EDITORIAL: York's snow angels

York Dispatch

The giant man with the snowblower said he was charging "a neighborly fee."

Come out and help release a row of cars from the snow, he said, and the small army will dig your's out too.

It was a scene played out all around the county Sunday as Yorkers dug themselves out from 2 1/2 feet of snow dropped by Jonas on Friday and Saturday.

In one York City neighborhood, people were beginning to get out around noon Sunday and finding that snowplows had cleared one wide lane down the center of the street. Mounds of snow 5 to 6 feet tall marked spots where it was believed a variety of vehicles sat.

There were two men with snowblowers along with a variety of eager, energetic children, teens shooed outside by their parents, young men, mothers and fathers, a couple of seniors. The group was a blend of races and even languages.

Together, they attacked the task, starting at the edge of the plowed lane, breaking up the snow and ice piled up against the vehicles then stepping back to let the snowblowers sending that snow flying over the cars toward the front yards.

"I see blue!" was the call as a car started to peek through the blanket of white. Gradually, the mounds of snow took form as a hybrid car, a sedan, an SUV reappeared.

As the hours went on, some went into their homes and came back with water or hot drinks. Older people were encouraged to take breaks, children were sent inside to warm up. Shovels, brooms and ice scrapers became common property as the neighborhood worked together to clear the cars.

Neighbors who weren't there at the beginning of the endeavor were pressed to come out and help, and those who didn't help were surprised to see the group clear the blown snow from their walkways anyway.

Hardly anyone in the county who got moving Sunday or Monday did it on their own. People with snowblowers seem to be remarkably generous souls who are willing to help their neighbors in times of desperate need. The feeling of good will washing through neighborhoods made the task lighter, literally. And people who would never ask for help found they got the needed assistance while still feeling that they made a contribution to the general good.

Of course, everything was not sunshine and roses as the county dug out from the snowstorm. There were several instances of people calling police because neighbors were moving snow onto their already-cleared spaces.

And there's the constant problem of returning home to find a car has been parked in your hard-earned space. (Where do those cars come from? Where were they parked on Saturday?)

But without the help of those people with snowblowers, not to mention the crews working the snowplows clearing the roads, York would be in much worse shape, and all of us would be much more tired and sore than we are.

So let's all extend a hearty thanks to all of those neighbors who helped get us moving.

You're York's snow angels.

York City Public Works employee Paul Bievenour clears a walkway on Continental Square, Sunday January 24, 2016. (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)