Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
That Jerry Paprocki. What a guy! Here it is Friday before Easter and snow’s coming down to beat the band. My husband’s spending the morning and early afternoon at our daughter’s house herding her three youngsters so she can work on her dissertation–which is coming down to the wire. By noon, the snow’s gotten pretty deep–maybe six to eight inches. So I decide that since my husband’s busy helping someone else, I’ll help him. I’ll go out and shovel snow so he won’t have so much to do when he gets home. After a few shovels full, though, I’m thinking maybe I should try the snow blower. It’s a fleeting thought. I’ve never used it and in the midst of a blizzard with my parka hood flopping over my eyes probably isn’t the best time for a test drive.
After half-an-hour or so, there I am making a whole lot slower progress than I had planned, almost wishing I’d never even started, when I hear a motor. I look up, shove my parker hood out of my face and see next-door neighbor Jerry Paprocki in a dark hooded jacket, coming up the driveway behind his trusty snow blower, plowing a path, white stuff flying.
Wow, what a guy. I’d seen him when I first went out, in Eleanor Blavat’s driveway on the other side of his house. He’d also made two passes up and down the street cutting drifts back from the mouths of all the driveways in sight. He’d chugged over to the Woods’ house and cleared their driveway. Then, by golly, here he is tackling our driveway.
Fifteen minutes later, the driveway, the turn-around apron in front of the garage and the concrete pad behind the house that serves as a mini patio are cleared. I go inside, shed my soaked and ice-crusted coat and gloves and realize the snow blower is still putting around outside. I look out the window and see Jerry clearing off the sidewalk from the driveway to the front door. By the time he’s finished, the back is already covered over again.
About 20 minutes before my husband is due home, I pop back out and, without too much trouble thanks to Jerry, manage to clear away a couple more inches of accumulation so my husband can pull into the driveway. He helps me finish up the driveway, then shovels around the back of the house while I come inside and shed my soaked and ice-crusted parka.
A few hours later, we’re warm and cozy inside the house. My husband’s stretched out on the sofa trying to subdue a headache. I’m poking around the kitchen wondering what to do for supper when I hear the motor of a snow blower. I look out a window. There’s Jerry, coming up the driveway clearing yet more accumulated snow. Wow, what a guy. What a neighbor.
P.S. It's now Saturday morning and we awoke to a couple more inches of accumulation -- and a sidewalk and a driveway whistle clean. Thanks, again, Jerry.
P.P.S. While we're waiting for the snow to melt and flowers to sprout, here's a virtual flower garden you can design any old way you want. Go to this site and start clicking your mouse. http://www.procreo.jp/labo/flower_garden.swf In fact, hold your mouse clicker down and move your mouse around and watch the flowers bloom! (Sorry, I don't know how to paste the URL into the text here so all you have to do is click on it to go to the website. You'll have to copy and paste it into the little URL window at the top of your screen.)