Hammertime: We have no control over Mother Nature

Albertans show they’re willing to help others out, no matter the weather conditions

Mike Rainone

Hammertime

Despite the wait and see what’s next politics, the coffee shop chatter, and all the rest of our day to day tests and toils and fun and follies…the only thing that we know that we can never take for granted is the weather, and if we are in doubt, just wait a few hours and it will likely change.

As gritty Albertans we are likely somewhat frustrated with what Mother Nature has thrown our way over the past few weeks, but we survived, and we can now hopefully look forward to a few more warm and windy real fall days going into November?

Even though last week southern and central Alberta were blasted with record breaking amounts for Oct. 2nd — since the late 1800s — of between 30 to 60 centimetres of wet snow and the driving conditions were extremely hazardous, the hardy Albertans responded immediately, as we always do.

Several cities and towns sent snow plows, personnel, and equipment to help Calgary dig out of the mush, provided refuge for those stranded on the highways for up to 17 hours, and offered assistance wherever it was needed. A fellow senior politely told me over coffee last week to quit complaining about the weather, proudly stating that we are blessed with the best four climatic seasons in the world, and we don’t have to worry about horrific sudden disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, volcanoes, tidal waves, and all the rest. Whatever the case if we do have to travel a long distance from now until next March it is vital to check the weather forecast first, and always be prepared just in case something comes roaring over the horizon. The Oct. 3 front page headline in the Red Deer Advocate described the storm as SNOW-MAGEDDON!, but on the lighter side it showed a great picture of the best day ever for the trio of lovable Pandas visiting the Calgary Zoo.

Nature in its finest survival mode

Look at it this way, if we do get hit with a sudden storm or some bad weather, we can usually find a place to hunker down, or we can just stay home, throw another log on the fire, enjoy some quality family time, and hope that tomorrow will be better. I always feel kind of sorry for those animals and birds that have no choice but to ‘weather the storm’ outside, but always notice that they are constantly scurrying around trying to find and gather enough food and shelter in preparation for another long winter, while hoping that the friendly neighbourhood treat boxes and feeders will always be filled when they choose to stay around with the rest of us.

After the sudden storm last week I was amazed to see hundreds of birds dive-bombing the trees grabbing the berries and hopping through the snow, while in front of our condo every morning there is a gathering of ravens, magpies, and blackbirds who sit on the fence and stare and chatter while others dicker over the bagels and other treats that they collect from the nearby grocery store garbage.

Sometimes there are over 20 of them, and they kind of remind me of the classic 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie thriller The Birds. My wife and I love to stroll around the parks and ponds during the fall, where the colours are fabulous and thousands of noisy geese are in a feeding frenzy as well practising their landing and take-offs just in time to embark on those magnificent V-formations that will warn us that winter is indeed just around the corner. Of course all of these ‘fall frolics’ and traditional signs have and always will be under the tough but tender control of dear old ‘Mother Nature’, which we always need to respect, and then prepare for the next best season.

Now let’s have a little fun

• Salesman in the Electronic shop: ‘I don’t think that you know what a hard-drive is.’ Frustrated customer: ‘Yes I do. I’ve driven cross country with my wife and three kids and a dog, and that is a hard drive!’

• You are a really bad driver when Siri says, ‘In 400 feet, stop and let me out.’

• I thought that our new dryer was shrinking my clothes, but it turns out that it was the refrigerator, which is available 24-7.

• I once tried to take up golf as a hobby, but I wasn’t very good, so now I am bowling. I’m still not very good, but I don’t lose any balls.

• At the age of 76 I still believe that I am still young at heart. I only wish that a few of my others parts would feel the same way.

• I think that history was much more fun when we were in school. We didn’t study it, we lived it.

Let’s keep our hopes up high for just a little more fall splendour, and then go ahead and have a great week, all of you.

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