Roses and raspberries (the snowstorm edition), Feb. 19

February 18, 2014 

• Roses from Jenny Anderson to the two guys who jumped out of their car in the snow and pushed dozens of other cars up the slippery incline on North Columbia Street on the approach to Rosemary Street at around 2 pm Wednesday. “I had given up hope and pulled over just before they came along,” she writes. “With their help I and many others avoided a very long walk home!”

• Roses from Alicia Altmueller to Flyleaf Books. “My neighbor was stranded and finally got home after walking miles but emailed the following,: she writes. “All other stores had closed at 2 pm, but Flyleaf, wonderful Flyleaf, was allowing stranded motorists to come in anyway. Folks were trekking miles home on foot. The farthest I met was going 4.2 miles in this snow. FlyLeaf handed out socks to stranded kids for gloves; coats out of their lost and found. That is LOCAL LOVE at its best. ... And remember, when the roads clear, show them the love!”

• Roses from Pat and Ray Carpenter “to the numerous kind citizens who helped push cars up the Estes Drive hill between Franklin Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard on Wednesday, and others who did the same thing on the incline on MLK between Stateside Drive and Westminster Drive,” they write. “We especially want to thank Kelly Maddry Young, who recognized us as parents of a high school friend from a long time ago and stayed with us all along the way, getting out to push with others when necessary. What great neighbors all these folks were.”

• Roses from Yue Wu of Chapel Hill to those out pushing cars up the hill on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill last Wednesday. “During the snowstorm many cars got stuck at the low point near Granville Road,” Wu writes. “A group of neighborhood people self-organized into a rescue team keeping Estes Drive traffic moving throughout the snow storm and making it possible for us to get home safely. We owe them a heartfelt thanks for their selfless act.”

• Roses from Chris Wolf of Carrboro to an anonynmous couple. “I was on my way to Carrboro when I was stuck going uphill on Estes Drive by the public library,” Wolf writes. “A young, friendly couple came by in a large SUV with tow ropes and offered to tow me all the way into Carrboro until I was able to drive home on my own. I want to express my gratitude to them for their extraordinary help. Unfortunately, I never learned their name. Perhaps I can find out through this message.”

• And finally, Roses to lots of people from Elena Elisseeva of Durham.

“After driving in the snow for two and a half hours from Chapel Hill to Durham that Wednesday afternoon, I got stuck at Woodcroft Parkway in Durham. I was trying to take my car up the hill, but the wheels were spinning. Needless to say, I felt (and apparently looked) very helpless and really didn’t know what to do until the driver behind me, complete stranger, came up to me and started pushing the car while I was slightly tapping on gas as he suggested me to do. Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t allow my car to move up, and very soon I found myself surrounded by a few more people, including a policeman. It was decided that the best thing for me to do was to leave my car at Woodcroft and walk home.

They helped me to back my car off and safely park it on the side of the road, since I couldn’t see a thing through the rear window; it was already all covered by snow. One of the gentlemen, helping me with the car, offered me a ride home in his 4-wheel vehicle, and I gladly accepted the offer. Sitting in the comfort of their car and enjoying their warm hospitality (his name is Gary and his wife’s name is Kim), I occasionally found out that because of me they were driving an “extra mile” away from their own home.

After they dropped me off not far from the subdivision where I live, I continued my long way home. The snow was heavy and thick, and pretty soon I could hardly see through my glasses. On an almost empty road I met the lady, who immediately asked me how far I had yet to walk, and I am pretty sure she was ready to hand me in her umbrella. Luckily, I was very close to my home, so was she to hers. On the next day, my husband headed to pick up my abandoned car. He decided to walk. Our good neighbor Warren, cleaning his driveway at that time, without any hesitation offered my husband a ride.

I am sure that a lot of travelers in our community can share similar stories about people’s kindness and willingness to help. Very often in our daily lives we feel so pressured and overwhelmed, especially when dealing with a difficult boss or unfriendly co-workers, or facing a lay off, that we tend to think that people are getting harder and more indifferent, and human kindness is a very rare quality nowadays. Sometimes we need something big or tragic to happen to remind us about love, compassion, and sympathy, and realize how many wonderful people are around us. I am very grateful to all people, involved in my “winter story”, they made me to believe in the best people’s qualities again.

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