A big cheer for our unsung winter heroes

Thank goodness that I don’t have to shovel snow any more, or spend long hours outside in the rigours and chill of winter

Thank goodness that I don’t have to shovel snow any more, or spend long hours outside in the rigours and chill of winter, but I will always really appreciate those who do. This initial November onslaught came roaring in and dumped something like 60 centimetres of snow on our doorsteps, and those hardy souls who have to rush out and clear the roads, highways, and all the rest have been bravely out there 24-7 in frigid conditions making it safer for us to get to our destinations.

Those vicious and unpredictable ‘Alberta clippers’ always result in many more urgent calls to our emergency personnel, including fire, ambulance, police, tow trucks, and others, who quickly respond in the worst of conditions and put their lives on the line each time. When these dedicated crews are out there night or day, all of us need to respect their space, obey the caution signs, slow down, and of course drive safely and sensibly according to the severity of the conditions. Bottom line, those going in the ditch may likely have to stay there for quite a while, and anyone speeding or breaking the law obviously have no respect for their precious cargo or that of others, and risk being charged or suffering the consequences of a devastating mishap.

I was driving around in my warm and comfy car on a real bad weather day last week when I spied many outdoor crews of electric, gas, oilfield, municipal, road, the garbage guys and many others in their warm and multi-color outfits doing their jobs in minus 30 temps, horrific windy and blizzard conditions. Hats off also to all those who deliver the mail and vital supplies that must reach their destinations each and every day, as well as the bus, handi-vans, taxi, and other drivers, who are entrusted with the safety and care of our children, seniors, and countless others who need a ride. Yours truly will always have a special place in my heart for our newspaper delivery boys, girls, and adults who brave the elements every day for a few cents a paper or flyer to bring all the news to our front door. If the weather is extremely cold or miserable they may be a little late, so please be patient, keep your sidewalk clear, and don’t forget them at Christmas.

Having lived around this community for many decades, it always overwhelms me to see the ongoing acts of kindness that happen each and every day, and there are so many occasions where a little help from a friend is needed. In all neighbourhoods I have seen families and folks come out to shovel the sidewalks for those who are unable to do them, giving someone a ride to an appointment or shopping, running an errand for a shut-in and then stopping to visit, and of course pushing someone out of a drift or giving them a boost. A person should feel real good when you lend a helping hand to others, because it is always so much appreciated, and there are so many who would do the same for you quicker than you can say ‘Jack Frost.’

Unfortunately there will always be what is hopefully the minority of those citizens who will probably always find something to complain about, whether it be the roads, politics, or whatever, but then again these are likely the same people who forgot to put on their winter tires, did not vote in the last election, and always expect all the good services and facilities without tax increases?? As we approach the jolly festive time of the year it will get a whole lot busier around and about, and possibly a whole lot colder. A long-time old friend asked me the other day at coffee if I had extra warm clothes, blankets, flashlight, shovel, drinking water, cell phone, and other vital supplies that might be needed if my vehicle breaks down and we are stranded out in a storm…. and with some embarrassment I had to say no (are you?) Winter will always be so much fun if we are all prepared for its many challenges and surprises.

Wistful thoughts for all seniors.

● I miss being the age I was when I thought I would have my life together by the age I am now.

● Wouldn’t it be great if we could jump into the dryer for 10 minutes and then come out wrinkle free and back to our original shape, three times smaller and smelling spring fresh?

● Have we reached that stage in our lives when we actually have free time on our hands, or are we just forgetting something?

● We sometimes think more about running away from home now than when we were kids; but by the time we put our teeth in, our glasses on, and find our keys we have forgotten why we are going.

Don’t you dare miss Midnight Madness on Friday-November 29th and have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime