Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes have been falling for what seems like eternity. While the cedars and pines look stunning, I couldn’t help but worry what the pathways to the paddocks would look like. The accumulating snow already made it difficult to open the gates all the way – more snow would only make it worse. Having already had to shovel the gates out a number of times, and having to pry myself from under one that had become unhinged from the build-up, I was feeling pretty pessimistic.

With my arms full of hay, I opened the big sliding door and mentally prepared myself for the trudging that was to come. Snow falling at warp speed, I put one Blundstone into the snow. As my next foot followed, I thought, “this feels easy.”
Looking down, around the awkward flakes jammed into my embrace, I realized someone had already been here. Someone with a plow.

Not only had this kind person cleared the walkway, they had taken the plow to each of the paddock entrances, moving enough snow to allow each gate to open freely and entirely. Realizing how wonderful this service was, I grinned from ear to ear. With no need for trudging, I practically skipped back to the barn.

Around the same time I reached the shelter of the barn, my feelings of complete joy and happiness had been replaced by a warm, comfortable sensation. That, I recognized, was appreciation and gratitude.

I can’t imagine anyone actually enjoys working in blustery snow, no matter how warm their mittens may be. But nonetheless, someone had done it. Before the sun had fully peaked over the horizon, they had their quad out and running with its blade down, plowing away.

This start-of-the-day surprise went a long way in making the rest of the chores (mucking, blanketing, hauling water, hauling hay, etc.), so much more bearable. The other tasks may have even been classed as enjoyable, thanks to this one pleasant finding. At the very least, it brightened my mood enough to power through the rest of the day, and gave me a bit of extra strength to be able to appreciate all the greatness around me. It even helped me appreciate things I normally take for granted; I’ve never been so happily to have a wheelbarrow to move bales, or two strong arms to move buckets. The coffee I fuel myself with every day tasted better; the long-johns I wear everyday felt warmer.

Best of all, this kind gesture left me looking for more excuses to be grateful – and let me tell you, I have a million and one reasons to say thanks.

But before that, I have to go thank the kind plow-man Brian for making my day better and brighter.