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Just a heartwarming story




I know tonight that there are 7 families - 14 adults and 10 children who will all sleep very well tonight. But right now, they are setting off some firecrackers, with good reason.


The western end of the street, there are four homes. Three of us are caregivers and then our dear Gloria - a widow who cooks for all of us, sits with family in the SNF or hospital to give the rest of us time off, sits with Bruce if I need a quick jaunt out.


The eastern end is 7 homes with young parents and children, high school age down. The kids are all close - always have a game of something going in the street. One Dad works for the State. He was called in - overtime mind you. Across from them, the Dad is a Contractor but also plows privately. Next to them wife is a nurse. Her work called her in - again overtime and when she advised we were not plowed out, their response was "So you are refusing to come in during an emergency?" - Nice! Across from them, Dad had a heart attack at 55 and is now retired. Mom is the sole breadwinner and she could have gotten overtime also. Corner one side is an older couple, he has connections somewhere (not enough to get us plowed tho). He has a huge garden, shares everything with the neighbors and across from them, nice family - two young boys.


Yesterday morning, all seven of these families were out at 6am, figuring we would be plowed and they could go to work, so all out clearing their driveways and vehicles. At noon, we got a message from our Mayor that all 15 of our snow removal vehicles were stuck. Main roads on either ends of the street were cleared and it was 38 degrees out.

Corner neighbor called in a friend and he got plowed out to the main road. Checked with everyone, ran errands.


This morning we are still plowed in. Talk about frustration. Cliff snow-blew a path to the next house up and then to the main street - we could at least walk to someone bringing us something and then blew out the driveway of that neighbor. Gloria and I use the same snow removal company and Cliff will take care of us if need be, but for now neither of us are going anywhere. But the seven families down the street took matters into their own hands.


They got together and got the neighbor with the plow out into the street. Mind you this is a pick-up truck with a small plow. They worked as a team for four hours! Finally at 3pm, they had access to the plowed road - Yahoo!


I was feeling claustrophobic with all the doors being blocked, so at Bruce nap time, got myself out the garage and over to the ramp. Hauled myself up and cleared the front door and a small part of the ramp. Plus it was 45 degrees out. I noticed that the part of the street they plowed first was clean and dry an hour later. The kids threw snowballs for a bit, but the parents all went inside, obviously for food and showers and then most of them left, probably for work. Now this clearing ends at mine and Gloria's property lines. That snow mound is a bit daunting, I try not to look at it - LOL. But I know I can get to the cleared area and any one of them would be glad to run an errand or if I should call someone, know I only have to get across the front lawn to the snow mound to get something - LOL.


City advises we will probably not be plowed until Tuesday and I do pray our private guy will be able to get to Gloria and I promptly.


This type of neighborhood connection was here when I moved in with Bruce 28 years ago, but we lost so many families and the young generation moved in. We all know each other and all talk. The kids are all comfortable with all of us. Most of us walk, we chat, interact as our schedules allow - but this was truly something to see and I think part of me wanted that front porch cleared just so I could watch and enjoy it. It is 8pm and we still have not seen a city plow. But tomorrow morning when Bruce and I are enjoying coffee and planning out our projects/menus for the day, it will be terrific to see all these young families heading out. Kids will be off from school, but at least the breadwinners will be back in the loop. Debbie



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Debbie, your neighborhood sounds exactly like mine! Except we are staggered, every other house a retired couple bookended by a younger family, most with three or more kids of every age. Such a nice mix, and we all moved in together ten years ago; so after lots of block parties in the cul de sac and BBQs in someone's back yard we are like one big family. Plus we have a city cop, a town cop, a couple who work for the electric company and the DOT, a nurse and so on, good to have friends in high places!


A friend of ours who owns the Honda shop came over the day before to show me how to use the snowthrower that Ray bought during the last big one four years ago. It was pretty easy to figure out but with the depth and wetness of the snow we got here, it still wasn't easy. I started a couple of hours after it started, figured I would need a few sessions and I was right! I made sure the garage (ramp inside) was totally clear to the passenger side of the car, as that is how we usually go in and out, but also did the front walk to the front door, thinking it would be easier if 911 had to be called, the stairs up are right inside the front door. No one else did that as far as I could see, it was a lot of extra work but in my usual paranoia I figured, just in case. Then I sat back to wait for the plow and since we have the best highway dept in the universe, they came just before dinnertime Saturday. They could hardly make it down the block with the weight of the ice underneath the snow, took a looong time but they made it. All the neighborhood men were standing at the ready, at the end of their driveways, just waiting to fill in that last link to the world. So I go out too to join the party only to find that what the plow kicked up was solid ice the size of boulders! I started shovelling by hand but was ready to say forget it when my neighbor across the street, who has more of a professional size snowblower, yelled over to wait for him. He did me and everyone else on all sides, what a relief. I had some gumbo left from my Mardi Gras party and brought him over a tub of it the next morning, since I know he loves it, and his wife hates to cook. I knew he'd rather have a bottle of Jack Daniels but I don't have one laying around (well not a full one anyway!)


Still haven't gone out anywhere, but now I can and the EMTs can get to us too. That was my main thought really, sad but always a possibility. While he was still working on me, he offered to do another person's driveway end when he walked up to see what was happening, they are both in their 40s though and he said "We don't need to go anywhere". I wanted to scream, but what if there is an emergency? Wish I didn't have to think that way. But it's all good now, although I think almost every school and many businesses are still closed today. As a matter of fact, I heard a rumor that they STILL didn't open the expressway due to abandoned cars. Glad we have nothing much planned until Weds!

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You could call that a family affair or all in the family and that's a good thing when you got a few crooks trying to steal what you've worked hard to get over time. It's always good when neighbors stick together to sorta watch out for each other.

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Mostly young families around us here. Where we lived before we had neighbors who lived on the street until they passed away. I think I went to 25 funerals/visitations during my 38 years there. People bonded more there and we had neighborhood parties. Here it is different with not much neighborhood partying. My friend two blocks down has the partying neighbors and they some times watch too closely. lol I know I can call any of the neighbors around me and they will come and help. The wives of 3 of the neighbors are young and do not work so they are home most of the time. Our neighborhood gets plowed every 20 minutes when the snow falls but I have a big driveway. Hope we can avoid the big snow again this year!

Hope you are able to get out Debbie.



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We were finally plowed out at 2:30 pm today - two passes, barely one car width, but it is done. Paul and John, just arrived - 7:15 pm, so at least I will be able to get my car out of the garage in the morning. Then will probably spend most of the afternoon shoveling out the truck. I had cleaned out the back and most of the snow off it, except one side. With the warm temperatures and the sun, that far side should be OK, once I can get to it.


The snow plow wash at the end of the driveway is at least six feet high and my driveway is the best on the street! They'll get it with the plow I am sure.


I did think of 911 but there was not much I could do, so tried not to panic and took things here in the house slow and easy - no falls allowed - LOL.


I know we did not have anywhere to go, but when one has spent most of one's adult life getting to school or work, it is tough to relax. Nervous energy as well. I think it is mostly having the control taken away - yet again. Not that you choose not to, but that you truly can't. Debbie

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