Good Samaritans all around us

On a positive note...

The last two weeks have been harsh — weather-wise, that is. Mother Nature gave Hamilton County and Iowa in general much more than our share of snow and cold.

It’s often during these difficult times that we realize the goodness and generosity of people in our community. You know, people who step and go beyond the call of duty to help others.

My husband discovered this first hand the other night. He was traveling home from Des Moines when his car slipped off the road and slid into a ditch. He took out his phone, ready to call AAA for assistance, when he saw some headlights pull up behind him. An old friend jumped out of his pickup and offered to tow Larry’s car from the ditch. Our friend worked to hook up the chains to the car’s bumper but he couldn’t get them attached.

Just then, more headlights appeared. Larry said that about six or seven guys showed up in several cars. The men tromped down into the ditch and with a couple of good pushes, were able to get the car back on the road.

My husband was very grateful. He could have been sitting in the ditch waiting from a very long time on a very cold winter night. And the people could have just kept on driving. But they didn’t. They didn’t hesitate to pull over and help out.

For the past several snowfalls, we’ve noticed that there is someone who clears the sidewalk for the entire length of our block. It’s a guy on a four-wheeler with a snow blade attached. He makes quick work of the job, and then, he zips across the street and clears that sidewalk from end to end.

We’ve caught glimpses of the mystery snow mover, but have never met him.

Well, Wednesday morning, after the most recent snowfall, I was scooping out my the area in front of my garage, hoping to get my car out and moving. The garage opens up into the alley, which at the time had not been cleared of snow.

I was able to back out of the garage and then immediately became mired in the deep trenches of snow. I tried the usual maneuver — put the car in reverse, back a few feet, then put the car in drive — rocking back and forth to get some traction.

From out of nowhere came the man on the four wheeler. He pulled up beside my car and asked if he could plow the alley so I could get out. I said that would wonderful.

He pushed some snow out the way and cleared a path down the alley. Moving slow and steady, I was able to get my little car out on the street.

I thanked him profusely and he said it was “no problem.” And then he said he would swing by later to make sure the plow hadn’t blocked my garage entrance as it cleared the snow.

I waved and thanked him again and he zipped off around the corner. I realized that I hadn’t learned his name. So, to my mystery snow mover, many thanks.

I’ve noticed on Facebook this week that lots of people have experienced this kind of Good Samaritanism — people who scoop walks for their neighbors, or run errands for someone who is housebound or help give a push when a car becomes stuck. I think it’s in our nature to be helpful. It’s a common trait here in Iowa — Iowa Nice, I guess.

Still, it’s awfully nice when someone comes to your rescue, especially on a snowy and cold winter day.