Rescued by a Knight in a shining bobcat

Wausau, Wisconsin, where I live, was deluged by snow this weekend. It was only 13.5 inches but the winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour created drifts and the snowplows created huge boulder-sized banks towering 4 to 5 feet, packed solid with icy, chunky snowballs.

I live on a corner lot near the top of a hill. The middle school is below me. We don’t use our sidewalks much but there are school children who do. My team of young men got the driveway and the sidewalks cleared (multiple times) on Saturday and Sunday but no one had tackled the corner.

It was mid-afternoon and a balmy 12 degrees and sunny so after shoveling my way to the back compost bins, I decided to give snow removal a try on the corner. I shoveled and dug, and shoveled and dug. Cars went by waving at me but only Teddy, my German Shepherd, remained at my side.

Rescued by a knight in a bobcat

I was about to throw in the towel and quit when down the street a bobcat and its operator came driving my way. He looked at me and he must have felt sorry for me. With a look of determination, he aimed the scoop at the pile and whoosh 4 feet of snow was in the bucket. He made three more passes and cleared out the corner.

I looked for a label to tell me who he was or who he worked for but all I saw was FABCO. I don’t think I knew my knight in a shining bobcat but I was very grateful to me for saving me from either a broken back or a heart attack.

In this Christmas season, those gestures of help to someone are appreciated and it is good to try to find a way to say thank you. The construction industry in the area was hit very hard by the recession and heavy equipment operators faced few projects in the last few years. My knight took the last load across the street and drove off before I could offer payment to him. So I will figure out how to pay it forward some other way.

Always the season for pay it forward.

Find some opportunity to volunteer or gift someone your services in your community, church or neighborhood. Even if you don’t know it, people appreciate you.

Photo credit: Image by Ronald Plett from Pixabay


Rescued by a Knight in a shining bobcat


  1. Mark on December 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Now that is a very cool story Julie and I love how you used it as an opportunity to encourage people to be helpful and grateful this holiday season… (could be a good year-around attitude 😉

    • Julie Walraven on December 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      I agree… year round gratitude is a very good idea! Thanks, Mark!

  2. Kim Woodbridge on December 15, 2010 at 6:00 am

    That’s a great story – and I love the idea of paying it forward since you don’t know who it was.

    I’ve found when I’m in rural areas people tend to be more helpful in these situations then they are in the city. So many times when visiting my brothers someone has willing helped us get the car unstuck or help us with the snow and ice on the steep driveway.

    • Julie Walraven on December 15, 2010 at 6:10 am

      Thank you, Kim…

      Wausau isn’t rural, Kim, but we do have the Midwestern attitude of helping. Our metro population is about 100,000 but I know many people get out there and help.

  3. Dawn Bugni on December 15, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Julie –

    Great story and a marvelous lesson in paying it forward. It’s also a great example of how having the right tool can make the job infinitely easier.

    • Julie Walraven on December 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      Good point, Dawn… love the right tool example. Right tool and someone with the skills to operate the tool… 🙂

  4. John Soares on December 15, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Julie, thanks for sharing this story about people helping others. I live in the Mount Shasta area in northern California, so I know what it’s like to wake up to two feet of snow. It’s a small town/rural area, and many of the younger and healthier people go to older people’s homes to shovel their walks and driveways.

    • Julie Walraven on December 16, 2010 at 6:08 am

      Thank you, John, for stopping by. I suspect you get dumped on more than we do. But living on a corner means more snow for us than someone who lives in the middle of a block. When the plows push in, it ends up being a mountain.

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