That’s a pretty fire name. It’s the first snow of the New Year and one of the strongest blizzards in modern history. But NYC is NYC and if it weren’t for the snow stacked up when I opened my front door, by looking outside and seeing the normal stream of cars and people I would think, “it’s just a little snow.” Maybe it’s because the last few days have been so frigid people are more willing to be out and about in a blizzard!
Side by side with my male neighbors at their entrances, in my floor length down parka I shoveled pile after pile tossing it into the garden until I made my way out of the gate. My plan was to clear a path for my mother to come through. Several men walked by and commented, “be careful little girl,” or “don’t go too hard.” About 30 or 40 minutes into it, an older West Indian gentleman was walking by in the middle of the street and tipped his hat to me. I nodded and kept working and he came onto the side walk, I got out of the way for him to pass as I had done with several people before him and instead, he gave me the plastic shopping bag he was carrying, took the shovel and said “I need some exercise for the day.” For no less than 20 minutes this man took over in shoveling the snow in front of my house. I tried to stop him on numerous occasions but he just kept right on, instructing me how to properly shovel given my size, for later in the day. He even directed my neighbor how to best shovel the snow in the driveway. I was teary-eyed with gratefulness and began salting in front of the house. “That’s good” he said, “God forbid someone trips, your parents good be liable.” Smiling, he took his back his plastic bag and said,
You took the initiative yourself to do something difficult and God sent some help your way.
And I swear it to you guys, by the time I had turned around to close my gate, he disappeared into the cyclone.
Right now as I’m typing this, my back aches from the shoveling I did do, I’m thawing out… But I’m filled with warmth for the kindness and good there is out there.