hero or fool?

We experienced 1 to 3 inches of fluffy snow in the overnight, and I found myself bundled and on my driveway at 4:30 this morning, wielding a snow shovel to make a path. Note that it was 11 bone-chilling degrees outside, and even the dogs had chosen to stay snug in (my) bed rather than come out and frolic with me.

I thought myself virtuous, abetted by the fact that the scrape of my shovel was the only one I heard in the whole neighborhood at that unholy hour. Sure, home ownership in vanilla suburbia is often a series of conventional behaviors disguised as virtues, but I still thought I had chosen heroically.

But then I saw some movement down the street, coming my way through the snow-dappled light of the street lamps. Some neighbor, more sleekly bundled than I, was out for his morning run! Only his nose and eyes were exposed, so if I knew him, I didn’t recognize him. Nor did he take notice of me as he darted past at what would be my I-can-see-the-finish-line-let’s-get-this-done! pace.

And then I wondered which of us was the true fool.

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3 Comments on “hero or fool?”


  1. Oh, suburbia, where the one shoveling first has the most virtue.


  2. I suppose some would say you were acting out of necessity; therefore, the runner was the fool for doing something they didn’t have to do on such a cold morning.

    But then, I’m sure others would say there is freedom in the act of running when not necessary — especially on such a cold morning…and that your driveway controls you.

    Personally, I’d say you both won by being up and about when the world is dark and crisp and quiet. (But then, it’s 33 in Texas and I am writing this in shorts and a t-shirt with no real obligations for the day.)

  3. Dean Gugler Says:

    4:30 shovelling or running are both a bit extreme I think but different people have different objectives. Personally, I do not bother with 3 inches of snow on the driveway. I suppose I might shovel a walk to keep my shoes clean on the way to the car. (We have a wind chill of 8.6 F here now but without wind it is a more pleasant 21.2 F.)


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