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This winter weather is not letting up!! Temperature this morning was 12 degrees. Snow is still piled waist high everywhere, blocking views and sidewalks. The wind was still blowing, building snow piles in unexpected places. Cold, cold, cold. It is under these conditions that I drive to work.

Sitting in the car, sheltered from the cold and wind, I drive to work down the main street. Therein lies my problem. All along the street are bus stops. Because the snow precludes standing on the actual bus stop on the sidewalk, the bus travelers have to stand on the side of the road getting sideswiped by cars.

The first person I run across is obviously just leaving her job from McDonalds. She looks very tired and she probably worked the overnight shift. She is carrying a cup of coffee in her gloved hand. In the frigid weather, she also wears a hat and scarf, and big boots for the snow, but she must be cold none-the-less. My heart goes out to her. My instinct is to stop and offer her a ride, but I’ve driven by with the traffic and she becomes a distant memory in my rear view mirror.

The second person is a young adult, wearing only a hoodie pulled up over his head. His hands are stuffed in his pocket, and he looks verrrrrry cold. He looks so miserable, I want to just pick him up and hug him warm.

The third person I see is an older gentleman, body hunched over to minimize the cold. He wears a hat with ear muffs, scarf around the neck, heavy gloves and an old workman’s coat. He looks very uncomfortable. “Please, step into my warm car”, I want to say to him, but I don’t. Passing these first few people, I picture myself stopping and picking them all up, stuffing my car like a clown car in a circus. Alas, I do not do so.

What I do is to begin to drive like I have blinders on. I drive in the left hand lane and look straight ahead, not paying attention to the side of the road. I do not see the bus travelers who break my heart as I am driving. I drive like a carriage horse in Central Park, blinders on, concentrating on straight ahead, not getting distracted by view in the periphery.

However, I do not feel comfortable driving with blinders on…

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Comments on: "I Drive Like a Horse in Central Park" (21)

  1. georgiakevin said:

    Your posts are always worth reading. This one is among your very best. it is a profound statment about the world around you/around us. What astounds me is that someone who has her plate as full as yours truly considers helping other………….wow! Of course this is the time of year that I am very glad to live in Georgia without your snow but my time is coming our 5th season will be upon us soon and I never look forward to that.

    I have entered a very busy time of the year so as much as i like to write/need to write will have to postpone it until after the High school baseball season is over. Sadly rarely have time even to comment on blogs off talented writers and poets that I follow. This one I had to comment on.

  2. What a great title! And such a genuine slice of life.

  3. This is a shared awakening…

  4. I saw a picture of one of those horses out in the cold and snow. I really would hope that, that is not the case. Unfair for them to have to endure the weather.. I don’t want blinders on either..

  5. I, like Georgia Kevin, am amazed you even have the time to consider stuffing your car with strangers, but I think that is just part of your DNA. I’ve been complaining about how “freezing” it is here in Maui…..it’s dropping into the 40’s in upcountry. In town where I work it is in the 70’s. I’m wearing a jacket all day. This post gave me a shake! I had to take the time to count my blessings.

  6. This is such a poignant post. I am finding it equally hard just to do my grocery shopping here in the UK. there are so many people struggling to buy enough food for their families that I feel guilty if I have a full basket. I used to enjoy the weekly shop but not any more and i just can’t bring myself to overindulge. I wish things were more equal. Do you think it will ever be solved?

  7. It is tough. There was a radio story of an elderly man who tried to ask some cold kids if they wanted a ride and the kids called the police. The police told him not to do it again as it wasn’t safe for him or kids. Not sure how to advise. I try and help people I know who don’t have cars.

  8. What a delightful post! Just remember, if you do not feel comfortable driving with binders on, you don’t have to do so. Unlike the Central Park horses, you do have a choice. I think you’ve taken the first step in the right direction. Often, thought comes first, followed by action. Of course, that requires stepping out of our comfort zones, so you might be as uncomfortable picking up freezing people as you are driving with blinders on. As we live at a church, I often say that prayers are worthless unless you put feet on them. Someone like yourself who has done good works for decades already knows this!

  9. You can also take the blinders off and remind yourself that these people might enjoy taking the bus. I do take the bus almost daily. Yes I hate standing and waiting in the cold but when I jump on the bus I have 40 mintues to sit and read or listen to music. I could buy a second car for my family but the bus is much more economical. It is sweet of you to want to drive all these people, your heart is big and in the right place.

    • Good idea! Yes, I will think of it positively. I will think that in a minute their bus is going to come and they will have a nice warm seat, and that woman can drink her coffee and relax. Yes! Thank you for the positive spin.

  10. Melinda said:

    I stumbled upon your blog this afternoon and read your most recent post, then another, and another and another and……

    You get my point!

    I just couldn’t stop reading. Your life is very interesting and more than a little humbling.

    A beautiful blog, obviously written by a woman with a beautiful soul.

  11. Tunnel of Fear

    Homing through a frost
    of silent shooting stars,
    the blowing icy flow
    of winter’s crystal breath,
    my car lights tunnel
    through its frozen milky way.

    Suddenly, I glimpse a shadow,
    a hitcher thinly coated
    with the jacketed nonchalance
    of adolescent bravado,
    James Dean image not quite masking
    the soft edges of his youth.

    A fragile hope flickers
    at my moment’s hesitation,
    then quickly disappears
    behind me in the night.
    My “Good Samaritan” – extinct,
    afraid of death – dead of fright.

    Written many winters ago. Still haunts me. Loved your post. Helps to
    know I’m not alone. As always in awe of your life, your writing, and your love.
    The talk I gave on blogs to a group of retired teachers included two of your posts
    and information about your e book. A wonderful response. Pretty sure several
    got your book. Eileen

  12. Thanks for creating this amazing blog, I enjoy reading each and every post you wrote so far. I’m also dealing with disability and trying to overcome all of the boundaries. Check out my blog too, if you would like: http://nottheusualmotivationalblog.blogspot.com/

  13. mommyof3lilmonsters said:

    I have three little ones… whenever I feel the need to pick someone up and help them out I feel that pain in my heart.
    Where I’m at, there’s rarely snow, but at this time we have massive amounts of rain. I’d like to pull over and offer them a ride. But I too put on blinders and keep going. Maybe when the kids are older, and I don’t fear what might happen with picking up a stranger, I’ll take off the blinders and help out. It’s hard to see someone and need and just keep going…
    Thank you for sharing!

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