Random Acts of Snowy Kindness

Monday, February 2, 2015

I suppose the reason I didn't take a picture of my car this morning was I didn't want to risk taking my gloves off for 10 seconds to snap one. My little Honda Civic had transformed into an igloo. Nearly six inches of snow were coating my tiny Civic, and I was armed with nothing but my half scraper/half brush to unearth it from winter's wrath.

This wouldn't have been so bad, had the car not been surrounded by feet of snow ("plowed in"), and had I not approached it to find a parking ticket. I was parked on the wrong side of the road during a "Madison snow emergency" -- there's no signage for this stuff, you're just supposed to know. At least they didn't tow me. I thought. And then immediately changed my mind. If they had towed me, at least I wouldn't have to scrape my car off right now.

I started brushing. There are many reasons I've never considered running a marathon. One key reason is I don't have the mental fortitude to do the same thing over and over again without going absolutely insane. I brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed and brushed (etc.) and then looked at my car only to see I had hardly made a dent. So. Much. Snow. 

I was certain I was going to spend the rest of my existence on this earth brushing snow off of my car. I took small solace in that fact that, at least I was right: I always knew a Wisconsin winter would be the end of me.

I sat in the car to warm up, then reemerged to continue brushing. (What else is there? I've heard some people some places might be doing different activities, but my existence was reduced to that of a incessant snow brusher.) It was then I slipped and fell, landing on a fluffy mountain of snow. Now I was coated in it, just like my poor car. If I were six, I would have laughed, but I'm 26, so I swore.

It was only after unearthing my reliable Civic that I realized how foolish I'd been: The brushing was the least of my concerns. I was never going to be able to get out of my parking spot.

Maybe I'll be able to just drive out. I thought like a moron.

I revved up my engine and drove back and forth and back and forth, my car making terrible noises, tires spinning furiously, moving no where. I would never make it out.

I saw a man who I would probably call a hipster walk by holding a tennis racket, which made absolutely no sense. I kept spinning my tires, futilely. Jealous of anyone walking. Why do cars even exist? They're no match for mother nature.

Suddenly, the hipster man was at my window, "Can I help?" he asked.

"I think I'm screwed," I responded, "I don't have a shovel." 

"I have a tennis racket!" he answered, and started scooping and moving snow like a professional, as if his racket were designed for this very purpose.

I sat there, stunned. Why was this man helping me?

Then he pushed my car while I accelerated, and it made some progress, though was still not entirely un-stuck. Another woman clad in business clothes came to help push. Then a third person. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Why did these people care about me and my car? But care they did. They pushed and dug and pushed, and within no time, I was on my way!

"Yay!" one of the pushing woman exclaimed as I emerged from my terrible plowed in spot onto the road.

"Thank you so much!" I shouted to the three helpers as I drove away. 

But I'll never be able to fully thank them, the three generous people who decided to take time out of their busy mornings to help a desperate girl, with no chance of getting repaid. I don't even know their names. But I do know, at least today, that the kindness of the Wisconsin people outshone the fury of Wisconsin's weather.

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