Snow makes us all neighbors

February 16

I live in a small community of townhouses close to the Masonic temple in Alexandria. On Thursday morning, I got up late because I was dreaming of my late husband and did not want the visitation to end.

I knew it had snowed heavily overnight, so the first thing I did when I got out of bed was go to my window to see if the weather forecast had been correct. Indeed, a winter landscape stretched before my eyes, and when I looked down at my driveway, I saw a young man with his hood over his head, clearing my two-lane driveway. I quickly dressed and ran downstairs to find out who this Samaritan was. To my great surprise, the kind stranger was a young neighbor from two townhouses up whose name I didn’t even know because we had a “waving” relationship.

I thanked him profusely and told him I was touched by his thoughtfulness. I went inside to warm some homemade lentil soup to give him for his kindness. Then I looked in the mirror and wondered how old I looked that he thought I needed my driveway shoveled.

Regardless, this gesture made me feel that although it’s 2014, there are still young people who were brought up in the old-fashioned way of the 1950s, a time when you looked out for your neighbors and lent a helping hand when a need arose, if only because it was the right thing to do.

So, thank you, young Samaritan. You are a doll, and tomorrow I’m making an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon.

Catherine Androus, Alexandria

On Thursday morning I was on my way to work at a retirement community in Gaithersburg when I spun out on Interstate 270 northbound, coming to a stop in a bank of snow facing south. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to extract my vehicle, I was preparing to use my phone to summon assistance and contact my boss when a pickup truck slowed down and then backed up to where I was stuck. Four young men jumped out, with three shovels (I had a fourth). They dug me out, pushed my car out, and none of the four would accept anything in exchange for their efforts. Rather than living through a snow-related nightmare, I was back on my way in 10 minutes.

I write this not only to thank these young men who took the time and effort to help me on such a miserable morning, but also to point out that, although we hear way too many stories about the coarsening of our culture, there are lots of good Samaritans still out there, and I would be willing to bet they far outnumber the callous individuals who tend to make the news.

Daniel W. Keiper, Gaithersburg

I could not let this snowy season pass without a shout-out to our Post delivery person. As we woke Thursday morning, I didn’t expect to see the paper. But to my delight it was there in pristine condition — and so was our delivery man, with his car stuck in our driveway just as the sun was rising. He was working hard to extricate his vehicle, so my husband and I dressed, and with shovel, board and chains, went forth to help. And on Friday my paper was delivered right to my door, which saved me trekking through the ice and snow. Thank you, Mr. Post Delivery Man.

Joanna Stafford, Alexandria

Isn’t it time that, during weather emergencies, radio and TV stations just tell listeners which schools are open?

Maggie Hall, Washington

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