Sharing the burden and the gift

Minnesota is known for its harsh cold and intense snowfalls. Most winters we live up to our reputation, and one morning in particular a few years ago was no different. When I rolled over in bed and peered out the window, I saw the world covered in a soft and silent blanket of pure glittery snow. Being taught from a young age to shovel early in the morning to help kids walking to school, midnight workers walking home from the bus, and the heavily-laden mail person, I got up and pulled on wool socks, boots, and my heavy coat. 

As I was shoveling my stoop and sidewalk, I looked four lots down and remembered that my neighbor had taken his two sons back home to Mexico. The mother and her newborn, along with her elderly mother, were still in the house. I thought to myself, “What a gift it would be to wake up and see that my sidewalk had been shoveled and I was free from that chore on a cold and blustery Wednesday.” Mind made up, I took one step to w