As beyond-frigid temps sweep the East Coast of the United States, you hear all sorts of sad stories. Within the last month, I’ve been informed of two friends-of-friends’ houses burning down, one due to a fireplace on Christmas Day-! Thankfully, in the case of both homes, all family members made it out safely.
Water mains and pipes throughout our nation’s capital have been bursting with regularity, the aging systems and freezing weather stressing the systems to literally the breaking point. On New Year’s Day, the metro did not open till 8:00 a.m. and most stores grudgingly opened at 10:00 a.m. for a handful of shoppers who might emerge in the afternoon. Our own neighborhood was sleeping in heavenly peace apparently, because when Benedetto and I emerged around 9:00 a.m., not a creature was stirring except for a big bunny rabbit sitting on our front porch, warming his feet from the scattered snow still clinging to the ground from days earlier.
All that to say: Baby, it’s cold outside-!
In the mid-Atlantic, we’re used to cold, but not necessarily extreme cold. You can go from your warm home or office, hop into your warm vehicle that’s been turned on by remote, along with heated seats to make you toasty. You have your hot coffee in hand and all is well.
Today, I want to encourage you to look around, really look around, at people you may know who are not so fortunate or who are elderly. I don’t say to look at a random homeless person, which is also important, but start with those you may know.
I’ll go first: we know an elderly Chinese woman, a friend. She’s retired and sometimes becomes confused. She finally got rid of her car a year or two ago. And now, when the weather is in the teens or lower, she takes several buses to travel here or there.
She is not dressed warmly.
During a very busy week, I asked Benedetto to pick her up a simple hat and gloves. You know, the knit ski cap that you can get anywhere for a couple of dollars. He was out at the store and happy to help. I grabbed a gift bag and some tissue paper and made a formal presentation in front of a few friends.
Of course, she protested that she had several hats.
Exactly my point.
But she did concede that she had lost her gloves and hadn’t had the time to buy more.
Within a couple of days, we had her bundled up in our car, giving her a ride to a local bus hub and in the car, she already couldn’t find one of the gloves-!
Jesus, help us. It happens. Benedetto found it for her, dropped on the floor.
And so we sent her off into the night, hopefully warm and protected.
Look around you at those you might help with a warm pot of soup, some gloves or a shoveled walkway. It makes all the difference.
This post first appeared on Destinations, Dreams And Dogs - International Adventure With A Fast-track Family (& Dogs) Of Old World Values, Adopting The Russian-Italian-American Good Life On The Go…!, please read the originial post: here