Teach me how to vortex

What the polar vortex, or any storm in Buffalo will teach you:

1. Random acts of kindness should be done whenever possible, no matter the conditions.

While i’m fortunate enough to be working from the comfort of my own home today, not as many people have that luxury. Do what you can to make today (and all days) easier for others if it’s within your means to do so.

Offer to let your friends come over for a home-cooked meal if they’re low on groceries, bring a cup of hot cocoa out to the mail man (or woman) who is walking through the cold wind or call your family to check in with the few extra minutes you may have today. Random acts of kindness help others, but they also make you feel good too.

2. Unpredictability is scary.

My twin sister texted me today saying that she, my older sister and my niece got into a car accident. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like the injuries are too serious. The car is another story, but while stressful, that’s a replaceable item that doesn’t deserve an ounce of worry at the moment.

Storms make driving unpredictable. While some will say, “it’s not that bad!” and are okay venturing out, I would rather not take my chances. Unpredictability is always a reminder to me that I have to say, “I love you” to those I care about whenever possible. You just never know.

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And last, but certainly not least…

3. You are never, I repeat, NEVER, too old to play in the snow.  

Exhibit A:

https://twitter.com/_Katie_Costello/status/420341319891181568

 

The great take away from spending the last two days at my house because of the weather? 

Be kind. Say “I love you.” Have fun.

 

 

Snow brings out the best in people.

Snow doesn’t phase me. I was born and raised in Western New York. My Dad helped my twin sister and I build an igloo in our front yard using nothing but our hands wrapped in cheap mittens and empty 2 liter-sized pop bottles filled with water from the kitchen sink (we made a lot of trips in and out of the house, my mom was not thrilled).

Now I am in no way a fan of snow. My car is old and can barely make it up a steep dirt road let alone the slippery unpaved city streets. I get cold even in the blazing heat of summer and I’m much too klutzy to deal with black ice and unsalted steps. Needless to say, brisk Buffalo weather is no fun for me.

What I do love, though, as I’m sure everyone does, is witnessing random acts of kindness, especially during a time when there have been so many sick and twisted events happening around the world, and in our very own backyard.

Now I consider myself very fortunate to not only have a great job right out of college, but to also have one that allows me to occasionally work from home. And this morning while I was cozied up in bed watching The Today Show, I noticed an awesome act of kindness happening right outside of my window. Of course I documented it:

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A lady on my street couldn’t get her car out. This stranger ran into his house, grabbed a shovel and started digging her out. One heavy scoop of snow at a time.

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After struggling to push this woman’s car out, a second stranger came to help.

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Just when I thought cars were going to continue to pass by these two men struggling to get this woman’s car out, a third stranger hops out of the car to help.

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Together, after over an hour of work, these three strangers finally helped this woman get out.

The woman got out of her car and gave them all a huge hug, and the three men exchanged high fives before they all went their separate ways.

Maybe I was the only one that witnessed this act of kindness in its entirety. Maybe those four strangers will never see one another again. But if nothing else, it restores my faith that there really are good, genuine people in this world. I’m an optimist, but I’m not naive to the fact that there are a lot of negative things that surround each and every one of us. But there’s also a lot of positive things happening. It’s those things that we should focus on and share with others. And you never know, sometimes they’re happening right outside your own window.