Good afternoon, Netizens...
I received this note from its author, Linda Radford, and am posting it with her permission. It is both a heart-warming and thought-provoking message for us all.
A Note of Thanks To A Great City
By Linda Radford
Spokane is a great city! This is my fifth winter here and each year I love it more than the last. When my kids and I first moved up here I was told that we get snow here, but not too much. Enough to make winters fun, but usually it’s not too bad, and the first winter we were here seemed to confirm that. Then the next two winters arrived, back to back, and I realized that maybe it does snow here more than I’d thought. As a native Californian I found this to be both exciting and challenging.
Well, a couple of weeks ago we got our first snowstorm of the season. To me there is nothing more beautiful than the snow that blankets this city. Things seem tranquil and quiet and everything just glistens. I work for the county road department and know that this is just an illusion—there is nothing truly tranquil and quiet about the snow. It causes chaos and frustration. But what I’ve come to love is that as the physical beauty of the snow begins to fade, the real beauty of this city begins to show—and by that I mean the people. In the last 2 weeks I have been stuck with my car three different times in three different places. Each time absolute strangers came to help get me unstuck. The first time was only a few blocks from my house in a neighborhood at 6:30 in the morning! 2 men saw me and my son trying to get the car out of slush and they just came with their shovels and the four of us got the car going again. The next time was in the Rogers High School parking lot. My son was already inside the building and I couldn’t pull away from the curb. Two boys that were outside came over and gave me both valuable advice and valuable pushing (it turns out that floor mats can be used for traction when stuck—good to know!). Just as we were thinking that we couldn’t get the car out, a third boy came and joined the pushing party and I was on my way to work in no time. And finally, today. If it hadn’t been for a bank of snow along the curb I would have slid right into a stop sign, so for that I’m grateful. But in the end, I couldn’t get my car out by myself! My son-in-law, along with a stranger that was driving by and saw us stuck, got my car out. This stranger was cheerful and willing and a perfect example of what I’ve come to know and love about Spokane.
When my kids and I first moved up here we were experiencing a metaphorical winter in our lives. We had left a dangerous situation behind and had no real idea of where we were going or where we would end up. At that time my 6 kids were ages 1-15. I didn’t know anyone up here. Our life here started out in the domestic violence shelter run by the YWCA. This organization embraced us and helped us navigate our way to the life we have today. In these last five years our family has learned first hand about the generosity and warmth the people in this city have, whether it’s a simple push out of a snow bank or countless presents under the Christmas tree from total strangers. We have learned about compassion, but have also learned that anything is possible here if you just work at it. This city has many organizations designed to help those in need. Most of these organizations are run by compassion filled people that desire to see those that are down and out make something better of their lives. The example they set is remarkable.
At this time of year, especially in this current economy, I would like to say thank you to all the people of this city that continually do the right thing as neighbors and as a community. Thank you to the neighbors on my street that shovel sidewalks and driveways and keep our street safe and clean and accessible. Thank you to the YWCA, for taking women and children in and giving them a safe haven to recover and for giving them the tools to rebuild their life. Thank you to the Salvation Army for not only providing a sense of normalcy as people work towards getting a permanent home of their own, but for providing food at the holidays so people can have a family dinner with dignity and for working with other organizations to clothe the kids of this city. Thank you to the Soroptomist organization for encouraging and empowering women who are on the track to succeeding and providing for their families. Thank you to the Has Beens, Gonna Be’s, for your support in this community, making sure that even if a child is in a family without material wealth, they are able to feel the magic of Christmas. To every church that helps in this city, to every community center that opens their doors, and to every business that adopts a cause, I thank you. My family thanks you. May the beauty of this season be with us all.