We force ourselves to smile when below zero days arrive with the North wind biting every exposed area of our skin. I know it’s just part of the acclimation of our minds and bodies to the change of weather, but I particularly don’t like shoveling snow when the temperature is below zero. I got a real laugh last week when a vendor seemed shocked when she found out that I actually shovel snow. I become a little perturbed when I drive past homes that haven’t been shoveled yet this season and know that there are people decades younger than me living in those homes. I am still considering possibilities of what we can do to get the general public in our community to take a more active step in keeping the visible areas of their home exteriors more presentable. I think if we all work at raising the bar on what we find acceptable within our community, then it should just happen in a natural way. It’s sort of like one person making a small change in a big way. Little by little, others accept the change and start creating a standard. When positive standards become reality, they are hard to break because most people within their cores realize that they have freely raised their levels of what is a acceptable and what isn’t within their own communities. For example, I just about go berserk whenever I seen someone parking their car on the lawn of their homes. I rarely find it here in Mason City, but there are other areas of our fair State where it is common. Some years ago when I was more involved in property management, I wouldn’t bat an eye in a very vocal way whenever I found a vehicle parked on the lawn. Sometimes the exchanges were not pretty but the message was delivered and they never did it again. The degradations we allow in our lives soon become part of our lives. Whatever happens going forward is indeed not any one other’s fault but rather our own, for allowing the lowering of a particular standard.
These are some of the things I think about when I am out in below zero weather shoveling and shivering.