A Yardberg

April 16, 2011

Last weekend I wasn’t feeling too great, and my health was a worry to my husband and son. But the weather was taking a pleasant turn, and springtime was working its hopeful magic. We sat in the kitchen eating brunch and reading the  Sunday paper.

There was a car review in the auto section. A new hybrid model that my son considered a ridiculous gesture on the part of the automaker. We debated the merits and the shortcomings of  hybrids, and I made a snarky comment. Something like, “Hybrids are made for upper middle class liberals who want to feel happy they are making a grand gesture to save the environment, when in fact they’re just driving a sad compromise  between fossil fuel consumption and alternative energy usage.”

We moved outside, where I sat on the steps to soak up the restorative sunshine. I looked down at the mound of ice and snow in the shady corner. Our very own yardberg that grew and clung to the same spot every spring. The last vestige of a too-long winter. Sighing, I complained:”That spot depresses me every year. It makes me feel a bit hopeless.”

Within minutes my son had hooked up the garden hose to the hot water spigot in the basement and, together with my shovel-wielding husband, melted and hacked away at that yardberg, and threw great heavy chunks of it to melt in the sun. I commented that it was a waste of energy, and then laughed at their hybrid solution of water from a gas-fueled hot water heater combined with the alternative energy of brute strength, all for me.

A nice thing… a grand compromise of a gesture in the name of happiness. It can’t fix everything, but the motive does much to mend what’s ailing.

3 Responses to “A Yardberg”

  1. I have often wondered whether the snow that gets piled so high in parking lots could actually make it through the summer and become the seed of a new glacier.

    Also: the gestures make the gesturers happy, too.

  2. OwlSaysWho said

    It makes me smile, thinking of the kind gesture . . . so often those little acts of love and kindness which really make life worth living . . .

    I admire you as a writer, and as a person who lives life with some gusto . . . thank you for sharing these nice things with us . . .

  3. painterx7 said


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