Snow Etiquette


It has been snowing here since Monday night.  In fact, we are getting pummeled with the "white death".  TV news is filled with stories of the hardship of life from IN to NY.  Our local news is filled with interesting ditties as well.

I live off base and I'm not sure I understand the rules sometimes.  For instance, what is with people ignoring the rules of who shovels whose driveway!?!?!?!

In my years of growing up a military brat, there was a hierarchy of who shoveled whose driveway.       Older members of the community with no children home to shovel .      Single women (especially mothers of small children) .     Busy moms whose husbands were TDY or gone for whatever reason .     Families with small children (not of snow shoveling age).

Apparently the rules have changed.  In the good old days, if anyone had a snow blower (or teenage children) - they just did everyone's driveway!  Or offered to loan it (or their children) out to other people!  Times have apparently changed!  In our lovely little town this past week, two ladies who share a driveway got into a nasty fight over how they each shoveled the drive.  It ended in violence!  Amazing, isn't it?  Over how to shovel a driveway!

On my street, I had both older boys and my husband out shoveling our driveway with me (having just had wrist surgery, I was plodding along doing my level best)!  Across the street was a neighbor I, admittedly, don't know well happily snow blowing his drive.  He finished and put it away.  Didn't drive away or anything, he went back inside!!  Fortunately, I happen to enjoy shoveling.  So the boys and my husband were put to work shoveling the neighbor's driveways.  One house are grandparents who came from Greece to watch the kids while the parents went on vacation.  I assumed they didn't have too much practice with snow.  Another is a couple were going to the hospital to deliver their third baby - getting out of the driveway was very important to them! And the third is a couple who have a little baby.   

I'm not trying to say that we are so much better than my neighbor - it's just the way we were raised.  But I just think it's sad that he didn't even think to reach out to help his neighbors.   My neighbor (family with little baby) said that she was surprised too - she had called to thank us for shoveling!  When she was stationed in Alaska, she said they had to fight to get out early enough to shovel their own driveway.  Everyone was always out shoveling each others driveways. 

She lived on base - I wonder if it made a difference!?  One thing I've always loved about military housing is that we are so very aware of our neighbors and their needs.  There seemed to be a spirit of camaraderie and thoughtfulness.  Even if this was imposed from above, it still existed.  I miss that.  I liked when neighbors looked out for one another and cared.  And when that was the rule, not the exception.

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