Bomb Cyclone Musings

“I’m going out to shovel,” I yelled into the dining room where my husband was busy clicking away at his computer. He was working from home doing whatever it is he does as an accountant- a world I can’t quite get a handle on.

“I’ll do it,” he responded.

“Oh no! I need a break from this house,” I called out, already out the door and heading into the Bomb Cyclone.

As the garage door opened, I was greeted with a clean line of snow, at least a foot tall, that expanded as far as I could see. The cold air felt like freedom. The whirling wind a welcome break from the bickering and whining produced by my three cooped up children. Out in the storm, there were no hungry mouths to feed, boredom to squash, or spills to clean.

I made my first slice into the blanket of snow, feeling the weight on the shovel as I tossed it to the side and glanced at the driveway that all of a sudden seemed never-ending. I worked steadily, retreating into the garage whenever the wind got truly unruly. The novelty of the quiet and the cold air wore off quickly, yet I kept shoveling.

An hour later and about half way down the driveway, I contemplated quitting. My cheeks were frozen, my muscles sore. As the wind picked up again, something caught my eye. Another sign of life braving the elements, a bushy tailed squirrel.

I leaned into my shovel, watching this creature dive into the snow head first, as if into a pool, a great adventure. He’d spend some time under the snow,with only his excited tail breaking the landscape, before popping back up just to dive back in again. I watched in wonder until the squirrel either grew tired of the game or found what he had been searching for.

As I returned to the driveway, I imagined a graphic novel starring the squirrel and his adventures. The mental storytelling kept me busy until I reached the end of the driveway, where the heavy snow lay piled high from the plows that had already passed. I picked up my shovel and headed towards the house and chaos. I was ready to get my ideas down on paper.


10 thoughts on “Bomb Cyclone Musings

  1. Beyond fabulous! The bomb cyclone shoveling slice was strong enough but the pictures on paper are the absolute bonus! I love the line “I made my first slice into the blanket of snow” for so many reasons – but especially the use of the word slice in your slice! Love that your shoveling inspired this slice AND your pictures – so glad you need to escape your home and your family – you’ve now inspired others!! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a delight! You’ve painted this piece beautifully–literally and figuratively! I, too, loved how you used the word “slice” within your slice and also enjoyed many other strong word choices and combinations (whirling wind, truly unruly…). I also enjoyed (and could relate to) how the real storm seemed to be within your house and the serenity for you was found outdoors in that whirling wind. This is a gem of a piece from start to finish. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Slicing through the snow is going to stick with me for a while. I actually like shoveling, but I don’t think I ever get writing ideas. It’s more like a meditation and a physical workout. I love the quiet and the simple repetition. This, though, seems even more rewarding — an escape and an inspiration from the bomb.

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  4. Brrr… you had this West Texas girl shivering and feeling that numbing cold. What a great piece this would be to share with students during writers’ workshop. It reminds me of Nancy Atwell’s same writing in her Lessons to Share.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “I made my first slice into the blanket of snow, feeling the weight on the shovel as I tossed it to the side…” This line also stuck out to me… the entire piece helps me feel in the moment.. loved all the sensory details. Simply lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jessica,

    Living in Wisconsin, I related to your story. Fortunately, the Superman enjoys getting on his snow plow and shovel the driveway out. We still need to shovel the side of the home and clean up gutters, the tasks not always enjoyed all the time.

    I am looking forward to your graphic novel or picture book with the snow dive bombing squirrel.

    Best wishes.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many thoughts where I wanted to say -me too. I have been craving quiet for a few days, not for the same reasons, no kid voices at my house. I love to notice things. I could see that little squirrel. That would be a great story. Wonderful slice.

    Liked by 1 person

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