Writer’s Block: When Bad Weather Happens To Good People

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By Corinne Wnek

I know, I know. We are all so done with winter already and by the calendar, we still have another six weeks to go. The icy roads, the potholes, the shoveling and the unending grayness of this time of the year have given even the best of us winter lovers, a bad case of the summertime blues.

I never thought I was claustrophobic, let alone claustrophobic outdoors, until I finished shoveling the driveway a few days ago. But there it was. Walls of snow closing in on me from every direction and dwarfing everything exposed in its path, like the car, the fence and my six-foot tall husband. Help! I can’t breathe just visualizing this.

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And, depending on the findings of that renowned meteorologist, Punxsutawney Phil, we may have to resign ourselves to even more of winter’s fury. Whatever. It’s not like we’re going to see daffodils popping up anytime soon. Although rumor has it that Phil, and his other weather rodent cousins, have seen their shadows.

Now while driving home from school the other day, I noticed a sign in front of a church that read, “Look for the silver lining all around you”. I don’t know about silver, but there was plenty of white all around me. Still, that was a great thought and one, sadly, I had lost sight of. Besides, my focus was on clearing the driveway of some snow that had fallen during the day and figuring out what to make for dinner. Silver lining?  Come out, come out wherever you are.

A few minutes later as I was turning into my street, I had to stop to wait for another car to move before I could continue to my house. Side streets are still practically one lane roads with all the snow that had frozen along both sides of the curb. The very short time I waited there seemed like an eternity to me, especially after a tough day at work and a long, slow drive home. “C’mon, what could be taking so long?” I wondered as I was getting ready to hit the horn.

Just then a middle-aged man came out of the house and made his way to my car. He thanked me for being so patient and then explained he was just checking up on his friends, an elderly couple who lived there. He wanted to make sure they had enough groceries to hold them over for a while because they no longer drive in the snow. He’ll move his car right away so I can get going. If I felt any smaller, I wouldn’t have been able to reach the gas pedal.

As I finally made my way down the street, I noticed my driveway was cleared of snow, the garbage can taken in and my newspaper placed safely on the bench on my front porch.  This was the work of, well, almost any one of my elderly neighbors. Then again, our block is notorious for people helping each other out and doing for those who can’t help themselves. These are the kind of people who come to your rescue when you least expect it but need it the most. They are life’s silver lining and they literally are all around me, just like the sign said.

Now, if only my husband surprised me and walked in with a pizza.


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