Plowed in (and out!)….by our own thoughts

Bodhi in the window at dawn (one day last week...we don't have any snow at the moment here in upstate NY!)

For years my mother complained that the town trucks always plowed her in after every snow fall. One year they pushed so much snow onto her lawn that it broke part of the fence. She said that after every storm, when she heard the town trucks coming, she ran to the window to see how much they would dump on her.

Last winter, she was standing at her window, thinking about how much she dreaded this continual inconvenience and she had a revelation. She’d been listening to some inspirational cd’s about blessing all circumstances in life, and realized that she had been doing the opposite, in this situation, and so she started, at that moment, saying, “Bless those town workers and the trucks that they drive. I know how hard they work.” She then headed outside to dig herself out.

As she shoveled, a small town truck drove by and stopped in front of her house. One of the men got out, came over to her and said, “We are so sorry that we have been plowing you in. We’ll be more careful in the future, and if you do get plowed in like this again, just give us a call and we’ll come back and take care of it. Here is the number to call.”

My mother said that she was so surprised, she almost couldn’t say anything, but then thought to ask, “How did you know that I was being plowed in?!” He told her that her neighbor had called them, several days ago, and said that there was an 82-year-old woman up the street who had to spend hours shoveling herself out after they came by.

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude”. Oprah Winfrey

21 thoughts on “Plowed in (and out!)….by our own thoughts”

  1. What a story! I’m so glad that your Mom asked the man why or we would never be reading this and be inspired. Yes, our attitudes and what comes out of our mouths is so important. Bless that town worker, the neighbor who made the call and your Mom who is still out shoveling snow at 82!!!

    Enjoy the day…love, Marian

  2. Dear Mary,

    What a wonderful reminder that we can find a positive gift in almost every circumstance by changing our attitude.

    During a gathering last weekend, conversations led to the thought that even in the devastaiton of Irene in Vermont we could find some gifts. Some found the gift of being able to offer, donate, and support those in need. Others were able to aknowlege a gift in accepting support and caring from others and realizing they were surrounded by loving people whom they hadn’t even met! Gifts perhaps that we wish hadn’t been presented to us by such devastation, but gifts none the less.

    Thank you, Mary for continuing affirmations.

    From Fran

  3. Thanks for sharing that story. We’re never too old, or too young, to adopt an attitude of gratitude. It works.

  4. I must confess that I have thought unkind thoughts regarding the pile of snow at the bottom of my long driveway. Thanks for the wake-up call Mary. I need to bless that snowplow driver. He is out in the cold working to clear roads for us and I will bless him and ask for his safety. I love that we always have a choice in how we chose to perceive things. We hold such power!

  5. How true it is that by changing our perspective, we can change the outcome. But I think your mother also had an angel looking over her shoulder in the form of a kindly and observant neighbour, Mary. And, I think of how often I get stuck in my own perspectives….because…after all, they are the only ones I have. Stepping out into a different perspective can sometimes open doors of communication. A wonderful story.


  6. I found this quote from Charles Swindoll, Christian pastor. What a gift from God, our ability to make choices. Thanks for another wonderful story Mary and bless your sweet Mom!

    “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

    Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

    The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

    And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”

    1. wonderful quote Susan…I’ll pass the blessings along to my mother too (I plan on reading her both the post and comments next week when I see her).

  7. Hi Mary – this post is just what I needed. I am struggling with a situation involving my son & daughter & the hostility that erupts between them followed by periods of silence. I try to act as the mediator and interpretor for the warring siblings, loving each one dearly. As I read today’s post, my first thought was “if only one of them could change his/her attitude”. And then, bingo, it hit me, maybe I am the one who needs to change my attitude. I looked back over your mother’s prayer for the townworkers and came up with one of my own:
    “God bless my only son and my only daughter, I know how hard each of them is working on his/her own issues. I love them. I thank you for them. And I let go of them”.
    p.s. a dear friend of mine, Martha, who is now with the angels, used to have a gesture…she would open her hands palms up, raise them a bit, and say, “Give it to God, Mary”.

    1. That is both beautiful and powerful Mary…thank you so much for sharing it here with us.

  8. Thank you for an inspiring and uplifting post~ really needed that this week! Hugs and happy weekend to all Feather Friends …. Love, Kelly

  9. As my much-younger friend would say, “This post is just the bomb-diggity!”
    Not sure what a ‘diggity’ is, but I would agree that today’s message really wins the prize.

    Thanks, Mary, and may everyone of the feathered friends have a “bomb-diggity” weekend!

    1. A bomb-diggity weekend sounds like just the thing I need right now! I think i’ll have one! Thanks Suzanne!

  10. What really strikes me in your post Mary, is that your Mom, an 80 something, is still willing to change her attitude and thinking. First, that she recognized her attitude, complaining, and the stress the situation caused, and then to turn it around, bless the men, and be open to the change. I really do applaud her and it further validates that we are never too old to change our thinking. It really demonstrates the value of positive thinking and gratitude. Thanks for the life lesson from you and your mom. I love the the Oprah quote…and that kind of attitude makeover “doesn’t cost a thing”! Much love…

    1. You know, she really is trying to change and it helps me when i remember that she has made a lot of progress in the last few years…have a great weekend Kathye!

    2. Kathye, You are so right! How awesome that Mary’s mother is so willing to change her attitude and thinking at her age. May we all take notice and follow in her footsteps. You have a gem there, Mary. I have a gem of a mother, as well, who pretty much can do the same at age 89! I am so blessed. Thanks for the post, Mary; as always, a heart-warmer!

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