As anyone paying attention to the weather knows (and anyone living here knows unless they spent the day in a coma), the midwest got socked with more than a foot of snow today. Strong winds meant huge drifts, in places hip-high. So we spent the morning digging out, with touch-up work being required in the afternoon.
We had an event we needed to get to this evening, and it occurred to us that even though most the folks whose houses abut the same alley as we do had cleared the snow from their portions of the alley, too often what happens is the city plows come through on the streets and leave huge mounds of snow along the curbs in their wake, including at the entryways to alleys. (The city doesn’t plow the alleys – this sometimes surprises residents of other cities…) So I thought I’d check to be sure we could actually get out.
Well, there was indeed a huge pile blocking the exit to the alleyway, so I once more fired up the snowblower and walked down to the corner. Along the way, the sidewalks of the folks on the corner had had snowdrifts cover what they’d shoveled, so I cleared a path there since it was right on my way. Once I got to the end of the alley, which is normally cleared by the people whose houses are nearest it, I’d gotten as far as clearing two paths each the width of the snowblower when a pickup truck with a plow came by on the street, stopped, backed up into the alley, and cleared out the entryway within a matter of seconds. I waved in acknowledgement of the driver’s kindness, he nodded back, and moved on. I saw him a block away clearing out the corner sidewalk curb break.
One nice thing about nasty weather like this: it often brings out the best in people, in this case, neighborliness. I don’t know who the pickup guy was (I didn’t recognize him or the truck), but it’s just a nice thing to do: simple for him, a great courtesy to others.
Similarly, our neighbor noted that his hot-water heater wouldn’t work and gave him an error code indicating that the vent was blocked (which it was…with snow) and suggested we check ours. I did, and shoveled it out…and since our neighbor on the other side was clearing snow at the same time, Rose mentioned this possibility to him as well.
So with all the crappy, depressing news that’s made me avoid newspapers recently, it’s good to get this sort of news instead.
(On an unrelated note: my spell-check flagged “acknowledgement,” which seemed odd. I checked…and apparently “acknowledgment” is acceptable as well. I did not know until now that there was another word along the pattern of “judgment”…)