Dec. 20, 2010 Column

[Edit 12:21 pm MST] Actually, what really happened is my column has been banked, and will appear in the Dec. 29 Westlock News. No matter.

Well, it appears the column I wrote for this week’s edition of the Westlock News has been preempted for one by our publisher.

So, without further ado, I shall self-publish my column here. Enjoy.

Since I arrived here on Nov. 23, I have generally kept to myself. Growing up in a big city kind of makes you wary of others. You never know what other people are up to, so you generally avoid having to deal with them if you don’t have to.Personally, I find that aloofness and almost callousness refreshing, since it’s pretty much all I’ve ever known.

But here, in a small town, being aloof is seen more as a flaw. There are fewer of you, so you tend to band together. Or at least that’s what I learned in Meadow Lake and am beginning to learn here.

But let’s back things up a bit before I get to the point of my rambling.

I generally like winter. I really do. And I have seen more snow than we have so far received here. In the winter of 2007-2008, while I was still in school at Carleton University in Ottawa, the city got hit with 411 cm of snow. That’s a lot of snow. So this much snow, by itself, doesn’t faze me.

I enjoy walking in the snow. When it is actually snowing and I have no place to go, at least not anywhere I am rushing to be, I enjoy practically dancing in the snow while I sing “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.” Yes, I can be strange.

What does faze me, however, is driving in this snow. I did not have a car that Ottawa winter. I did not get snowed in and have to suffer the ignominy, as it were, of needing to call a tow-truck or ask for help getting my car unstuck.

In short, I never had need to rely on strangers to get me where I needed to be. Physically, anyway. I have asked for directions before. But in that case all the other person has to do is speak to me. Getting a car moving? There’s actual physical effort involved in that.

Well, I had nowhere else to turn this past Wednesday. In the morning, I wanted to drive to work. I couldn’t get out of my driveway. So I had to get towed out.

In the evening, I wanted to go out. This time I got out of my driveway, but nary a foot more. I had to knock on a window to get a push.

While it was a frustrating day, I learned you can always rely on the kindness of strangers. I’d prefer not to have to, wanting to be self-sufficient and all, but I now know if I need help, it will be there for me.

And I don’t feel ashamed for asking. Well, only a bit.