By Lura Roti
Remember when snow days were the best days? They were days of no school, sledding, hot chocolate; as a kid, snow days were something to hope for.
As a grown up, snow days are a bit different – and difficult. In our household, because my husband, Shon and I both work from home, snow days mean juggling work deadlines and sidewalk shoveling around spending time with our daughter, Parker.
The early January snow days that extended Parker’s school break by a few days were extra challenging for me. I had taken time off over the holidays to host family and I was eager to get back to the work and routine I love. My attitude was a stark contrast from Parker’s!
And then our neighbor, Greg, cleared our sidewalk with his snowblower. And the next day, our neighbor, Adam, did the same thing. It is nearly impossible to have a bad attitude when others take their time and energy and pour it into an act of kindness.
Turns out our neighbor Adam didn’t just help us out. His wife Amy texted me the name of a neighbor neither of us had met before, mentioning she may enjoy our monthly neighborhood get-together we fondly call “book club.”
When I reached out to invite her, she shared that Adam and about eight other neighbors came to her rescue when her car kept getting stuck as she was trying to drive to work.
I love our neighborhood for many reasons, and my neighbors top the list! They truly are some of the most helpful people I know. And boy did we all need some help during this particular storm – it was a doozy.
Aside from shoveling our walk and a path in the backyard so our dog Tulip could comfortably potty, driving from point A to point B seemed to be the greatest challenge. Even though major streets were cleared, getting to them without four-wheel drive was a white-knuckle experience.
There is a silver lining to slippery, snow-packed streets – for once, it felt like Sioux Falls’ drivers were courteous.
There were several instances when I was driving on side streets, and because of piled snow and parked cars, there simply was not enough room for two cars to safely pass each other. So, one of us would have to stop and let the other car go by.
During a trip home from the grocery store, I ended up making the mistake of getting stuck at a stoplight on a hill…everyone knows when the roads are slippery, if the light is yellow, stay at the bottom of the hill so this doesn’t happen. Well, I forgot. When the light turned green, my tires spun and my car would not budge. I also could not back down the hill because there were cars behind me. By the time the light turned yellow again, all the cars behind me had gone around me. But before I could back down the hill, more cars lined up behind me.
As the traffic light went through its cycle for a second time I began to sweat.
And then the most amazing thing happened. The cars behind me backed down the hill and turned up a side street so that I could do the same. I took a different route home.
Piles of snow also limit parking spaces.
The night before school reopened, Shon took Parker and her neighbor friend, Ophelia, sledding. Turns out several of her school friends and their dads had the same idea. When the girls were ready to end their sledding adventures, everyone decided to go out for pizza. Shon and Parker came home to pick me up and our friend Joedy called from the pizza place. He was on his way to pick us up because there was limited parking.
Talk about a kind friend! And a perfect ending to a snow day.