Vivien Leigh’s iconic line as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire has stayed with me over the years. In that movie she said, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
I can’t say that I identified with that saying though until I moved to my house on the cul-de-sac in West Fargo as a single mom. It was then that I became the beneficiary of such kindnesses as snow clearing and lawn mowing. Mostly my neighbor Kyle or his son Charlie are the ones coming to my aid, but other male neighbors have cleared my driveway a time or two as well.
I am not sure when they became aware how wholly ill-equipped I am for these tasks, but it must have been early on as they have been doing these things as long as I have lived here. Well, with the exception of the time I was married – for those couple of years my husband took care of such things.
Typically, I am the kind of girl who wants to do things herself – but darn it – I am not handy or rugged with such things as home repairs or general maintenance. I am a confident mover, painter, gardener, etc. but on the whole I don’t have mad physical labor skills. Some days I wish I was a tad more sturdy…some days I really wish I had a snowblower and knew how to use it.
On Monday looking out into the deep snow in my yard I realized that as I was now back to being single and since there was nary a snowblower in sight I was going to have to attempt to dig out or push clear a path myself. Oh my…was that a sight. To label my snow pushing/shoveling skills as inept is to be too complimentary. It didn’t take long for me to strain my shoulders and back and to plod back toward the front door dejected with only a very small area having been cleared.
I was in the process of taking Advil and preparing for another go-around when my neighbor Kyle appeared out in my yard with his snowblower. You may think that knights wear shining armor and ride majestic white steeds, but I am hear to tell you that sometimes they just wear heavy winter wear and push snowblowers (and in the summer they have been known to wear shorts and push a lawnmower).
I sincerely appreciate the kindnesses bestowed upon me and I try to regularly buy Kyle gift cards to our local liquor store so he can have a case or two of beer on me for all his efforts on my behalf. He always objects and chastises me for doing so…he says it is not necessary…but I think it is. When it comes to snow clearing and my complete lack of skills I am a bit like Blanche DuBois in that I am left to depend on the kindness of strangers – but luckily, I am fortunate enough to have a thoughtful neighbor. In my mind that warrants, at the least, a case or two of beer and a whole lot of gratitude.
Day five hundred and five of the new forty – obla di obla da