Gathering

snow 3It is 7:22 pm on a Tuesday night. The sun is just setting over the houses across the street and it was a glorious day of sun, blue skies and warming temperatures. We made it all the way to 44 today. A weekend of blizzard winds and wild snow took to melting at record pace. Earlier this evening the snow plow came down the street pushing large boulders of snow.

We are on an incline and by the time the plows were at the top of the hill a torrent of water came rushing down the street creating large lakes at the end of each driveway. The neighbors rallied with snowblowers and shovels to open up each drive way and move the lakes down to the corner drain.

Nothing like a good blizzard and then a quick melt to bring the neighbors out for a good chat. Some of the neighbors I have not seen since last October just before it turned cold. It was great to have them out and to check in. It is like the gathering of relative at a funeral. You don’t see them for years and then someone dies and we all gather to celebrate a life well lived or to morn the passing of a life lost to soon.

It is interesting how the more negative events will pull us together. I can put a call out of snow 2happy hour at our house or on the deck when it is warm and maybe a few people will come but have something negative happen and everyone is out.  It was amazing to see everyone gather around with shovels in hand chatting about the storm, the plow and the water rushing past their feet.

What is it about events that create problems that bring us together? Is it the desire to help or support those in need? Is it the need to share the problem with someone besides ourself?

I am not sure why we gather but I am glad it happens. The past two weeks have been busy with a funeral, snow storms, stuck cars and more. In these weeks I have seen and heard from more people – family, friends and neighbors. I did not really enjoyed the events – a funeral is sad but the time with family not seen for years was nice. The blizzard was wild, a bit scary (although I have to admit I love a good storm) but what a feeling of joy to be out there shoveling against the storm with neighbors checking in. Or the fun we had being inside making cinnamon rolls to give to those who helped clear the walks and drives.

Today the sun and the disaster of the plow dumping large piles of heavy wet IMG_5539.jpgsnow on everyones driveway brought us out again. Chatting, complaining and having a great time connecting.

We gather – it is what we do. We help people out, we check in on each other and support each other when things go wrong. Lovely!

Now I wonder if I can get people to do the same thing when things are going well. At some point this spring the snow will be gone, the temperature will rise and I will try to gather our neighbor group for cheese, crackers, wine and good conversation.

HMMM – maybe I will have to create/pretend I have a small disaster to get them over here and then we can all just sit down and chat. We will see what spring brings – when it decides to come.  Rumor has it we are getting snow again tomorrow.

Do you find your neighbors chat more when there are storms or issues?

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in behavior, Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Gathering

  1. Alice Nine says:

    Oh, when the sound of the plow leaves a snow berm at the edge of your freshly shoveled driveway! Sounds like a lot of neighborhood camaraderie. Perhaps you will be able to stir up some in the warm months.

  2. Ramona says:

    Chatting, complaining, and connecting and then cinnamon rolls for the helpers! I’m a little envious since it’s been awhile since we’ve connected with our neighbors. Good luck with your future pretend disaster!

  3. Trina Haase says:

    I have also found the same thing to be true! This is how I have gotten to know most of our neighbors, in the aftermath of storms!

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