Our son went to a preschool program that had the slogan, “I am lovable and capable.” Those are valuable concepts for a kid to embody whether s/he is three or eighteen. It is a sentiment that we try to capture at the Game Loft. Being lovable is easy when you are three. Little children are messy, smelly, and adorable. By the time they become teens they are still messy, often smelly, and sometimes a long way from adorable. To really love them you have to aim your love at the place between the adorable childhood they are leaving and the respectable adults they are becoming. Sometimes that feels like we are taking a shot in the dark. Little children are considered capable when they use the bathroom without prompting or pick up their toys under the watchful eye of an adult. We expect so much more from teens, sometimes forgetting how much they have learned in so short a time. Now that I have reached an age when I worry about the toll that over-exertion can take on my body I am grateful for teens who are becoming capable, in fact, I love them.

This has been an exceptionally snowy winter. The climate folks warned us that global warming could lead to heavy snow accumulations and they were right. For those of you out of town be happy because we are buried in snow and our teeth are chattering with the cold. Snow drifts are over my head and getting to the bird feeder is like an arctic expedition. What would we do without the band of Game Loft snow shovelers?

The Loft has been shoveling out elderly and disabled folks in Belfast since my neighbor first asked for our help. That was a huge break-through because formerly she had distrusted and disliked kids. She saw them as violent and threatening but when the snow blocked her door she had nowhere to turn. It shows personal strength to completely change your perspective and Elizabeth Minor was strong. She died last year and I still miss her. I am glad that she was spared the anxiety of dealing with the snow this winter. But she left us a legacy, and that is the idea that Game Loft members shovel snow. They realize in this act that they are capable of work that others cannot do.

When I asked Brian how much snow he had moved this year he said, “More than I ever thought possible.” My calendar says that spring is coming in two days. The snowdrops will have to force their way through ten inches of snow and the crocuses are still sleeping under the snow drifts. I am hoping that we have seen the end of shoveling because Brian left the roof rake in our gutter where it is frozen solid. One point for lovable, zero for capable.

2015 snow shovel brigade 003

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