Back in my twenties, I was living in Minneapolis, where, as you may have heard, it snows a lot in the winter.
If you haven’t lived in an area that gets a lot of snow, you may not be aware of one annoying aspect of it: shoveling out your car.
I was sharing an apartment with the best roommate I ever had, Joanne, and even though it was a two-bedroom, we had one garage space for the unit. That meant we alternated who got covered parking week by week, and if it snowed the week you had custody, it was a mixed blessing. You didn’t have to brush and scrape the snow and ice off your car, but you did shovel after snowfall.
Shoveling isn’t easy. It takes longer than you think it should, and snow is heavy. So when I headed out one morning after a six-inch snowfall the night before (which, with drifts, is a lot of shoveling), knowing what lay ahead of me, I wasn’t happy. In addition to facing the shoveling itself, I was dressed for work, which at that time meant a skirt, and I knew snow would end up sliding down my boots and getting my feet wet and cold.
I approached the garage stall, and was stunned to see someone had already done the job for me. But who?
Down the hall from our apartment lived a man, probably in his 50s, who worked for the Minnesota Vikings (NFL) team in some capacity. He had players over all the time, and I’m guessing he may have played at one time himself. Maybe he even was well-known, I have no idea. He was a nice guy, not in a weird, predatory way toward us young women, just genuinely kind.
He was walking out to his garage stall while I was standing there, staring at the cleared space in front of me. I knew he must have been the one to perform this kind deed.
“Did you…?” I asked him, pointing at my garage.
“Yes,” he replied with a smile.
“I can’t thank you enough. Really,” I said. “I mean, thank you.”
“We’re all in this together,” he laughed, and was on his way.
That has stayed with me. We’re all in this together. I try to implement that philosophy into my everyday interactions with others, even quoting him at times, which is often greeted with a little confusion on the part of others. Perhaps it sounds conspiratorial. It’s not. It’s a bond, an honorable one. We lend a helping hand, especially when doing so costs us less than its value to the other.
We’re all in this together.
Image Credits: (hand in hand) © mihaela19750405 — Fotolia; (bambinas felici in fila) © UBE — Fotolia (hands around the world) © yurolaitsalbert – Fotolia