The air was crackling clear and the sky the sharpest blue when I headed out this morning to pay the price for our four day weekend. Six inches of snow cloaked my car and even deeper drifts cupped the tires to their hubs. Fortunately the snow was light and powdery and easy to shovel, but even in mittens my fingers stung from the cold as I bent, scraped, lifted, trudged, and dumped. Oh, I could have had help– there were willing hands inside– but once I started I kept at it. The sun on my face and cold air in my lungs was exhilarating, and my fingers warmed as my heartbeat rose. From the woods I heard the chitter and trill of a bird and turned to find a single robin perched on an icy branch, waiting, perhaps, for winter itself to be brushed away like so much snow.