The second highest recorded snowfall hit Lancaster City and I went out to dig. I decided that I’d see how it was as soon as it finished coming down. I worked for an hour and my sweat started to chill. So I went in.
The next morning, I came out the side-porch door because the back door wouldn’t open. The snow was above my knees, half-way up to my waist from there. I dug straight across so I could begin piling into the garden. To get the snow cleared down to the pavement took 3-4 shovelfuls. So, it was sort of like shoveling the whole driveway four times.
With a third of the driveway to my left and 2/3’s to my right I started right, to go out to the road. Every hour I would stop and stand with the shovel in my hand, catch my breath and consider the effectiveness of my labor. Once, while standing, a neighbor I knew came walking by with a shovel in his hand. He smiled and waved. “Hi,” I said.
About 15 minutes later the same neighbor walked past in the other direction, this time with his wife who also had a shovel. This time he stopped and looked at the 3-4 foot-deep stretch of white between us.
“Ah…” he said, “Are you… are you… ah… are you making a path for your CAR?! Are you digging a way out so you can get your car out?” I pointed at my sister-in-law’s car and said, “Well, I have to get her out by the time she gets home on Monday… so yeah.”
“Wow,” he said, “I was going to say we could help you, but… ah… that’s going to take you HOURS!!” I said, “Yup!” and smiled. Can you see the humor?
I went back to work. As I did, person after person came by with shovels and waved. I waved back and then cleared it out to the sidewalk and then did the sidewalk and also did the front steps. At that point I came back to the end of the driveway. There between me and the cleared portion of the street was an ice-filled, heavy-packed, plow truck pushed up bank, easily 4 feet high and 8 feet deep (to the road) and 14 feet wide. I took a deep breath and started.
Somewhere after the 7th shovelful, I felt myself run out of gas. There was no way I was going to make it through. I turned around and looked at the third of the drive that still needed doing in the other direction. I went into the house.
I sat down and sent out word to several emails and said, “Help!” Within 5 minutes a ping hit and Jim from around the corner said he was on his way. In another 20 a second response came by phone from Maurizio who said he was driving into the city. In 20 after that Dawn came to help us finish. I can’t tell you how it seemed at times like snow was simply disappearing from the driveway. I couldn’t help but laugh.
Joy in neighbors. Joy in friends. Joy in hearing the words, “If this happens again… call us first.”
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Geoff (The one who was helped up)