Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Snow Day

Beware the ides of April, I guess.

After yesterday's freak snow storm, I took one look at my car and realized I'd be stuck for hours. I called campus, cancelled classes, made coffee, and set out to shovel the eighteen inches of wet, heavy snow (not to mention what the snow plow had left). I managed to clear enough snow to open the car door, start it, and crank up the radio for company while shoveling.

I typically listen to NPR, and soon the news broke about the shootings at Virginia Tech. What's to be said?

However, I didn't spend my day thinking about what's wrong with the world. Slowly shoveling the heavy snow, laboriously walking each load to the bank, I remembered a few months back when day after day of lake effect snow buried the county. The snow blower my dad gave me when he sold his house wouldn't start, and I was forced to shovel day after day, for hours, until my muscles could barely tolerate lifting the shovel, and the banks towered over me--and that's just clearing an area to park by the road.

Barely able to move, sore and exhausted in those back to back days of endless storms, I looked at the sea of snow yet to be crossed. I needn't have worried. A stranger stopped, surveyed the expanse, and set about plowing it back. When I could free my car, I moved it, and he pushed back every bank as far into my trees as possible. The next day, as I was buried again, a neighbor drove up in his loader (we live in the county, so houses aren't close), cleared the new snow, and went down my 200 foot driveway as far as he could, lifting the now four feet of snow and moving it to the line of trees. The next day after that, the neighbor on the other side (again, quite a distance) walked his snow blower over, cleared my parking area, then cleared a path down the rest of the driveway as far as possible. And the following day, someone else (with a different size plow) cleared my place while I was at work.

As I shoveled yesterday, I saw the signs of their work and remembered their spontaneous kindness. I thought about all the times over the years I've had road side trouble, or got stuck, waiting for someone to stop and help. Someone always did. I never doubted it--I just assumed. That's what people do.

The world is still a wonderful place.


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