Toronto got it's first real winter storm yesterday and though there wasn't enough to call out the army, there was indeed enough. Joe told me, on returning from helping carry out stuff to their car that Ruby and Sadie that they threw themselves on the lawn out back and immediately made snow angels. I told Joe that I wanted to go out for a bit and asked if he'd come with me, I get a bit claustrophobic after one whole day in and after two ... really need to get out. We decided to head over to the Bay and see what's up with Boxing Day sales. I had noticed a really nice sweater on one of the mannequins there before Christmas, I thought it would look great on Joe and when I went to pick it up discovered it cost just under 300 dollars. Way too rich for our lifestyle, maybe Boxing day would bring it into range, say if they had a 83 percent off sale.
We left the building by the back doors because we had recycling to drop off. As we left the lane way behind the building I noticed that the snow hadn't been removed from the curb cut and the way to the road was completely impassible. What with this being our first winter storm here this year and what with the fact that we didn't have one last year, I'd forgotten about snow and it's effect on accessibility. I made my way up to the next corner on the sidewalk, which had been shovelled, and it too was impassible. The driveway to the building is a circular one and the first curb cut was clogged with snow. Joe suggested I make my way around the drive to the far entrance as he walked on the sidewalk and we'd meet and check out the final possible way out.
As I made my way along the drive I looked over and saw Joe trudging along the sidewalk and behind him, by about 15 feet another fellow equally bundled up against the snow and cold. I got there before Joe did and, though it was clogged with snow too, there did look to be a passageway that I could at least attempt. I learned, a few years back, that I had to think about both getting out and getting back, that getting DOWN a snowy curb cut was very different than getting UP one. I thought this one would be passable each way. Joe joined me and I told him I'd try here. I waited seeing the other fellow coming as I decided to try this without an audience. He saw me waiting, seemed to know what I was doing and sped up his pace.
As he passed by he said, "It must be really frustrating when people don't clear paths for EVERYone." I nodded in dumb shock at the fact that he understood so easily. Then he said, "Good luck and Happy New Year, eh." I called out 'Happy New Year to you too." Then, I slid down the curb cut and on to the road and we were off.
We went over to Yonge Street, knowing that the curbs there would be passable, if not because of being shovelled, then because of the high volume of foot traffic. A block or two later we talked about that brief, tiny, interchange. About how pleasant and kind that fellow had been. About how easy it is to do something, small, that has such an enormous effect. Both of us agreed that his friendly tone and his willingness to pass along good cheer had made a positive impact on our day.
Something so simple.
Something so easy to give.
He'll never know that I've had a tough few days. He'll never know that at that moment I was beginning to allow frustration to turn to despair as my sense of humour and my sense of proportion has been dulled. He'll never know that a couple of kind words made the world of difference to me.
But they did.
Ruby and Sadie love making Snow Angels. I love, when it happens, meeting them.