I was out shoveling snow this morning and decided to do a little more than I had to and proceeded to clear the walk in front of the boardup next door. The pre-dawn Denison neighborhood looked great, as though everything were occupied again by people who were neat and industrious and considerate, people who had values and pride and self-respect, just like back in 1983. I also made it possible for my neighbors to use the sidewalk without slipping or sliding or struggling with an irregular frozen surface.
One of my main complaints for the past few years of my taking early morning walks around the city is that the public walkways are nearly impassable. Sidewalks on bridges have huge piles of snow and ice, and I feel like a mountain goat getting across. The sidewalk in front of and to the side of the church at 33rd and Denison is usually very unwelcoming because they shovel only from the parking lot to the church door, and I feel there sometimes like Don Ho or Dick Blake (sans clack stick, of course), doing slick dance routines with both feet firmly planted just to keep my balance.
I also was thinking about the recent TIWIDT move by Wendell Robinson, prompted by Jeff Hess and Henery Hawk, to do good deeds to raise the level of good karmic vibrations around these parts. Then I started thinking about how it's really never too late for anything, even to become a Boy Scout, and help people--as a pre-teen, I'd always been too terrified of their rumored circle activities to join.
Now, if I ran this city, I'd do what they do out in Bedford, for instance, and have a guy run around the whole city on some sort of little scooter/plow and keep all the sidewalks passable. But since I don't live in a city that puts the functionality of its own citizens first and doesn't seem to care too much about its own appearance, all I can do is to fill the gap until help shows up. And, I can do this by keeping my own space clear and also helping clear the areas that probably won't get cleared--in front of the boardups, in front of older peoples' homes, in front of the properties of the benighted investors who have been to Carleton Sheets seminars and taken them seriously.
I feel better already, and my arms are getting some tone back, and the neighborhood looks great.
Next on the agenda: overnight parking