Kindness of Strangers

I think I have mentioned that we live on almost 2 acres of land. That “almost” is important…for people who do not live here…important in that 2 acres is a lot and almost is not that much. Speaking or writing as the person who has to mow the lawn with a push mower and that takes three days if I don’t want to die in the process, the difference between 2 acres and almost 2 acres is not important to me.

Related to mowing is shoveling the snow. We have a deck, steps, a long walk way and an even longer drive way. The drive way is actually a U-shape. Before the first snow fell we discussed how we (meaning me) would shovel the dirt driveway. We even sought out experts all of whom suggested rather emphatically we obtain a snow blower.

We have a shovel, how bad could it get?

The stupid-ironic part of the above sentence is that after a summer of mowing the lawn, I should have known that a snow shovel was a stupid idea. However, in my defense, we had lived on a college campus where while the snow removal bordered on the obscene and liable; meaning a snow shovel was enough.

First snow, we busted our asses off in shifts to clear a single path to the street.

Second snow, a friend gave us a second shovel, thus we busted our asses off together to clear a single path to the street.

Between the first and second snow, our maintenance man brought his plow around and cleared out the U-Shape. That was awesome and totally unexpected.

Third and fourth snow, lite enough nothing we needed to take care of; our maintenance man thought differently and plowed again. Totally awesome.

That was the extent of the kindness of strangers we expected. We are new here. We have made some contact with neighbors, mostly waving because…almost two acres. Around us we have seen lots of kindness. A man across the street uses his snow blower to clear the snow for an elderly neighbor. Every snow. I even think he mowed their lawn, but given the nature of lawns here it could have been his. Still the thought is pretty awesome.

For the last five years there has not been a lot of kindness of strangers. Students keep their heads down and interaction was pretty limited. Not just us, but all around the court.

So imagine my surprise…let me back up, today we woke up to at least 4 inches of snow and needed to clear the snow to get out. My boy and I in our snow gear with shovels in hand started clearing the snow. Snow continued to fall and I was pretty sure we were making reverse progress when the neighbor and his snow blower arrived.

A smile, a nod, a handshake, and several thank yous later our driveway was clear of snow. Kindness of strangers.

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