Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Kindness Of Strangers

The girls and I arrived home this afternoon and within minutes were outside frolicking in the recent snowfall. To paint a more accurate picture, I guess I should say that the girls were frolicking in the fresh snow while I diligently worked to shovel our what-feels-to-be-when-covered-in-snow massive driveway. I have no doubts that by the time I reached the last quarter of our driveway I was a sight for sore eyes - nose running, frozen hair hanging down from under my hat and around my face, mascara certainly smudged, eyes squinty against the light dusting of snow blowing back at me with each toss of the shovel load.

I don't mind shoveling. I like to think it's a good combo of cardio and strength workout. The girls love playing outside when it snows so it's not a big deal for me to take care of the drive while they're enjoying the winter precipitation. That last section of the drive always breaks me though. Anyone who's crazy enough to clear snow without the aide of a plow or snowblower like us here at One Carbon Hill know where I'm coming from - your back is starting to ache, the arms and legs are quickly beginning to tighten, the cold is finally getting the better of you, and all you can see is a day's worth of thick, deep, oftentimes ice glazed snow plowed from the streets directly onto the edge of your drive. It's usually at this point that I start dreaming (or, in particularly dire situations, hallucinating) of beaches, sunshine, and frozen margaritas. That was me again today, just at that point where the real work was about to begin when behold! What is this? A man in a shiny white chariot, snow plow attached, slowing down and gesturing toward my drive? Could it be? Does he really intend to finish off the last of my shoveling? For free? With a couple of questions for clarification purposes (That's not a ditch on that side of the road, right? And how far over does the driveway go on that side?), a reminder to keep "the little ones" clear of his truck, and a friendly smile my new favorite stranger cleared the rest of our driveway in four short sweeps. I must have thanked him seventeen times, told him how much I appreciated his willingness to stop and help me, and he replied simply "You're welcome" as he drove off into the afternoon sun.

Maybe it was a combination of my sad appearance, two young children playing near me, and the remnants of the Christmas spirit that made him stop. Really, it doesn't matter. All I know is whatever caused this older gentleman to pause at the edge of our driveway tonight and ask, "Want me to push the rest of that snow out of the driveway for you?" made my day and reminded me that despite some rather awful stories coming from work lately there really are kind, generous, selfless people still in this world. The downside to this afternoon highlight? I'm now afraid that The General will put me on full-time shoveling duty from here on out as he has yet to attract any wayward good Samaritans while he's out tending to the snow covered pavement.

6 comments:

Tina said...

I am always amazed at the kindness of strangers. I had two flat tires when we lived in Florida, and both times someone had stopped to help me within minutes and would not accept any cash gift when we were done. I was so thankful!

Now you just have to pay it forward!

em said...

Nice story but maybe if you'd shovel in your bikini he'd come to your rescue sooner....

Anonymous said...

Pass it forward! Glad the white chariot came to help! Grama P

Anonymous said...

that would have made my day too. must be he thought you were pretty cute!!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, when I saw the snow plow in the lot across the street, I immediately went out to shovel...thinking they were going to pay it forward.

No dice.

The Mrs. said...

Trust me, Em. There would have been lots of traffic by the house had I been donning my bikini while shoveling, but it would have been for all the wrong reasons. This (three years) post baby body is a no bikini zone for the health of my self-esteem and out of courtesy for those around me. It's ain't a pretty sight, trust me.

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