After sitting inside for three days glued to my laptop, finishing up the last of the rewrites on version 2.0 of Measuring Public Relationships, I finally emerged to a foot of snow (well almost) and no let up in sight. I'd been watching the storms come over the mountains from my perch on School Street
since Friday – fire in the fireplace, polar fleece aplenty, enjoying the winter as only someone raised in New England can do.
But shortly after I hit "send," shipping the last chapter off to my editor, I donned my boots, grabbed a shovel and dug my self out. I grabbed my camera and decided to see what I could see. The answer was, not much, since it was still snowing and the normally glorious views were still shrouded in gray. But I did get a glimpse of a the North Country that one doesn't often see.
I made my way up School to Spring Street,
and then took a right on Hillside a steep upward climb that almost always yields a perfect shot or two. I pass a woman, a considerably older than myself coming down the street who greets me with a smile that would light up a room. "Isn't it great out here?," she asked. "I couldn't stay inside a minute longer." I agreed with her, at which point she looked at me quizzically and said "Don't I know you? Lori, right ?" and I responded, "No, Katie." She reached out her hand warmly and said, "It's so good to see you, I haven't seen you in years, how have you been?"
Truth be told, as far as I know, I've never set eyes on her before, but the warmth of her eyes and strength of her handshake was all that mattered. I said fine, she wished me a happy New Year and we went on our way.
Next I ran into a man who was clearing his driveway and brushing snow off his car. "How far do you have to go? Can I give you a ride?" he asked. I explained that "no, thank you, I'm really out for the exercise." He explained that he thought my car couldn't make it up the hill, and wanted to make sure I could get where I was going. I thanked him profusely and continued up the hill.
Another woman, easily in her 60s was finishing up the shoveling of her very long driveway and stopped, leaned on her shovel and said, "isn't it beautiful out?" We chatted a bit, agreed that it was indeed beautiful. She wished me a happy New Year, and went on with her shoveling and I continued up the hill. After a few more good wishes along the way, I made it up to my favorite view,
only to find that it was all pretty gray.
So I headed down again, taking the long way home down Norway Street to the river.
I heard a shout and take NHPR out of my ears, and there 's a man shoveling at least 18 inches of snow off his roof. "Happy New Year" he shouted at me. I wished him the same and once again, we agreed that it was a great day.
Now I'm sure it was just as great a day, and perhaps even better in Florida and California and Arizona, where my friends have been sending me tempting invitations and weather reports. But for now, the kindness of strangers is keeping me plenty warm, thank you.