Winter Weather reminds us hockey playoffs are here

Just when we thought that the spring weather was here to stay Mother Nature had a big surprise for us this week. Waking up on the weekend it was a shock to go out and shovel the driveway and make the slow drive into town.

Just when we thought that the spring weather was here to stay Mother Nature had a big surprise for us this week. Waking up on the weekend it was a shock to go out and shovel the driveway and make the slow drive into town.

I really believe that with this kind of weather it brings out the kindness that really makes Ponoka so unique and special. I have seen neighbours shoveling the walk for others and advising each other the best road to take and everyone always informs each other to drive safely.

I even experienced a random act of kindness firsthand after I got stuck on the road leaving work. A total stranger stopped to push me out of the snow and helped me along my way. These are some of the reasons that I love small towns where everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand in a time of need.

With the snow still coming down and cold, icy, windy weather forecast still in the works it is important to remember winter driving maneuvers. RCMP advises that if you don’t have to go out driving you should just stay home. The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) suggests that people should be prepared when going out during winter driving situations. This means warming up your car, brushing off the snow and always carry a winter survival pack. AMA also says to give yourself more time to get where you are driving, limit distractions, reduce your speed in accordance with the conditions, drive with your lights on for better visibility, use gentle braking, steering and acceleration and never use cruise control when driving. These are just a few winter driving tips to refresh us as we are blasted with this cold weather. Hopefully by this time next week we will be suntanning like my Mom was this weekend in Ontario or it will be sunny like the weather in Hawaii.

Cup Fever

The winter weather reminds us that it is still hockey season and one of my favourite times of the year, the playoffs. Ever since I was a little girl I have been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and yes I know they are nowhere to be seen in the playoffs this year but I will always be a Leaf fan. The best thing so far in the playoffs is the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-0. If the Leafs can’t be in the playoffs than I am glad the Sens are out.

Edmonton Oiler fans are in the same boat after such an exciting playoff race, right down to the wire. I guess the Stan Weir magic didn’t work for the Oilers this year. Canadian teams, other than the Sens, are doing fairly well in the playoffs so far. The Montreal Canadians took their series against the Boston Bruins in game seven. Unfortunately the fans in Montreal took things a little too far in their celebrations. CBC News reports that 16 people were arrested after the celebrations as thousands rushed the streets after the victory. Ten stores were vandalized, 16 police cars were destroyed and rocks and bottles were thrown at people during the riots.

The Alberta team, sorry Oiler fans, the Calgary Flames are also going down to the wire as they hit the ice April 22 for game seven against the San Jose Sharks. Calgary RCMP are even reporting that they are pleased with the snow fall as it will mean that if the Flames win the Red Mile might not be as active. For me, I really don’t understand why sports fans tend to riot after winning a championship. In 1993 after the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series the celebrations on Yonge St. were very civilized. I was in the Sky Dome and watched Joe Carter hit the home run to win the game and afterwards we walked down the streets high-fiving everyone. Maybe hockey fans are different than baseball fans. But do you really have to resort to violence and destruction to mark the victory?

The Stanley Cup playoffs will keep many hockey and sports fans occupied for the next few weeks and I can’t wait for the excitement. My prediction is Flames and Penguins in the finals and they say there is always next year for the Toronto and Edmonton fans. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Oilers and the Leafs faced off in the finals next year?