Monday, January 21, 2008

Utah in a Nutshell

Have you seen the weather today? We got slammed with the worst storm we've had since we moved here. I was not expecting it to snow; had no idea at all. I woke up this morning and took a look on my deck and saw six inches on my table. Plus the snow was literally pouring down. It was 7am and I had to be at work for an important 8am meeting. Deb and the kids were off today for the holiday.

I quickly showered and threw on some boots to go dig out and start up my car. I planned on coming back in the house to gather some things before leaving for the day. I opened my front door and could barely see the end of the walkway with all the snow. As I neared the driveway, I heard banging coming from the pavement ahead. I could not believe what I saw next.

Standing there on my driveway with snow halfway up his calves, was my next door neighbor, Paul. The kids call him Mr. Paul. He's taken a liking to us since we moved here. He's not a Mormon but he's a Deacon for a Presbyterian church nearby and absolutely loves our kids. Plus, his wife's name is Leora, which is Hannah's middle name. Anyway, there he was, shoveling MY DRIVEWAY at 7:05 in the morning with a regular old shovel. He had already paved the way for me to leave and was in the process of cleaning off my car with a massive snow brush when I caught him red-handed.

"Mr. Paul...what on earth are you doing? Your house is over THERE," I said, pointing next door. His driveway had not been touched.

"Ha ha...I know. I just woke up this morning and took one look outside and said, 'There's no way Jordan is going to get to work on time today'. I'm just being a good neighbor."

Now, Mr. Paul is no spring chicken. He's 64 years old. And he was SHOVELING MY DRIVEWAY at 7 in the freaking morning!!

"I don't know what to say, Mr. Paul....I honestly have never witnessed such incredible kindness in a neighbor in my entire life."

I couldn't! All I had to do was start my car, pull out and drive to work. No shoveling required. Mr. Paul probably went back home and shoveled his whole driveway when he was done with mine. Amazing.

I was thinking how this would never happen in New Jersey. Back there, the neighbors make it a point to shovel their own driveways and DUMP THE SNOW ON YOURS.

There is a greater lesson to be gained from this as well....not to get all sappy on the Basement readers...but it's true...

I spent the entire morning and most of the day with a good attitude. I was smiling and had an extra skip in my step all day. Even though we were slammed with almost TWO FEET of snow and it was cold as hell, I spent the day with a smile. It's because of Mr. Paul. He get's the "Wattaguy Award" for the year so far. I don't know how to repay him.

I always tell the kids, do the unexpected. Everyone knows the saying, "Do what you've always done and you'll get what you've always gotten." Well, what about if you do something special for someone? Perform a random act of kindness. Pay it forward, so to speak. Not only is it good karma, but is builds self esteem and can really change the outcome of a person's day. Plus, everyone wins. I am sure that Mr. Paul had an extra hop in his step today too. How amazing is that? He got his butt out of bed at 7am to shovel MY DRIVEWAY because he thought it would make it easier for ME to get to work. ME!! What have I ever done for him? I think I remember a time last summer when we were at a street BBQ and I had to pass gas and I made sure I turned AWAY from Mr. Paul. Did he remember that????? Maybe he was repaying my courtesy?

I have a feeling this will leave a lasting impression on me. I also told the story in my morning sales meeting with my staff and to the kids when I got home. I don't know if he reads the Basement but, "Thanks Mr. Paul. You made my day!!"

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