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Life Arts    H5'ed 2/18/21

My Ultra-Conservative Neighbor Just Shovelled My Driveway

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Message Al Hirschfield
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About six years ago, I moved back to the area where I grew up, after living away for a very long time. I returned to take care of my 90 year-old mother after my stepfather suddenly passed away.

My mother was pretty close with one of her neighbors, although they had virtually nothing in common. My mother was a Jewish, New Deal Democrat. The neighbor, a fundamentalist, arch-conservative. And Bonnie (the neighbor), is extremely religious. But not radically so. She is just very, very involved in her Church, and her life revolves around her devotion to Jesus, the way one would imagine only those living in the Bible-Belt would be, except Bonnie lives in New Jersey. She cleans people's homes, and has continued to do so after her husband passed away shortly before I moved back.

Bonnie is also a lifelong Republican, who voted for Donald Trump. Since moving home, I've had the opportunity to get to know Bonnie better (particularly since my mother's own passing last year). I live alone, so she's invited me over for Thanksgiving, New Year's, etc., and we've taken long walks together.

She's also the person who drove me home from the hospital, to the doctor appointments, pharmacy and supermarket, after each of the two biking accidents I had recently.

Bonnie's well aware that not only am I pretty left-wing, but that I also meditate for hours a day, and am pretty heavily into Eastern religion and philosophy. But I guess she is old enough (70), and mature enough, to not to get all bent out of shape about it. We've spoken about many things, at great length, and she is quite clear that I do not accept Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, without whom I can never really be saved.

But, her son (who lives in her house with his girlfriend) just snow-blew my entire sidewalk and driveway.

Now, I'm pretty healthy for an older geezer. And they've seen me shoveling my own driveway myself (it takes a while. But I manage...).

So, I think this is a pretty extraordinary act of human kindness, coming from someone who probably fits the rather narrow stereotype of everything we smart, sophisticated types are supposed to have a considerable amount of contempt regarding.

To be clear, I think Bonnie started to sour on Trump even before the election. She has recently said things like "I don't think he's that bright" and, she wasn't crazy about all of the affairs. But, she hasn't exactly switched parties, either...

So, I was just pretty, genuinely moved by the shoveling, and wanted to share.

Just what it all means, frankly, I'm still not quite sure...

Shoveling snow
Shoveling snow
(Image by runneralan2004 from flickr)
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(Article changed on February 21, 2021 at 11:54)

(Article changed on February 21, 2021 at 11:56)

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A rapidly aging boy from NJ, with a somewhat radical political bent, who, after quite some time, seems to finally (in the truest sense of the word) be getting it together... Om Sai Ram

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