Snow blowers and soup pots and good neighbors


Our first snow.

In this early morning state, at 6:30 a.m. my neighbors were already out with their snow blowers. We have one, too. Most days, though, I prefer to strengthen my sword arm. Today, shoveling to the rumble and roar of Hondas and Toros, brought me back the memory of the first time I heard a snow blower. It was in the late 1960’s in Troy, New York. And it belonged to an Englishman, Gordon Leavis. He and his family had just moved a few houses over from us. We hadn’t met them yet, but learning of my young father’s heart attack, Gordon zipped up our walk, and cleared our snow.

A few phone calls were made that day,and later, when Gordon, his wife Valerie, and their daughter Susie were in our living room, they entered our family’s heart and life. Drinks were served for the adults, I’m sure. Maybe my dad even baked his famous cheesecake. Or maybe he whipped up an enormous pot of the mushroom barley soup he loved to make and often distributed to the worthy in cleaned out Hellman’s Mayonnaise jars.

My parents, Gordon, and Valerie died many years ago. School friends and neighborhood kids from my growing years are spread out all over the country and the world. We now meet on on Facebook. Susie Leavis is there, too. She wrote me that she has my father’s soup pot. And when she takes it out, she thinks of him.

Here’s to snow blowers and soup pots and good neighbors.