\ˈmär \ [WITH OBJECT]
Definition: Impair the quality or appearance of; spoil.
Origin: Old English merran ‘hinder, damage’, of Germanic origin; probably related to Dutch marren ‘loiter’.
It’s early morning and the sound greets me as I open my eyes. The scraping sound grows louder. It’s dark. It’s winter, after all, and the sun sleeps in, although I cannot.
Scrape, scrape. The sound, strangely welcome, makes my day.
I rise and peek out the window. The streetlight casts a glow on the snowbanks, and a car passes by slowly, its taillights blinking sleepily. Stray snowflakes still flutter in the lamplight. Our street is a winter wonderland – through the night, a blanket of snow settled on the porches and roofs, and no footprints yet mar the perfect coat of white on the ground.
Scrape, scrape, scrape.
Again, I hear the sound, nearly under my window. I see no one – the roof of the porch blocks my view of the street.
But I know.
I have early-rising neighbours who love their snow shovels and aren’t afraid to use them.