Is there anyone in Saline who wasn't amazed at the snowfall we've gotten this week?
Sure, many of us actually do dream of a white Christmas. But I don't recall southeast Michigan typically seeing accumulations like this until well into the first quarter of the New Year.
Even this early, the "Be Prepared" types who were able to had undoubtedly made arrangements with any of the fine snow removal service contractors in our area. Others had their "Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor" snowblowers serviced and itching for release from home garages. Or you may be blessed with a strong back for shoveling, or have a caretaker who is.
But what if you are not? What if your neighbor is not?
I'd never suggest that carving out another thirty feet of snow-covered sidewalk is "easy" for the homeowner who chooses not to stop clearing when he reaches the edge of his own property line. Far from it. Snowblowers take a certain amount of time and back-work to operate. Spending money on such assets leaves less money to spend on other things.
But I will offer a thought and a request here. Part of what makes Saline a wonderfully diverse community is the presence of residents who are older, disabled, and less endowed with cold-weather stamina. Maybe you see them out during the summer, but less or not at all this time of year; maybe they don't get out much at all.
Then you're driving home or out walking your dog in weather like this and notice the only sign of sidewalk under snow is where someone has trudged-out a path before you.
What if those who are able to handle their own snow removal simply assume that these "other people" — our neighbors — have not cleared a path because they can't? What if you just thought this occasionally? Or imagine this to be the case more often, if you wish.
Then go where your impulses take you.
Plow it forward this winter. And next. Then again, for as long as you can. Once is good, twice better.
Set an example for others in the future, maybe. Others who, twenty or thirty or forty years from now who might be moved to help you out as you hope to stay in your own home in your own community another winter longer.