The first major snowfall of the season is always an event. While many people hope for a white Christmas, Mother Nature this year chose to bless New England with snow the day after Christmas.
I love a good snow day – the idea that there is nowhere you have to be, and even getting out of your pjs is optional. White flakes falling in silent drifts outside the window, cats sprawled in front of a warm fireplace, maybe a pot of corn chowder on the stove. My kind of day.
I had a different kind of experience during this storm. Coming in from Chicago in the middle of the night, Manchester Airport was white with blowing snow. Concerned because I did not know exactly where I’d left my car (a shuttle had brought me to the terminal when I arrived), I questioned several airport workers about the location of the long-term parking lot. On the third try I met a man who not only actually knew where the lot was, but he volunteered to drive me there! As snow accumulated on my suitcase in the back of his pickup, he spent fifteen minutes driving me through lot D (where I thought my car was) and then through lot C (where my car actually was!). This guy was a real prince … patient, helpful and pleasant, although, as he said, there normally wasn’t a lot for him to do at 1 a.m. Depositing me at my car, finally, he hoisted the suitcase into the back and I thanked him profusely.
Then came the job of cleaning the snow off the car. I spent ten minutes pushing snow off the windshield with a long brush, with much of it blowing back in my face, ankle-deep in snow and by now tired of travel in general. My hair was wet and my fingers were frozen. As I drove through the gate to pay for parking, the cashier said to me, “Wow, my supervisor was right!” Having no idea what he meant, I said, “…what?” He replied, “He radioed me and said he was driving around an attractive woman!” At this hour of the morning, after flying 3000 miles and looking at the moment like something the cat dragged in, this comment made me smile.
Instead of driving home I spent that night at a nearby hotel, getting to bed at 3 a.m. Much like the year I spent a night in the Chicago airport, this was a Christmas travel story I won’t forget. Thank you, two airport workers, for making my day … in the middle of the night, in the middle of a storm, they went out of their way to help a bedraggled stranger and keep a sense of humor. There really ARE plenty of good people out there in the world, and it’s nice to be reminded of that at Christmas.
Merry Christmas, everyone.