During the huge snow storm of 2010 (presidentially known as snowmageddon) life in these parts became interesting.
Not only did I wake Saturday morning to find a foot of snow outside with snow continuing to fall, but I woke up to discover that my house was without power.
For the next few days, we spent time outside playing, and we spent time inside cuddled in bed reading.
We fielded lots of phone calls and texts as friends and family from all over the country reached out to ensure we were okay.
After nearly 60 hours without power… it was restored. It was a wonderful feeling to shower for the first time in days and to heat water for tea and to have… heat!
The local news radio station presented a feature on the ways people went out of their way to help their neighbors and complete strangers during the two blizzards that overwhelmed Northern Virginia. I was tempted to call and tell about my snow angels, but I didn’t. Instead, I will write about them here!
A snow angel is someone who helped or who reached out and did something to brighten a day or lift the spirits during this snow experience.
Here are a few of mine:
Sunday afternoon, as many people in the US prepared to watch the Super Bowl, my daughter and I read in bed hoping that the estimate given by the power company would ring true this time. Hoping that we would have warm food for dinner. I jokingly texted a family member, “please send pizza and heat!”
It was a joke. I thought nothing about it.
And then the phone rang.
The local Pizza Hut had received a call from this family member who was having pizza delivered to us.
I was stunned.
Okay, I was beyond stunned! My heart felt like it was going to explode wit the sure delight and warmth of the thoughtfulness and love of this gesture.
In one tiny gesture from a state far away, this snow angel reached out, gave us heat and a hug and warm food… and brightened our lives in a way that was beyond my expectation. It is a little thing right? Ordering a pizza. I could have done it though I didn’t think about it… but someone else did.
Another snow angel was ready to drive from Reston to pick us up and take us back to his house – I just had to say the word. Even though I didn’t take him up on the offer, he asked every day and checked to ensure that we were okay. He was there… I could trust that… and he would help at the drop of a hat. All I had to do was say the word.
And… the warmest angel of all… my daughter. One morning, as we huddled together under piles of quilts and duvets, she jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, and grabbed a bag of Dove chocolate hearts. Unexpected little joy that she is. We pulled up the blankets, went back to our books, and savored the sweetness of the chocolate and the warmth of each others company. It didn’t matter how cold it got, we had one another.
Throughout the snow storms, I heard many stories of people helping one another. People helped with snow removal, sheltered others, provided warm meals, took people shopping, and demonstrated that wonderful side of human nature. People pulled together in their neighborhoods and as a community.
Now the snow is melting.
It is no longer white and overwhelming but icy, brown and annoying.
People are no longer working together to help one another – they are back to business as usual with individual focus and absorption.
For a week it was different. For a week snow angels were everywhere… and that is a week I will treasure!