• Diane Mack: Good neighbors are priceless – even if they're strangers

  • During the recent, and ongoing snow storms, in the Midwest, it is motivating to see how adversity affects people.

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  • During the recent, and ongoing snow storms, in the Midwest, it is motivating to see how adversity affects people.
    During the past week, I’ve seen more than one Facebook post with pictures and descriptions of a neighbor or friend who “cleaned my driveway,” “shoveled our walk,” and “dug out my car.”
    It’s encouraging to see consideration and generosity extended during a difficult time.
    I have often kidded about a tunnel between my neighbor Ruth’s home and ours. Ruth (with hubby Bruce) is the kind of neighbor, you’d pay a real estate agent to find, of course, in addition to an available neighborhood home.
    When we needed an extra bathroom for showers, and had a houseful of wedding guests, Ruth responded, “send them on over!” Within a minute, their door was open and they welcomed son Josh, crossing the street, with a towel and shampoo.
    These neighbors are extraordinary. I have borrowed milk, cheese, sour cream, honey, flour, and bread, during warm weather and especially, during a snow storm. We’ve borrowed bicycle pumps and strong arms. There is nothing which will keep us apart from wonderful neighbors.
    We are lucky to have such remarkable neighbors, round the clock.
    And we seem to locate those awesome neighbors during a snow storm. Isn’t it refreshing to experience a helping hand during harsh winter conditions and see the best side of humanity?
    I recall when I was a little girl, and we were traveling to my grandfather’s farm, during a very “thick” winter snow storm. We had chains on the tires, extra blankets in the car, and mom was navigating while helping dad to keep the car on the road.
    As we slowly turned down the last hill toward grandpa’s farm, our car slid off the road, into a ditch. And we were stuck. In fact, we couldn’t open the doors on the passenger side of the car.
    It was cold. My sisters and I were afraid.
    Sure enough, within a few minutes, an Amish man, in a horse and buggy, stopped next to our car. He surveyed the situation, asking how he could help.
    My father informed the Amish man, that we were headed to the farm about a mile down the road. Dad asked the kind man if he could take my sister to the farm, to let our grandpa know our dilemma.
    He was happy to assist. So my older sister jumped into the buggy, with the Amish man’s family, and off they went.
    Within just a short time, my grandfather returned as well as several Amish men. Using their horses, they were able to pull the car out of the ditch and we drove off to the farm.
    Page 2 of 2 - Perhaps, by the printing of this column, another storm may have arrived in the Midwest. May I suggest to be prepared? Stop by the store and buy some extra milk, a few bottles of water, flashlights, batteries, peanut butter, and bread.
    Don’t be too worried or fearful. Snowstorms afflict both the rich and the poor. No one is singled out.
    Besides that, the real worth of a person is their charity to another. Everything comes from Him.
    Look at the storm, as an opportunity to share and assist someone in need. Be like Ruth.
    Go ahead, you can do it.
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at dianemack@juno.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.

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