My parents live in Northern Virginia, where it has snowed quite a bit the last couple of winters. I live across the country in California, so it is not possible for me to come shovel their sidewalk and clear their car.
Mom and Dad have two fully stocked refrigerator-freezers, so as long as the power isn’t out too long, they can and have holed up in their townhouse and waited a week for the snow to melt.
But in my most recent phone call home, my mother revealed that she is now swapping doll panties for snow removal services.
This is my understanding of how this transpired: Mom was chatting with a somewhat younger neighbor lady, let’s call her Barbara. Barbara mentioned that she collected vintage dolls and needed to find someone to repair or replace some doll clothes, in particular panties, which never seem to pass the test of years.
My mother has been sewing since she was a wee nipper in farm-town Texas. Mom is a helpful soul (and also extremely bored) so she sewed some doll panties for Barbara.
Fast forward to the next snowstorm: Mom went to the front door to assess the snowpack, and lo! Not only were her stoop and sidewalk shoveled, her car was cleared! Flummoxed at first, she concluded it must be Barbara.
I hope Barbara’s dolls need lots of underthings so this lovely symbiotic relationship can continue to flourish.