Posted tagged ‘neighborhood’

The Revelations of Snow

February 5, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                               February 5, 2016

                                

The eighteen inches of snow that we received this week was beautiful in many ways. Our back deck looks like a winter wonderland. Pike’s Peak is a living postcard!

The snow has also revealed many things..revelations, if you will, of some things we knew already, and some things that are fascinating.

Here’ one! A Jaguar gets just as stuck in eighteen inches of snow as a Ford Taurus. $600 a month car payments do not mean squat to a street with a foot and a half of snow on it. There is not a “premium lane” on our street. Snow is the great equalizer, unless you’re one of those big pick-up trucks.

Here’s another revelation! The first day when school is canceled there is great jubilation amongst students and teachers. Day Two is still greeted with cheering. Snow gear and apparel sits waiting by the door. But by Day Three of school cancellations parents are pulling their hair out, students are lounging on the couch in a semi-comatose state, and teachers are now thinking “We’ll be going to school in July!” When I left our high school gym last night after our basketball games and we were greeted by more snow falling the reaction of parents and students was “NO!”

The most revealing thing about our snow week, however, has been the diminishing value of the U.S. Postal Service. We received mail on Monday, but the mail carrier has not been by since…and today is Friday. What have we missed? The Wednesday advertising paper that has the supermarket weekly specials in it, probably a couple of envelopes from Chase Bank trying to get us to sign up for a new credit card, the weekly AARP ad, and perhaps the utility bill. I’m assuming that the mail might get delivered today, but the snowstorm has shown us that mail delivery is no longer a necessity six days a week. Maybe three!

I’m not moaning here. Our street hasn’t been plowed yet. Eighteen inches of snow have been mashed down to resemble the Iditarod. My nephew in Baltimore couldn’t get his dog to go outside to relieve himself when the East Coast got blasted a couple of weeks ago. I guess our mail carrier looked down our street with similar fear and trembling.

The best revelation from this week was seeing neighbors working together to clear sidewalks and snowplowing driveways. Our neighbor on the corner brought his snowblower all the way up the sidewalk to the house next for to us. Eric, the husband who lives there, is deployed right now. Our corner neighbor was looking out for his family. This morning two other men and I helped push a lady out of a slippery mesh at the corner. A couple of four-wheel drive trucks whizzed by us like we were the underprivileged, but the three of us helped her get out of an unfortunate situation. That’s the best thing about massive amounts of snow. In the midst of no mail delivery and snow cancellations we get the opportunity to experience community.

Dr. Anne

June 10, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        June 9, 2014

 

                                              

 

She greeted us with a smile. The smile arrived shortly after her walker did. Anne was her name, and she had realized quite a while ago that she couldn’t do the gardening, weeding, and outdoor grooming that she had done for decades. So she called us.

Three of our neighborhood churches join volunteer help together on a Saturday in the Fall and a Saturday in the Spring to help some of our neighborhoods out. Most of them are elderly or disabled in some way.

That’s how we met Anne. A door-to-door offer to help with simple tasks around the houses of the community had resulted in her call, so we went.

As our work team trimmed bushes and pulled weeds Anne engaged us in conversation. She leaned on her walker as she pointed out certain things to our crew members.

Sometimes we assume things about the people we meet. We see their inability to do certain things and we take a mental leap in thinking that they were never able to do much of anything.

We may have thought that about Anne, until she began sharing life experiences. She holds a doctorate in education. She is extremely well-read, and familiar enough with current events and politics to debate the person she is talking with.

Life has dealt her some hard blows, including multiple hip surgeries and the inability to stand but just for a few moments.

Perhaps that’s why she was so grateful for our help. Her backyard was filled with numerous kinds of plants, bushes, and flowers, but it was obvious that its glorious seasons had passed. Anne’s sadness about that was easily sensed, but there were new flowers roaming in her yard for a few hours. Some were Presbyterian, some Mennonite, and some American Baptist.

There are people who thank you because it’s the polite thing to do, and then there are people who thank you because they are filled with heart-felt gratitude.

Dr. Anne fell into the later category. We were blessed for having met her.