Today was a snow day. Over a foot of snow. Blizzard conditions. The governor declared a state of emergency and authorities urged people to stay off the roads if at all possible.
Since Kim and I both work from home, we were able to stay in and decided to take most of the day off. Sure, we have a lot of stuff on our to-do lists, but days like this don’t come around all that often. You have to take advantage of them when they come.
But I must confess: I did partake in my share of inner grumbling as I struggled to shovel the driveway and sidewalk. (Ah the joys of home ownership!) The snow was wet and heavy, and my back still aches as I write this.
But then I thought of all the people who HAD to be out there today. The police officers. The ambulance drivers. The snow plow operators. They’re out there, away from their families, keeping us safe. Before long, my thoughts turned to the men and women in the armed forces. The ones overseas, thousands of miles away from home, who’d probably give anything to shovel their driveway, knowing that the smiling faces of their children and cup of hot chocolate awaited them inside.
I always assure the audience at the beginning of my speaking programs that I’m not there to teach them anything new. My job is to remind them of the things they already know. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle, losing track about what’s really important and grumbling about trivial stuff. Sometimes we all need reminders to get us back on track.
This video was my reminder today. It’s a few years old, but it made me cry like a school girl. I bet it will do the same for you.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpohfny7jWg
Watching this video reminded me of just how lucky I am to be able to shovel my driveway and then walk inside and have lunch with my two favorite girls in the world. Very lucky, indeed.
To all the service men and women out there, especially the ones who won’t be able to make it home this Christmas. Thank you.
Thank you so much.
You’re some kind of awesome. I doubt I’ll ever be as brave or dedicated or heroic as you.
Happy Holidays. Come home safe, ok?
I have a co-worker at my lumberyard that has been fighting for his life for over a year now with major illness and many set backs. He has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes and finally made it home about 3 weeks ago. He is happy to be home. The other day I was off so I went to visit him. His bed is set up in the living room. His eyesight is poor, he can’t hear very well, he has a kidney machine hooked up, he can’t stand. But what he said, I’ll never forget. He said, “Kid, I’d do anything to be able to get out of this bed and shovel the snow.” You hit the nail right on the head, son. L dad
Thanks Dad. You’re the expert at hitting nails, so that means a lot.
Laura Hegfield says
wow…teary here too. I pray for the safety of our troops and the people they are working so hard to protect abroad as well as all of us at home.
Hi Jason (&Kim),
I followed you over from a sweet Tweet you left me and, wow, did I get another sweet surprise!
I LOVE this post, Jason. Here’s two reasons why:
1) I formerly lived in Minnesota (now live in Cali) but shoveled many feet of snow while I lived in in the upper midwest. I can relate to your words here and completely agree.
2) I bawled like a baby when I watched the video and then read your (again) sweet thank you note. I’m a military veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm back in the day – I missed Christmas back then; I was knee deep in the sand. Please know that when you say what you did here today, you’re touching many people out there – including yours truly. I wouldn’t say I was heroic – I’m just happy I served. Thank you for your kind words!
I’m now heading over to subscribe to your RSS feed. I’m psyched to meet you and look forward to seeing you around these parts again very soon!
Lori (P.S. Stay warm!)
Thanks for stopping by! I have been enjoying your blog since I found it through Lance at Jungle of Life.
I’m so thrilled to hear that you appreciated my little post. Thank you SO much for your service. Not many people put as much on the line as the folks (like you!) who served in the military, so I think that’s pretty heroic!
Thanks for sharing your story and the video. I absolutely agree with everything you wrote about the soldiers and all Americans over in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am very thankful they are serving our country and I have a great deal of respect for them.
Hey Tim! (Sorry, Jason, for butting in…, but Tim is an AWESOME dude!)
Now I remember where I’ve heard of this site – you’re the one who told me about it, Tim! I’m glad Jason lured me over via Twitter – what a cool surprise of a blog. I should have listened to you from day one.
OK, I’m stepping stage left…
(See you around, Tim!)
Yep, Tim knows stuff. I find it best to listen to him when he speaks :)
Ching Ya says
Nice one there, Jason. I always love to read how a routined action can bring a message out. It’s that A-ha moment for all of us. Indeed, we are blessed for being able to spend time with family while some are doing their best to fight for everyone’s safety, convenience and well being. They are to be thanked and remembered at all times.
Wish you a wonderful holiday season as well.
Thanks a bunch! I’m trying to do more of those “routine” insight type posts. The biggest trick is keeping our eyes open and seeing the world like children do. Everything is a teachable moment, right?
Happy holidays to you as well!
Got me cryin’ too. I could only imagine if I (or my wife) were away overseas. I’m truly blessed.
God keep our troops and bring them home soon!
Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would’t make it one week. I am such a wimp. But grateful for the ones who make the sacrifice. What a gift they are to us all!
Selina German says
Thanks so much for this post. This Christmas is extra special for my girls and I . Last year my husband was deployed to Afghanistan so we know what Christmas is like when families are separated. The kids are so excited that Daddy gets to be home this Christmas. As I read this post to my husband he smiled in agreed that he would have much rather been home shoveling snow. :)
Thanks so much.
Props to you guys for your service. What a cool Christmas gift you gave to the rest of us. I’m so glad to hear that Daddy’s home for Christmas this year…I hope it’s the best one ever!