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A Snow Day with Angels

February 12, 2008

snow-day3.jpgWhat began as a typical Tuesday, has turned out to be quite the blessing. I arose from an unusually restful night of sleep to find a three inch carpet of snow had fallen in the night. I was not all that surprised because the weather station had predicted a winter storm the night before. As I made a pot of coffee, I could not help but notice there was something different about the sky. I entered my morning shower reflecting on how ominous the sky looked and had my first thought that I should think twice about the 30 mile drive to work.

After my shower, I sipped on my first cup of coffee and turned on the television to catch the morning news. Just as I had thought, this was not an average snow that fell in the night, but only the first layer of what would be over eight inches by noon. I sat snuggled in my bathrobe and peered through the window to watch the dark clouds move slowly across the sky. By the last sip of my coffee, I had heard enough about the additional inches of snow coming my way, with bouts of freezing rain, that making the decision to stay home today came very easy.

                                                                                                                               snow-day-1.jpgI was on the telephone, calling my employer to give him the news of  needing to use my floating holiday as a snow day, when I noticed a small bird clinging to the branches of a nearby tree. My heart went out to this brave little creature  facing the brunt of this winter storm, sitting all alone huddled among the branches but looking as if he didn’t have a care in the world. The words, “God will provide” entered my thoughts as I watched the bird continue to sit on the branch, but now he appeared to be watching me watch him.  As I thought of the promise made to mankind, I remembered my grandmother saying, “God sends angels to help when the skies turn dark.”  Another look at the ominous sky and I was convinced I needed to be an angel to the little bird today. I made several pieces of toast and crumpled them into a pie pan. I quickly dressed and put my hat and coat on and tramped through the snow to place the pie pan of toasted bread crumbs on the ground below the tree the bird was still sitting in. I went back into the house and while savoring a rare second cup of morning coffee,  watched the bird perched on the rim of the pie pan eating the bread crumbs. I allowed myself a few minutes of feeling good about being a snow angel when I remembered my friend greatfullivin, who feeds many birds on a regular basis, telling me that once you begin feeding birds you must stay with it. It seems the birds become very dependent on their providers. I resolved to continue to feed my new little friend each morning. Toast crumbs would have to do until I could get to the store to buy some bird seed.

After having toast for breakfast myself, I decided to indulge in a morning nap. This is quite the treat for a 9-to-5’er. Why is it the couch is the absolute perfect place to take a nap? I have a wonderful queen-size bed with many pillows and a warm comforter, but the couch is where I wanted to enjoy these rare minutes for a nap. I woke about ninety minutes later to find more snow had fallen. As I looked at the sidewalk covered with at least five inches of snow now, I knew some shoveling would be needed before too much longer. Looking around my empty living-room, as dad was still sleeping (and I had already given him the strict suggestion that an 81-year-old-man who had a five-bypass heart operation a few years back should not be shoveling snow this year),  I realized I would be the one to shovel this morning. Normally, I had a standing arrangement with the neighbor girls to shovel snow if I was at work so dad would not be tempted, but I saw them leave a few minutes earlier dragging sleds behind them. I guess they saw my car and decided to take a snow day off of their own. Well, there is no time like the present, I reminded myself, and proceeded to dress for the occasion.

snow-day4.jpgI had not been shoveling long when I noticed some deer in the field behind our home. Even though we live in the city limits, we are located on virtually the last street in town and are blessed with a big open field behind our backyard, with an even bigger woods behind the field. We often have deer come not only to the field, but also wander by our property on their way over to the next hill. One evening, dad and I counted eighteen deer in the back field, but this morning I only saw two. You would think after living here for over twelve years, I would tire of seeing the deer, but I don’t. It is always an event for dad and I to see the deer. So much so, that who ever sees the deer first is obligated to call the other to witness the deer siting. I watched the deer for a few moments and decided I would not go in and wake dad so he could see the deer. I had to shovel snow after all.

Most normal people have a short little sidewalk, maybe 10 to 15 feet, on their property, thus shoveling snow is really not that big of a deal. But we are not normal people. We have 78 feet of sidewalk, located in an L-shape, with a set of ten steps at the end leading up to our driveway. Like I said, we are not normal people, so shoveling snow is a bit of a bigger deal. And with more than five inches of snow having fallen, the shoveling can take the better part of an hour to complete. This is due primarily to the fact that I am an old woman when it comes to physical labor, and, also in part because along the sidewalk is a picket fence which adds a little more of a challenge to the whole shoveling operation.

