The other day, I woke up to find it had snowed. Not a lot, but enough to have to shovel the driveway and the walk. Working at the bottom end of the driveway, I saw a hired guy about my age clearing the sidewalk across the street. He had the stocky, almost chubby kind of build of someone who is strong because he works all day, a bull of a guy. He was wearing a bright orange knit cap.
I waved to him and called out, “I didn’t expect to have to shovel, I’m going to be late for work!”
He came over, and we started chatting. He had a classic thick Boston accent. Was it going to be warm enough later that it would just melt? Or would it just freeze again and cause a real mess? It was the kind of friendly bonding over a shared experience that snow shoveling can bring about, even between two people without much else in common.
I ended with, “Well, I choose to live in Boston, so I can’t complain,” to which he responded, smiling, “And if you did complain, who would listen!?” It was that kind of conversation.
I went back up to the top of my driveway. I was faced away from the street, clearing the car, when I heard something behind me. I turned to see the guy in his pickup truck, zooming toward me. His snowplow blade was about three feet from me. He stopped, lowered the blade, and backed down the driveway, scraping away the snow. He came up again, scraped again, and then pushed the resulting snow pile in the street out of the way.
I just stood aside, grinning, pleased at the work he had saved me. As he turned the truck to drive away down the street, I joked to him, “Thanks a lot! But next time give me some warning, you almost gave me a heart attack!”
To which he smiled and responded, “Ah, you wasn’t gonna have no haht attack,” and drove away to the next job.