for ages! When April arrived, with warming rains, the piles of snow finally melted, and green grass emerged. Those winter storms were isolating and cold, with days of dreary and grey skies. I knew that we needed the snow to cultivate spring bloom. And indeed, our rows of daffodils, irises, hyacinths, and tulips were all the more glorious that spring.