Gimme a Break!

Well, winter weather is upon us, even if it isn’t officially winter yet. So I’m once again forced to deal with one of the more foolish laws in my state, and that is, if you shovel the sidewalk or put some sort of ice melt on it–or anything like that–you can and probably will be held liable if someone slips and falls. So my apartment complex understandably does nothing to clear the way for those of us who have to go to work or simply want to take the trash out. Let me say this again–you clear the ice or snow off the sidewalk or stair steps or what-have-you and someone slips and falls, you will be held liable.

I’ve listened to our esteemed lawmakers try to explain this, and their excuses sound as lame as the law itself.  Frankly, I don’t understand clearly what they’re saying so I won’t try to repeat it here. I just know that in a majority of the states, the law either requires you to clear the sidewalks in front of your home or at the very least won’t punish you if you do and someone falls.

Which led me to wonder, what laws do other states have that surpass understanding? I looked this up and decided against sharing too many. Instead, I’m asking you, my fellow bloggers, to tell me about absurd laws in your state, or any other state, for that matter. Did you know that in Massachusetts you’re breaking the law if you’re over 16 and you swear at players or officials at a sporting event? Two things struck me there, first, I guess if you’re 16 or under you can say what you like, and second, seriously? Is anybody enforcing this law?

So let me know about the laws in your state. I could use a good laugh!

Image Credit: © photoschmidt–

all together

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.

parent child handsI 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

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