Snow is a singular phenomenon that elicits wide-ranging reactions.
For some people, a pristine snowfall is beautiful. For others, it's a mess.
Many children revel in a snow day without school and a chance to go sledding or build a snowman. In contrast, many adults curse the need to shovel their driveways and dread the morning commute on slick streets.
Merchants cope with a drop in customers; homeless people seek shelter; organizations cancel events; road crews work extra hours.
Mid-Missouri received in excess of eight inches of snow Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Flurries Friday and a follow-up storm in coming days could add to the total.
Although temperatures dropped Friday morning to single digits, we were warmed by the outpouring of assistance and good will in our community.
We encountered and documented instances of neighbors helping neighbors, which we perceive as a reflection of understanding and compassion.
The snowfall may be shared by all of us, but we each have different resources and abilities to deal with it.
People with ailments or infirmities may be unable to shovel their driveways. Motorists with two-wheel drive vehicles risk having or causing an accident on snow-covered roadways. Everyone's daily routine is affected, if not complicated.
We tip our wool caps to each person who helped clear a neighbor's sidewalk or driveway, who helped dig out or pull out a stranded motorist, who checked on a home-bound person and offered to assist if needed.
As January wanes, complaints about winter weather and cold temperatures are abundant.
Complaints, however, don't improve the situation; neighborly actions do.