Last night we had a snow storm. Well, it IS Maine, after all, and that is what we expect during the winter. At the moment, I live in the church’s parsonage, and the plowing is done for us. That’s a good thing since the driveway is big and somewhat long; however, we still have the responsibility for keeping walkways cleared and the mailbox shoveled back so the mail truck can get up to the box.
The interesting thing is that we were supposed to get 3-6 inches, not much by Maine standards. However, when we woke up this morning there was no power (not all that unusual either), and more like 12 inches of snow. That’s also not all that surprising, but it was unexpected. My husband had to go to work. I could have stayed home, but there wasn’t heat, water, or electricity, so I went out early with him, and we shoveled the walkway and worked on the all wheel drive car he had borrowed from work to come home last night.
I’m fortunate to have an SUV that seems to get through just about anything! One of my parishioners drove by with his truck and plow, and he opened up the entrance to the driveway where my husband was working, so we managed to get out. The roads weren’t horrible, but they still had a way to go to be in good shape. As most of us in snowy areas know, you just take your time and don’t do anything foolish, so that’s what we did.
When I arrived at the office, the entrance to the door I normally use was clearly not safe because the small overhang had broken and was hanging precariously over the door. Part of the structure that held it up was on the ground. Fortunately, we have three other doors we can use to get into the building, but I had to shovel the stairs to the kitchen entrance so people could get in and out, and then I improvised a warning for the other door with two orange pails and a caution sign.
Okay, so you might ask what all this has to do with my imminent retirement? Well, we have chosen to stay in Maine, so we know this kind of weather will always be around during the winter months. What is reminding me that our choice to rent is better than buying is this experience of shoveling and having do maintenance. When we rent, someone else takes care of it for us!
The other things of which I’m reminded is that I CAN stay home if I want to because I won’t have office hours elsewhere! I will have my computer and corner for working on things I want and need to do, but I won’t feel obligated by my commitment to have office hours.
It may seem like a small thing, but it is actually a relief to know that my commitments will be different and hopefully more flexible. In the meantime, I just appreciate all that the two churches do to help me not have to shovel or mow or whatever, and I’m perfectly willing to continue to the maintenance I’m capable of doing. Only six months to go until that changes. Happy New Year, everyone!