At 7:04 a.m. yesterday I was standing at the bottom of my porch stairs, snow shovel in hand, ready to clear away the 3″ of new snow thathad fallen overnight. The first flakes of the next storm were just beginning to fall. Eventually there would be another foot of snow. There’s something about shoveling snow that makes me thoughtful. That’s when I decided I would take the plunge, and try my hand at blogging.

I had been thinking about it for awhile. I’ve kept a personal journal since September 1968, beginning on my first day away at college. It’s taken me through marriage, birth, death, divorce, pretty much everything. About 15 years ago, I started keeping a separate nature journal. It really started out as a bird list, but that quickly turned out to be too narrow. Even calling it a nature journal seems too confining, since it occasionally touches on music, literature, education, politics – pretty much anything that comes to mind.

So there I was with my shovel. There’s a snowblower in the utility shed. It was my father’s. I’ve never used it. Too noisy. I like the quiet of the snow shovel, when the only sound is the scrape of the shovel against the pavement, the muffled thud of snow landing in a pile. And there’s a kind of grim satisfaction as I gradually make my way from the cellar door, to the kitchen door, to the front door, then up the driveway to the mailbox and paper tubes.

Last winter one well-intentioned neighbor saw me shoveling and came over with his snowblower to help me out. He had just bought it, and he waxed poetic about all its wonderful features. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I would have preferred to shovel. Now I make sure I’m out earlier than he is so that I can have the snow and quiet to myself.

So there you have it. My inaugural posting. As you can see, it’s a work in progress. For the time being, I’m going to try to post twice a month. That’ll give me time to figure ot how this is done.