When I was a kid, whenever a snowstorm hit my Dad marched all seven of us out to shovel the walkways of all of our elderly neighbors (which was pretty much everyone). This was an exhausting habit – particularly during the blizzard of ’78 – but I appreciate my Dad’s traditional sense of community care and respect for elders.
Not surprisingly, ever since last week’s storm I’ve been plagued by guilt about the impenetrable layer of ice on our sidewalk. Somehow between work and home and potty training, we just couldn’t keep up the day of the storm. So during the last two days of warm up, I have gone out periodically to chip away at the driveway and sidewalk. The ice has been remarkably resistant to my efforts.
Moments ago, during another round of chopping and scraping, a DPW truck pulled up and two friendly workers offered to help; they doused our sidewalk with several pounds of salt. They even offered to fill up our salt bucket (we really must get one of those…).
Maybe I’m feeling sentimental today because I visited my Dad’s grave this morning, but I had the distinct feeling that universes were colliding; as if, some 20 years later, I just got a little gift for shoveling all of those walkways as a kid. And Laurel appears to have inherited my Dad’s sense of community care. During a post-storm walkabout, she stopped for a good 10 minutes to remove ice chunks that had fallen off the banks and onto the sidewalk (shown).