The Kindness of Strangers

This morning, like many people in this region where a blizzard is coming, I planned to go to the supermarket to pick up a few stock items. It did snow a little last night, but the winds are so fierce that it really didn't stick to anything...or so I thought. As I backed out of my driveway, I promptly got stuck in a drift at the curb I hadn't previously noticed.

While shoveling the snow from around my tires, I noticed a car slow down as it passed, but since I didn't recognize the car, I didn't look too closely. A few minutes later a man approached on foot and offered assistance. He quickly assessed my situation and determined that the snow around one particular wheel was keeping me stuck. He took the shovel and had me out of there in about two minutes.

It turned out that he lives in the house on the corner of the side street, and it was he who had driven by and saw I was stuck. I explained that I had called just last week to have our snowblower serviced (my husband couldn't get it started) and that they hadn't been to pick it up yet because they're backlogged. He made the incredibly kind offer to bring his snowblower around to get rid of that snow drift for me, since I was on my way out and he was about to do his property anyway. When I came back he had cleared not only that hump of snow at the curb, but also some smaller piles in our driveway.

That was so kind of him. I never even saw this man before (and trust me, when you're African-American living in a city where just 7% of the population is that minority, you tend to notice these things).

I'm going to pick up a gift certificate for him from Subway. The least I can do is buy him lunch, and give him an autographed book to give to his wife. But what makes me feel so warm and fuzzy is that this stranger went out of his way. When I failed to look up as he drove by, he trudged around the corner to offer assistance. In this day and age, when the news is full of news about cruel acts...well, it just makes me get misty-eyed.

Has anyone done you a real kindness lately? And have you done a kindness for someone lately?

P.S. About that blizzard...before I set out for the store, I made arrangements to have our property plowed when it's over tomorrow. I can handle a snowfall of 6 or 7 inches, but any more than that and it's time to call in the big guns.


DonnaD said...

Hey Bettye!

Glad you survived the storm. My hubby had the good sense to buy a snow blower last year (finally!) and it came in handy this week. I've been at home since Tuesday afternoon (no school for my son) but I'm glad to finally get out tomorrow! Happy Super Bowl Sunday!