It’s Black History Month, a time to focus on the lives and experiences of Black folks in America, a month to acknowledge and appreciate the centuries of services and advancements Black people gave to the world as free people or not free.

Snowing, snowed, snow. Everyone should know, snow that falls on sidewalks really must go.

I really do like snow.  It returns me to my childhood glee.  When my sister and I were kids, we loved to play in the snow. We also shoveled sidewalks for seniors in our neighborhood.  Shoveling for seniors endeared us to them and made us feel important. As an adult, shoveling snow does not give me a sense of importance.  It is just necessary.

Well, a few weeks ago as I stood in a snow-filled driveway with a shovel in my hand, “out of the mist” I heard a voice asking, “Do you need some help?” (Of course, there was no mist.  I was just being dramatic.)  I looked down the street and saw a Black woman quite a ways from me walking toward me with a shovel.
When she reached me, she said quite pleasantly that she could help. Oh wow.

Without hesitation, not only did she shovel snow out of the driveway, she also cleared snow off the vehicles parked in the driveway. I asked her how much she charged, and much to my surprise, she said, “Whatever you want to give me.”

I went into the house to get some cash, which my friend inside gave me.  The woman was so gracious when receiving the cash (an amount I did not feel was enough).

I do not remember exactly when I introduced myself and asked her name.  Her name was Crystal. She gave me her phone number in case I needed her services again and wished me blessings.  We hugged goodbye. What a pleasant person. A blessed day had already been Crystal –ized.

*Crystalized: To give a definite precise and usually permanent form. 

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...