I'm working away at my computer and the doorbell rings. We have one of those Wagnerian doorbells that sounds as if we should have a butler. Hearing it always makes me smile. On my way to the door, I'm wondering who is driving around in the snow, and I'm also wondering if they had trouble getting up my driveway, since I did not blow it out today.
As I glance out the window, I see no car. I look through the glass on the door. Nobody.
I open the door, look down, and see Joey, a neighbor's son. Joey is dressed in a bright snow suit and has a new, red snow shovel, which is quite bit longer than he is tall.
Now, Joey is the kind of kid everyone should have for a neighbor. He's about 8 or 9 years old (forgive me if I got that wrong), and he always waves and says hello to people. Last time he stopped by, he asked if he could sled down my hill. I told him, "Yes, have fun!" Then I added, "But be careful." Why do we grownups always have to add that last remark, I remember thinking at the time.
"Hello, Joey," I say.
"I was looking for some work to do. Can I shovel around your driveway up by the house?"
"Would you like to earn some money?" I ask.
"No," he answers, "I just want to do some work."
I think for a moment as Joey looks at me intently. My driveway is about 75 yards long and steep—too much to shovel by hand, even for an adult who is in good condition. Well, he did say, "...up by the house..."
"I'll clean it all out tomorrow with the tractor," I tell him. He seems disappointed so, thinking about the door in front of the shed, I add quickly, "But I may have a place you could shovel."
Joey is sharp. He senses I am reaching. He says, "No, it's OK if you don't have anything."
Then we say goodbye and he walks the 200 feet back to his house.
I make a mental note to call up his dad to arrange some work for Joey. This lad's efforts must not go to waste.
It occurs to me that Joey is always looking out for the other guy. It's a attitude that looks good on a person of any age. Don't you think?