These are the
storms that try men’s souls. (Thanks, Thomas Paine. And right about now
the idea of “The summer
soldier and the sunshine patriot” is pretty appealing.) This particular
winter is testing everyone’s patience.
It’s snowing again. Every time we turn on the TV someone is warning us about collapsing roofs. And to add icing to the cake, it’s supposed to turn to rain, which could mean wet ankles in our basement.
I’ve always been fairly patient. (Okay, my husband, who I’ll admit occasionally doesn’t get an opportunity to complete a sentence, may not agree.)
I’ve always had the patience to wait for soup to simmer, tea to steep, and bread to rise. Then again, that waiting period always meant that I could bustle off and get something else done in the meantime.
When I was still teaching I managed to silence my opinion of my school administrators’ latest whiz-bang ideas or what I really wanted to say to delusional parents, but then I guess that falls into the category of restraint, aka staying employed.
Nothing is a greater test of your patience than teaching. Good educators know the best learning happens when the student discovers it himself rather than having it shouted at them from a lectern. So there I would sit at the front of the room wearing a warm, encouraging smile for Tiffany Lee as she labored through her epiphany that maybe Lady MacBeth might not have been, like, you know, such a nice person.
Now I’m using that skill in our new land of double retirement. We’re both home - no more business trips, no more late days at work. Together. All day.
Deep cleansing breaths are good. They’re useful when we’re motoring along in my husband’s 965 horsepower sedan at eighteen miles an hour in a forty-mile an hour zone. Patience has taught me it’s best to just look out the window and pay no attention to the wagon train of cars idling behind us.
Now that we’re snowed in roughly every other day, I’m grateful that we both have enough interests that some days we just pass each other on our way to the next project as we wait out the storm.
I was especially grateful this week for a break in the weather so I could to finally get out and meet some friends for lunch. It was only 10 degrees out with a stiff northwest wind, but I was getting out. I pulled my car into the street and discovered this waiting for me:
We live on a dead-end street and so the only way out was blocked. Much as I wanted to, nothing would be served by yelling at these hapless moving men. I took a deep cleansing breath and then walked back to my house, grabbed two snow shovels and some mats to put under their wheels.
A friend finally picked me up at the end of my street, the guys returned the shovels before they left, and I’d had one more opportunity to practice my patience.