The idea for “Thirty Bucks” came softly, like snow that falls at night, unnoticed and gently accumulating until the surprise when you look out the window and have to deal with it. The first flakes of story fell one winter while I was walking to work at the church. I noticed that people all shovel their sidewalks differently. Some get to it as the snow falls, others wait awhile. Some clear a narrow path, others a wide one. Many of my neighbours shovel a little extra for each other. What intrigued me the morning of my story “ahah”, were the sidewalks that were shoveled perfectly and precisely to the property line. I began to wonder what kind of person would be so particular, and my imagination gave me Mr. Herman. The ideas began to pile up when I wondered how Mr. Herman would connect with his neighbours. I saw footprints in the new snow. Our cat, Aphid, had an escape habit and I worried he might go unnoticed into the cold. I was preparing for Christmas season worship services at church. Suddenly, it all drifted together and I had to both shovel our walks and write the story down!