Bad, ugly weather can still have a silver lining

Bad, ugly weather can still have a silver lining

It seemed fall merely blinked and winter was here.

The icy roads and frosted windshields and looking for something other than a credit card to scrape those frosted windshields clear seems to belong to another time, another season.

But, apparently, it doesn’t.

I set out for work as usual on Tuesday morning, happily wearing a new red coat that doesn’t belong to me, but which I love. I was only minimally concerned that it was snowing because, after all, the weather has been just weird and I am an Albertan, living where else but in Alberta, and we deal with the weather. We endure the weather.

My first clue that it may have been a little treacherous on the road was when the truck in front of me did this crazy fishtail dance. “Oh dear,” I thought to myself. “That is not good.”

I hadn’t even left town yet so I figured the highway would probably be better.

It wasn’t.

I went so slow it seemed my summer tires were hardly going around. Still, I could feel my car sway and I kind of felt like I was on a boat on the lake that was drifting aimlessly and I had no control whatsoever. Unfortunately, I was not in such a boat, but, instead, sitting behind a steering wheel.

And for the second time that morning I thought, “this is not good.”

I thought longingly about winter tires. I’m sure they would have helped with the swaying motion.

But then I thought who gets their winter tires on in October? Obviously, people a lot smarter than me, I decide, wryly.

About that time I forgot all about being a hardy Albertan, and became instead just a very scared woman driving down a very icy highway.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a nice man, whom the police later referred to as a concerned citizen stood in the middle of the road waving a red flag.

I skidded to a stop beside him.

“Where are you going?” he said.

“Rimbey,” I replied, my voice only slightly quavering.

“Don’t go,” he said. “This road is a sheet of ice.”

“Okay,” I murmured meekly, thinking of home and coffee and my nice safe kitchen.

And then suddenly, as I sat quietly, steeling myself to go back on the road, aka skating rink, a bunch of yellow coated firemen showed up, blocking off the road with precise efficiency.

I was aware that fire prevention week was coming up, but I was aware in a detached sort of way. You know, get the pictures, get the names, write about smoke detectors and having a fire escape plan. Go home.

But suddenly those guys became so much more to me than pictures and written words.

In fact, I felt a rush of emotion that was probably akin to love. Definitely gratitude.

Thank you, guys, I murmured soundlessly to the windshield.

Thank you for risking the elements to close off that highway so motorists such as myself could go home to their nice warm kitchens and their coffee.

This morning when I drove to work, I felt like I had time traveled back to the right season and fall had just been hiding under a blanket of snow.

The trees bore no hint of winter, the sun cascaded some feeble warmth all over the land and the greatest blessing of all was the road.

It was clear and dry and completely devoid of ice.

Treena Mielke is the editor of The Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for the paper.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bad, ugly weather can still have a silver lining

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new non-secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

file photo
County of Wetaskiwin Land Use Bylaw amendments approved

Ammendments approved by Wetaskiwin County Council at Nov. 24, 2020 Council meeting.

City of Wetaskiwin kicks off “Light Up Wetaskiwin” with light display at Wetaskiwin City Hall. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Making spirits ‘bright’: Light Up Wetaskiwin contest kicks off

Up to $3000 in cash prizes available to the top 11 decorated homes and businesses.

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Lawyer Devon Page, Ecojustice Canada’s executive director, pauses during a news conference in Vancouver on Wed., Sept. 26, 2012. The environmental law group has lost its bid to pause Alberta’s inquiry into where critics of its oil and gas industry get their funding. Ecojustice sought an injunction this summer to suspend the inquiry, headed by forensic accountant Steve Allan, until there is a decision on whether it’s legal. nbsp;THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Judge tosses application to pause Alberta inquiry into funding of oil and gas foes

Ecojustice sought an injunction in the summer to suspend the inquiry

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

NDP Leader John Horgan, left, speaks as local candidate Ravi Kahlon listens during a campaign stop at Kahlon’s home in North Delta, B.C., on April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Most Read