Storm brings out the good



Sunday’s snow and sleet storm presented – and continues to present at time of publication – challenging and difficult conditions for many, from accidents on slippery roads, to closed roads, to power outages and more. One positive outcome of this storm is the increase in kindness shown by people in the community. Here are a handful of examples submitted by Islander readers and gleaned from social media sites.

The drive to help

Jane Iverson of Southwest Harbor reported that she has a 50-foot driveway that she usually clears with a snow blower, but that the ice and soft ground meant that she couldn’t use it. She had spent three hours uncovering her car and shoveling out about 30 feet of the drive when she decided to take a break. Jane’s neighbors have a generator, so she went to visit them for some warmth and a bite to eat.

After lunch, Jane headed back home only to see that the rest of the drive had been shoveled out by “two men in a gray pickup,” according to another neighbor. Jane would like to thank those men. She’d also like to thank Ginny and Skip Holden for the meal and warmth.

Mail must go through

Vicki Salisbury’s mailbox was hit by a snowplow on Saturday, and her neighbor across the street, Gail Leland, found her mail in the snow, including paychecks, took it home, dried it out and later delivered it. Vicki offers many thanks to Gail for her kindness.

Friends indeed

Connie Gowell of Bar Harbor said that she was helped by many after she cut her finger and needed to visit the emergency room. First, her neighbor Becky Carroll drove her to the hospital in her all-wheel-drive vehicle. While there, the emergency room staff distracted Connie from the stinging pain with good and bountiful humor. While she was out, Becky’s husband, Bob, shoveled Connie’s porch, steps and the area around her car.

When Connie got up for work on Monday, her car got stuck in the driveway. In the process of shoveling, she reopened her wound. Bruce Mace came along and plowed and shoveled her drive out. Knowing that Connie was injured, three different families offered Connie a place to stay during the 36-hour power outage: Pastor Scott and Joanne Records, Anne and Ed Damm and Becky and Bob Carroll next door.

Connie is grateful for all the help and offers of help she received, but the “old Boy Scout leader” in her kept her at home bundled up with fleece, gauze, and goodies enough to tide her over till power was restored. “Thank you, Emera employees,” she added.

Lost and found

Amberosity Trinity Gott posted on the Bar Harbor Barter and Swap page on Facebook that her family had lost two coolers out of the back of their car near the head of the island, one of which was filled with frozen breast milk. Around the same time, the Ellsworth Police Department also posted that they had found a cooler filled with frozen breast milk and that they were holding it in their freezer. Numerous Facebook users shared both posts, and eventually Amerosity’s family was able to pick up their cooler from the EPD.

Offers to help

Erin Jordan Allen in Somesville offered warmth, tea, water and company on Facebook. “We will be here and would love to have you over. Hoping you all get power back soon!” she wrote.

In reply to a plea for temporary use of a generator, Lynne Beverly-Staffs posted that George Seavey had a generator and generously offered to bring it to anyone in need.

Jeni Dwyer Young announced on Bar Harbor Barter and Swap that the Side Street Café was open and offering coffee and tea, warmth and a place to charge cell phones. “Hope everyone is staying safe and warm!” she wrote.

Hannah Hirsch posted on Bar Harbor Barter and Swap that she had made three large pots of homemade chicken noodle soup free for the taking. She even offered to deliver it when she headed out later. “We have to take care of each other in times of need!” she wrote.

Carrie Jones opened her home to her friends in Bar Harbor and around Mount Desert Island.

The Mount Desert Police Department announced that the “warming station at the Mount Desert Elementary School [had] showers, coffee and light snacks.”

Jane Holland welcomed people in Bar Harbor to the Aysgarth Station Bed and Breakfast to take showers and charge devices. “You can bring the cat, too,” she added.

These are just a handful of examples of the kindnesses offered during the storm and subsequent loss of power. While some may see these acts as examples of neighbors being neighborly, a long-standing tradition in Maine, we see them as extraordinary acts of kindness, a whole lot of extraordinary acts of kindness.

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