I had been shoveling for a while when I “feel” someone is behind me, watching me. I am sure you have had that feeling, and if you have, you know it is not a good feeling.  My dog had just gone into the house a few minutes earlier, as I heard the clanging of her doggy door, so I knew it wasn’t her. I cautiously continued to shovel for a few more feet, then when I couldn’t stand the feeling any longer, and with a death-grip on the shovel, I turned quickly to face the enemy. I knew they were surely the enemy because they had not announced their presence, but instead allowed me to become anxious once I felt them behind me. When I turned, I was face to face with one of the deer I had seen earlier. Yes, face to face as I am only five feet tall and so was he, and we only had the picket fence snow-day5.jpgbetween us. I was so startled by his closeness I stumbled backward and fell to the ground. The deer, to my surprise, was not startled by my clumsiness, but actually leaned in over the picket fence to smell the shovel I had dropped on my way down to the snow-covered ground. He didn’t seem to mind me being close to him and for a moment I wondered if there was something wrong with him, like rabies or something weird like that. I mean, this was not normal, a deer coming this close to a human. I was so startled by the deer’s closeness, I could not move, but continued to sit in the snow. He sniffed the shovel some more, took a parting look at me, and turned and walked back towards the field. As I sat there watching him leave, I remembered I had not told dad about the deer being in the back field, and now no one would ever know of my close encounter. I could have kicked myself, had I not been on the ground, for not having a witness. A once in a lifetime deer event, and no witness! After feeling sorry for myself a few minutes longer, I picked myself up and finished shoveling, all the time thinking of the deer and how no one was going to believe this.

Later in the afternoon, I went back out to shovel again. Another three inches plus had fallen and I knew I better get it off the sidewalk before the freezing rain came. I had just finished the top step when the mailman came driving up. I thought I would save him the trouble of trying to get close to our mailbox and walked out to meet him. We exchanged a few words about the weather and he was on his way. I noticed the new neighbor, well not really new as they have lived across the street since last May, came walking in my direction. She was carrying her baby girl on her hip, all bundled up in a cute little pink snowsuit. “I just wanted to make sure you were alright.” she said as she got closer. I must have displayed a puzzled look on my face, as she continued, “I saw you fall earlier, when the deer attacked you, or I thought it was attacking you until I saw it only wanted to see if the shovel still had corn on it.”  “Corn?” I asked.  “Yes, my husband borrowed the shovel from your dad yesterday to shovel corn down the chute to our basement. We put in one of those corn burners to help out with the heat this winter. Our shovel broke and your dad was kind enough to let Jacob borrow his. I saw the deer trying to get to the shovel on your porch through the fence earlier this morning. I figured they must smell the corn on it.” I could not believe what I was hearing. I began to laugh. And I laughed some more. My neighbor looked at me strangely, and who could blame her. I was acting like a raving lunatic. I finally gained control of myself and said, “Please forgive, but this is such wonderful news.” After a crib-note version of the deer event and the importance of her witnessing the entire encounter, I invited Mary and her family to dinner. I even made a German chocolate cake to serve during the elaborate telling of my encounter with the deer. I had a witness after all!

angels.jpgYes, grandma was right. To many, the little bird would have gone unnoticed, with no thought that it might need someone to look after it and help it through the winter. I have made a commitment to the little bird and will feed it faithfully every morning. And to many, the deer event and needing a witness must sound silly, but it is an important part of the time I have left with my dad. And I am so thankful God sent an angel to be more than a witness today. You see, we had a wonderful evening having dinner with neighbors I had barely gotten to know since they moved onto our street. Mary shared with me as we did dishes that she keeps an eye out for dad when I am at work. She said she hoped I didn’t mind and she wasn’t trying to be a nosy neighbor, but she sees he stumbles alot and thought it would be best to look after him, from her window across the street, when I am gone. Yes, God send angels to help when the skies get dark. 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2008 1:39 am

    Wow! What an exciting day you had. Just reading about your nap made me relax and the deer story had me giggling.

    Hugs,

    Phyl

    ~ It was so nice to be able to lay down on the couch for a nap instead of heading off to work. I do like my job, but it would be nice to not have to go to work everyday. But, got to pay the bills ya know! Thanks for visiting. Blessings, Cricket

  2. February 13, 2008 10:16 am

    What a beautiful story. I love deer. That is so funny how he wanted to corn, too. 🙂

    ~ We so love watching the deer. They have walked right by our picket fence with both dad and I sitting on the front porch. I guess they know we are friendly, or at least we don’t pose a threat to them, our dog doesn’t even bark at them. Blessings, Cricket

  3. February 15, 2008 5:09 pm

    Hello, what a story. I thought I had been close to a deer, but you were eye to eye with one. What a funny story. The picture of the little bird was so cute. A great idea to feed toast. I wish I could do that, but we have cats.

    Love and Hugs,
    Joyce

    ~ That’s interesting you said you wished you could feed the birds but couldn’t because you have cats. I had completely forgotten that my mom used to feed the birds. We never had cats in our home growing up because dad hates cats – stills does to this day. Once I got married, I guess I rebelled and always had cat or cats in my home, which I suppose is why I never got into feeding the birds. Hmmm. . . figure something out everyday! LOL Blessings, Cricket

  4. February 24, 2008 1:54 pm

    LOL That’s so good! 🙂

    ~ Thank you for visiting. I am so happy you liked my story.

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