Saturday, December 11, 2010

A snowstorm brings out the best in people

My dad and I were just having a conversation yesterday about the lack of generosity among people nowadays.  Things like holding the door open for someone, letting someone go ahead of you in the grocery line or giving up a seat on the bus for someone else.  My dad even experienced it yesterday when he dropped me off at the door of a store to do some Christmas shopping (it was my birthday yesterday and every year my parents give me this dad takes me shopping all over town dropping me off and picking me up at the doors, and my mom stays home and makes sure the kids have a great day...yesterday they baked loads of cookies!).  Anyway, after my dad dropped me off he ran into the store hoping to buy me some flowers quickly before I saw him.  There was only one register open and the lady in front of him had a cart overflowing with stuff.  He asked her if he could go ahead of her since he only had the flowers (in fact, he wouldn't have asked except that he was trying to sneak out before I saw him).  She told him no because she was in a hurry!

Anyway...back to today...

I always knew we lived in a wonderful suburban neighborhood where people help one another.  When it snows, it's not uncommon to see people blowing their own driveway, then starting on a sick, injured, or out of town neighbor's.  When someone else is done blowing their own, they too head over to help on the extra driveway.  In fact, I remember being sent in by neighbor's when I was very pregnant, my kids were too little to be out in the dark shoveling, and my dh was out of town, they did it for me.

Today I got to see this generosity play out in a different sort of neighborhood.  We headed to our state's capital city this afternoon to drop off my dd and her friend for a service project.  I don't really know what the plowing plan is...but what I do know is that the streets were not plowed at all.  The trick, I found, was to stick to the bigger streets where the other trucks/cars had already made ruts (over on the west end...the trick is to stick to the bigger streets because those have been plowed!).  I was driving a vehicle with all wheel drive, so the 12" or so was enough to pull me to the side, but not stop me.  But, what I found amazing were the number of people out walking around in droves pushing cars out.  I don't know if these people were just enjoying a walk during this blowing and drifting snow, or if they were specifically going for walks looking for people who need help.  It was neat to see someone get stuck a block or so in front of us (well, not for the driver!), and before I would even get to the car 4-8 people were there, pushing them out!  I also saw a group of people pushing a USPS jeep, and another group shoveling out a fed ex truck who managed to almost make it to a plowed main road, only he had a 2' pile of snow to get through, courtesy of said plow (no, I'm not complaining about what the plow leaves behind, but for any of you who live in snowy areas, you know what I'm talking about, especially if it's at the end of your driveway!)

No comments: