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We finally had our first real snow yesterday. By that I mean that there was an accumulation of about six inches and we had to shovel our driveway in order to go anywhere by car. It was beautiful as it arrived – the kind that makes a person look out the window humming “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” even if snow isn’t in your top ten weather events. It only lasted until about noon and the reverie was over then too because the temperature was hovering around 32F. degrees. That made the snow very heavy to remove!

Two of us were shoving and splashing away – one at each end of what seemed a longer driveway than I remembered (because it was really too slushy for a snowblower or any mechanical device that we own) when the most astounding thing happened! An unfamiliar car slowed as it was nearing me close to the road. I was just about to step out of the way when a young man jumped out from the driver’s seat and his wife rolled down the window with a smile. He took my shovel and began throwing snow in the most methodical way about four times faster than my best effort. I went to the car and talked to his wife who said they were on their way home from shopping and agreed that he should stop and take over my job. We introduced ourselves and visited while he shoveled.

I turn to the NBC Nightly news most evenings on my iPad where I just look at the headlines and watch the segments that are truly informational- not sensational – and look for the last segment that is called “Inspiring America.” It’s always good news about an “ordinary” person who does something extraordinary just because of seeing a need. Some of the good deeds are astounding and some just good neighborly things to do to help. I would have liked to send a report to Lester Holt for a winter segment last night as our new friends provided just the kind of feeling that his news stories engender but they were gone in a flash taking only my gratitude and renewed sense of the kindness of strangers with them.

P.S. A shout-out to Betsy who had just arrived for a week-long retreat here. She – our much younger sister – had picked up a shovel as soon as she had said her hellos to the Sisters. As grateful as I was to her, I’m sure that she was also to our willing new neighbors. And a good time was had by all…