Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Deposit

That blizzard on Wednesday was the worst I had ever seen. Altogether we had 25cm of snow, and winds of 90 km/hr and it took the lives of three people. For the most part I was safe and sound inside and content to stay there all day. Every hour or so I'd peek out the door to see how it was all progressing and at about 3:30 I saw five vehicles out there, stuck in the snow.

From my trip to 7-11 earlier, I knew that to stay warm in that weather you would need to be bundled up like an astronaut. The people I saw from my balcony though were out there with bare heads and hands. I decided to get back out there and help out.

When I got outside I saw that I wasn't the only one there to help. There was a crew of about 5 or 6 already assembling, ready to help out. There were also a lot more than just the 5 stuck vehicles. I didn't count, but the number was closer to ten cars and one school bus. At this point the school bus was blocking the entire street, so there wasn't much we could do until it was gone. I asked the driver if he needed help and he said a truck was coming to pull them out. In the meantime we all just waited... the 5 or 6 helpers, the drivers in the stuck vehicles, and the drivers of the 20 or so more that were all waiting patiently for their turn driving through the deep snow.

By the time the truck had pulled the bus out, the number of helpers grew to 15 or 20. Men and women from ages 20 to 50 were out there helping out on the most miserable day I've ever seen. We even had one man who looked 70 or 80 who came out to watch. He stood there in the incredible wind and snow and fridig temperatures as if it didn't bother him one bit. I imagined he may have been a farmer like my grandfathers - a life that was spent outdoors almost every day, no matter what the weather. He wasn't able to get in there and push and he knew it, but I bet he wished he could.

Our group split up as cars started moving down the street. Some followed the first cars we had freed up in case they got stuck again and the rest of us stayed helping cars get through the bottle neck. We'd line up 4 at a time behind each vehicle and we'd push as hard as we could. Invariably as we pushed one of us would have our feet slide out from under us just as the vehicle managed to pull ahead and we'd end up laying face down in the snow. After about an hour the road was clear, and I was covered head to toe in snow. I was exhausted, terribly cold, and my face hurt from the cold, but I felt great.

Five Stuck Vehicles

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