Snow, or the threat of snow, makes some people a little crazy. You know exactly who I’m talking about:
- The Watcher. When you try to change the channel to a station other than the Weather Channel, he leaps at you to knock the remote out of your hands. The Weather Channel must be accessible at all times.
- The Buyer. As soon as snow is mentioned during the commercials for local news, she’s already in the car on her way to the grocery store. What’s on her list? Milk, bread, and eggs. She doesn’t even care that she’s on a no-carb, no dairy diet. It’s just what she does.
- The Shoveler. As soon as the first flake hits the ground, he’s standing next to the back door, shovel in hand, cursing the skies.
We just had some January snow. The result was an inch or two of snow, a lot of ice, and a 12 hour window of rough driving. The snow itself wasn’t so bad, but the raw cold was shocking to skin and the ice was aggravating. The morning after the snow, temperatures were still in the teens. The dull grass that covered the ground the day before had been replaced by a layer of winter white.
After the sun came up, some of the patches of ice and snow on the roads disappeared. Some remained though, located where the shadows of trees crossed the roads. I was driving that morning, mindfully dodging the stubborn ice and snow. Other cars on the road seemed to travel with extra caution and concern too.
On the back of the silver Honda Civic in front of me, brake lights flickered and eventually stayed on as the driver gradually slowed to a stop. There was no one in front of the car and there were no caution or stop lights in sight. The road was empty and I knew that the next stop sign was at least a mile away. Hazard lights began to blink on the parked car. Then I noticed that a huge beat-up Christmas tree box been blown into the opposite lane. Some trash had fallen out of the box and was scattered on the ground.
The Civic driver emerged from his car and walked, careful to avoid an icy spot, to the massive box. He tossed a few of the garbage items in the box and dragged them back over to where a trash can and recycle bin sat roadside. He hadn’t zipped up his coat, so it flapped in the wind as he firmly put the recycle bin on top of part of the box. He started walking back to his car. I had stopped behind him, maybe thirty feet away, and had turned my hazard lights on too. I rolled down the window and yelled “thank you” to him. He waved to me and said something, but I couldn’t hear exactly what he said. After putting my car in drive, I noticed the outdoor temperature displayed on my dashboard. It was 17 degrees.
Good Samaritans, even in freezing temperatures, do exist.