Huge snowstorms, like the record-setting one that hit last weekend, provide undeniable proof of a lot of things. Proof is something that’s in relatively short supply these days. I mean, why try to prove something when you can just say it and plenty of people will believe it. Or, you can simply post something on a Facebook page, a blog or a website and some folks take it as gospel. No proof necessary.
But a snowstorm, like the one that blew through the region on Friday and Saturday, showed us that there are actually provable facts. And I’ve seen the proof with my own eyes.
For me, the blizzard proved that procrastination can be a very bad thing, like when you forget to repair a broken pull cord on your snowblower, thinking that the handy electric start feature will get you through the next storm. This is not advisable when the next storm is the one that knocks out electrical power. Thank goodness for neighbors with electricity and long extension cords.
The storm also proved that many of us take owning a snowblower for granted when there are many who do not; and that some of us have the luxury of a driveway to park our cars off the street in a blizzard; or that we even have a car; and a roof over our heads.
A snowstorm of this magnitude proves that your own home, the place where you usually feel safe, warm and most comfortable, can quickly become very uninviting after only one winter day without power. I sympathize with those who lost it for several days.
The storm proved that when the power goes out, that light switch you flick when you enter a room doesn’t work -- no matter how many times you try it, forgetting there’s no power.
Snowstorms prove that sometimes people you don’t even know are willing to extend a helping hand, expecting nothing in return. I was reminded of this when a pickup truck with a plow blade stopped in front of my house. The driver saw that I was struggling at the edge of my driveway and offered help. She said she was using her private truck to “help some friends and be a Good Samaritan.” And, you guessed it, she wouldn’t accept payment.
This particularly bad storm reminded me of how much I love barbequed chicken. That’s what my neighbors offered -- and we accepted -- when they knew we were without power. And yes, these are same people who helped me start my snow blower. To us, they were saviors.
You learn a lot when the snowfall is measured in feet rather than inches. Being out in the snow with my dad to clean off his car wasn’t much fun when I was a kid. But it was great to spend some time with him doing exactly that on Sunday morning.
Page 2 of 2 - Last week’s storm proved that people who work outside for a living in punishing weather are severely underappreciated. And if you talk to them, you’ll also find proof that these winter warriors would die of boredom if they worked at a desk in a climate-controlled office.
It also proved that the term “snow removal” is really a lie. When this much of it falls to the ground, snow just gets moved from one place to another place. I think a more accurate term is “snow redistribution.”
The storm proved that runners will take to the streets in any weather, even if the pavement beneath their feet is covered with snow and ice. It also reminds us that pedestrians use roads when the sidewalks are unavailable. Drivers should be mindful of that, even as the melting continues.
The really big snowstorms teach you a lot about the incredibly generous qualities found in the people around you -- friends, family and complete strangers. It’s true. I’ve got proof.