I’m starting to wonder how much snow a person can handle. I think my personal limit is about 2 inches.
If there has ever been a question about my level of kindness when it comes to snow, let me say, I’ve got lots of room to grow.
My 15-year-old daughter is outside clearing the driveway. I thought about helping her and then decided it would be a whole lot warmer to sit under my blanket and write this column instead.
It’s a good thing not everyone has my stubborn streak when it comes to winter. Pat Scott, of Brainerd, Minn., sent me this story about her car and a pesky snow pile.
“Thursday morning it had snowed several inches. My husband had used the snowblower once, and while he was gone, the plow came by and left deep drifts in the bottom of our driveway.
"That night, I could not get to sleep. I had been fighting a cold for over a week, and now on top of it a hacking cough kept me and my husband awake.
"By 10:30 p.m., I reluctantly put on my clothes and went to the store for cough suppressant medication. By 11 p.m., I was on my way back from the grocery store with my cough suppressant. Going down the snowy hill, I nearly missed the left turn into the driveway. The car nosed into fluffy, deep snow that had been left earlier by the snow plow.
"I couldn’t move the car forward or back, so I got out with my medicine and purse and took them up to the house, thinking I might get some help from my husband, but he had gone to bed. I went back down the driveway with a snow shovel and started clearing the snow away. The car, meanwhile, was making a beeping noise because I had taken the key with me in my coat pocket.
"Suddenly my neighbor appeared with another shovel, wearing pajama pants and a parka. Between the two of us, we thought we had enough snow removed to back the car up — with my neighbor pushing. I rolled down the window and told him I had to go down the hill and come back around the block. He nodded and said, ‘I’ll clear while you’re gone.’
"Sure enough, he was still shoveling when I came back around the block. I waited for him to get out of the way, aimed for the opening, and gunned the car up the driveway, fishtailing on the way. Then I walked back down the driveway and thanked him profusely.
"He nodded and said, ‘I see you made it in.’ As is typical for Midwesterners, his response was understated.”
The neighbor may not have thought much of his actions, but to a woman stuck in a snowbank with a snoozing husband, I’d say they fall into the category of heroic.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.