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HEART OF STEELE

A groundbreaking, a hill, a reminder to be grateful
By
Joni Hubred, News Editor
Joni Hubred, editor, Steele County Times

I drive a 12-year-old Honda Odyssey touring van that has seen better days.

When temps dipped into single digits last year, I had to replace the battery. There’s an oil leak somewhere, an air leak in the left front tire, and the spark plugs are on their last legs.

But every mechanic who has peered under the hood says she’s in really good shape. So, on we go.

Or we did, until last Thursday morning.

If you’ve visited the Lake Chase Dog Park–and for your dog’s sake, I hope you do–you know that the entrance dips down a bit from the road.

I didn’t think much about that as I parked and got out to take photos of the Steele County Humane Society’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new animal shelter. The temperature hovered in the 20s; people gathered in an area that had just been cleared of snow.

I was far too busy shivering to think about how I’d get back up that hill.

After 10 or 15 freezing minutes, I walked back to my van, which started right up, and headed toward the road home.

I drove up behind another vehicle and sat for a minute or two. That was a mistake, I should have waited until I had a clear shot over the packed snow and ice.

Instead, my wheels just spun. I slowly backed down and, while trying to avoid other cars, slid even deeper into trouble.

My van was going nowhere, until a several kind gentlemen got behind and gave it a big push.

I’ll admit I felt horribly embarrassed at first. But as I drove home, I thought how lucky I am to live in a place where people see you struggle and just offer a helping hand. We take that for granted, I think, but the kindness on display here doesn’t happen everywhere.

Tomorrow, when I gather with my family to give thanks for my blessings, I will count among them the kind hearts in this community.

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