Angels with snow shovels and strong backs

Like so many others, I got stuck several times last week, likely because I always panic, spin my wheels, and dig in even deeper

Like so many others, I got stuck several times last week, likely because I always panic, spin my wheels, and dig in even deeper, but mostly because we once again got ravaged with yet another foot or so of blowing and drifting snow during a good old fashioned Alberta blizzard. In all cases, I saw so many hardy folks of all ages rush in with shovels and picks to help dig or push out so many frustrated victims, then acknowledged a much appreciated thanks and went on their way.

Even though winter 2013 really hasn’t gotten into full swing just yet, there is no doubt that we all need to equip ourselves and our vehicles for what is supposed to be a tough and long session, as declared by all the good old boys at the Farmers’ Almanac. Our most important November to March trunk gear is a shovel and ice-pack, ice-scraper, jumper cables, road flares, an extra tire if you have room, and maybe even some kitty litter, cardboard, or mats to put under the wheels to help us get unstuck. Even more important is a vital emergency kit that will assist ourselves and our precious family if we have an emergency and may be stranded for many hours. What we have hopefully completed before all this began is to get a complete winter maintenance check-up for our vehicles, including battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster, wiper, and tires. We should never let our gas-tanks go below half if we are going out on long extended winter trips, always tune in weather and road forecasts before heading out, and have some sort of a fully-charged communication device if you need to call for help or phone home.

The basic winter survival kit in all vehicles should include: flashlight, batteries, cell phone charger, blankets, matches, candles, snacks, water, gloves, boots, extra warm clothes, and a first-aid kit, along with our daily medications. For long trips it is also nice to take along a few games, books, and toys to keep the kids and other passengers occupied. Before you hit the road inform someone else where you are going, and give them a call when you get there. Please take a little extra time to plan your winter trip so that it will turn out to be a memorable and safe experience.

Just a little Christmas humour

As you all just keep on shopping and getting ready for the glory of Christmas, only 14 sleeps from today, I thought that I might offer just a few funny facts to hopefully help to relieve the pressure, and get everyone in the same jolly old festive mood.

● When we stop believing in Santa Claus is when we will start getting clothes for Christmas.

● It was the festive season and the Judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner standing in front of him, “What are you charged with?” “Doing my Christmas shopping early” replied the defendant. Offering a smile his worship explained, “That’s no offense…..how early were you doing this shopping?” “Before the store opened” the prisoner quietly uttered.

● It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were all hung by the chimney with care….they’d been worn all week and needed the air.

● As a mother and her 20 year old daughter approached Santa in the busy mall, she snuggled up to his fuzzy white beard and whispered in his ear, “Could I speak to you in private?” “What is your wish my dear?” “The greatest gift I could ask for our flamboyant and rather wild daughter is for you to bless us with a brand new son-in-law.

● A news release from the Alaska Highway Department of Fish and Game explains that while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, the males begin dropping theirs in the beginning of winter, while the girls retain theirs. According to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s historical December 24th journey, every single one of his reindeer from Rudolph to Blitzen were indeed ladies. I guess that we all should have known that only women would be able to drag a fat old man in a red velvet suit around the world in one night without getting lost..

● Several stores have now actually come out with the unique gift of a little bag of coal for those who have been naughty or are acting like Scrooge. But we shouldn’t fret, because there is still time to make amends, to help your parents get ready for the holidays, and to get into that giddy, gracious, and giving festive mood.. Bundle up, stay warm, and have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime