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The Sweetness of Surprise and Snow


Isn't it wonderful when we are surprised in a good way. Our office manager, editor, translator, and jack-of-many trades, Lynn de Vree, shares with us the joys of two gifts, one of nature and one of kindness. A native of the Netherlands, Lynn is used to cold weather, snow, and ice, but not with the mountainous topography of the Pacific Northwest. Shoveling snow is one thing, but a long and steep, driveway significantly adds to the challenge. The joy of giving, receiving and completing the circle... something else.

With warm regards,

Since 2020, I live in a rural area in the Pacific Northwest, and pretty as it is any time of the year, it is especially stunning in snow. Tricky is the fact that it is also hilly and, when I was taken by surprise by the snow, I realized that a snow shovel is an essential item that alas was not among our many tools. Considering that it might melt before it became an issue, and there wasn't much I could do as the roads were impassable anyway, I let it be.

The snow, and the slowing down of life that it usually causes, brought up childhood memories of outdoor fun till my hands had to be rubbed warm inside, as well as visits. The visits were to initially unknown elderly people in our also very small rural community on a little island in The Netherlands. My parents encouraged us to ring door bells and ask if there were any errands that we could run for our fellow islanders. It was a treat for us—because after we went to the shops and brought home what was needed, we miraculously became surrogate grandchildren for that visit. We sat down for a cup of tea and cake or some chocolate and enjoyed each other's company.

Having moved during the COVID spring, my dog walks have been a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with some of the many neighbors with canines that walk the same route. They sniff, we chat and off we go. Last summer, some new houses were built and this year's snow brought the additional joy of hearing our young, new, neighbors' kids squealing and laughing as they sledded down the front yard. The next day, on my walk, I saw the dad shoveling snow from the driveway while keeping an eye on the kids. I told him I'd blanked on buying a snow shovel and asked if I might borrow it when he was finished. He kindly offered to shovel our driveway too which I kindly declined because it is a long driveway. After my lovely long walk, I turned the corner and there it was, my sweet surprise; our neighbor had already cleared two thirds of our driveway! He told me he imagined that I had not declined him making a head start for me. Thanking him, I told him he'd almost made me cry! 

I think I might have surrogate grandchildren close by now.

Kindest Regards,
Lynn de Vree asked advice on how to be a good neighbor, click here for excellent tips!

This message from Lynn de Vree, Office Manager/Global Read Coordinator of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 02/14/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.

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Comments 1

Guest - Fred on Tuesday, 15 February 2022 08:14

Beautiful story . Thanks so much for sharing

Beautiful story :). Thanks so much for sharing
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