Stepping Up To Shovel Out

This is Lloyd Street, in Point Breeze. Sunday. My friend, Susan Hillman, lives on this street, and this morning–Tuesday, she tells me it looks the same. Complaints from friends from Mt Washington to Greenfield have poured in. But you have to feel for the Public Works crews, the paramedics, the hospital staff who have toiled tirelessly during this disaster. Who know where the blame lies?  Or if the blame can only be laid at the door of a bad run of weather (unless you are a skier!).

The beauty of it is breathtaking, and photographers are going nuts. This is my favorite so far. But shouldn’t this guy have migrated somewhere warm? Can’t remember the migratory patterns of cardinals. It was taken by my Antarctic traveling buddy, Jaqi Conomikes.

But with the beauty has come hardship, injury, and even death. Our reports about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning have been helpful, and cautionary. I never thought of not starting my car with the exhaust pipe covered with snow. That came from Shannon Perrine this week-end. I have been lucky to have had power, but talking to people in Wilkinsburg recently, frustrated, angry, horribly cold, you understand why they want it fixed–YESTERDAY!

What has been heartening are the stories of neighbors helping neighbors.This is my next door neighbor, who helped me shovel my walk (which I shouldn’t be doing because I have heart disease. But I have a great mask, with a carbon filter, that warms the air going into my lungs—great for asthma patients, also.).

Yup that is me. Anyway, Noris, one of my dogs, thought the shovel was a toy, because it is the same consistency as a Kong. A little levity never hurts.

I also heard stories from another friend in Greenfield, about how the entire neighborhood turned out and shoveled their street when the city plows couldn’t get there. Amazing!And amazing is how I would describe people like Mike. He has a snow plowing company, and told me he worked over 60 hours with only 4 hours sleep. I assumed he was making a bundle, but he said, actually no. The snow is so heavy, and so abundant, that it has beaten up his truck horribly, and it will cost a lot to fix it. And it takes so long to clear just a little amount. Often, he charges only a little, just to be a nice guy. So in the midst of all the negatives in this catastrophe, I am thankful I live in a place like Western Pa, where it is just part of living to reach out and help out.


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