Holiday lights remain strung in a backyard covered with record snowfall a month after Christmas. (Photo by Peggy McKee Barnhill)

Holiday lights remain strung in a backyard covered with record snowfall a month after Christmas. (Photo by Peggy McKee Barnhill)

Gimme A Smile: Wouldn’t it be nice…

I like to look at the bright side of life. I try to be a glass-half-full kind of gal. But the glass could always get filled up even more, right? I can’t help thinking, wouldn’t it be nice…

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see into the future, especially when you’re waiting to find out if tomorrow will be a snow day? You can see the snow outside; you can read the weather forecast and decide whether you want to believe it or not; but you can’t read the minds of the powers that be. Imagine going to bed at night without setting the alarm, basking in the knowledge that you can sleep in and not have to get up at 6 a.m. to check the website to see if school and work are cancelled. Luxury! True, there is a feeling of bliss that comes with rolling over and going back to sleep once you know you’re off the hook. It might not outweigh the anxiety leading up to that moment, however. It’s hard to sleep when you’re wondering how big of a berm you’re going to have to shovel in the morning to get yourself out of your driveway if there isn’t any snow day. By the second snow day of our recent mammoth snowstorm, we did get advanced notice. That was nice.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to change the past after living through it? You could stop time, rewind and push play to get a second chance. Maybe you neglected to prepare your yard for the snow. You disregarded any weather forecasts, and failed to bring in that hefty wooden planter that sits at the bottom of your driveway. Too late, you realize that winter has brought freezing temperatures, and that decorative planter is frozen to the ground. Snow is falling, but there’s no way to budge the planter. There it stays, all winter long, blocking your sweeping snow shovel strokes as it solidifies into a permanent part of the berm. If only you could stop time for a moment, rewind to a drizzly fall day before any freeze comes, and scoop up that planter before it settles in for the duration. That would be nice.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could read social media and not be affected by it? You could look at all those posts about people posing on their snow-covered roofs, snow blowers in full swing, and the thought that your own roof might be at risk would never cross your mind. You could admire their persistence or say a prayer for their safety, without ever thinking that you should be joining them up on the roof. FOMO would never be a thing. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything you did made a positive impact on the world? Maybe all the energy you spent worrying that your roof was going to cave in unless you ignored every survival instinct and clambered up to shovel it off would go into a pool of doomsday dread collected from all the worrywarts in this world. This anxious energy source would get zapped by some benevolent force in the cosmos to become renewable energy to power snow blowers nationwide. All that worrying would finally pay off. That would be nice.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the beautiful, fluffy white snow would fall on the trees and fields, bypassing the roads completely? You could enjoy the magical sight of mounds of snow in a winter wonderland without fear of your car careening out of control. Maybe the roads would be equipped with snow-repellent technology, like little lasers that blast each individual snowflake, sending it spinning off onto the verge. Cars would be outfitted with thermal wind turbines embedded in the front grille to blow snow out of the way as you drive down the road. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could manifest reality — if your thoughts could bring things into being? If you closed your eyes and concentrated hard enough, your desires would appear. All your wishes would come true. Wouldn’t that be nice?

• Peggy McKee Barnhill is a wife, mother, and author who writes cozy mysteries under the pen name “Greta McKennan.” She likes to look at the bright side of life.

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