Family: Life is what happens …

Family: Life is what happens …

As we crunch through November it seems the question on everybody’s lips, at least on anybody’s lips who finds themselves sliding behind the wheel on a regular basis, is pretty much the same.

“How were the roads?

And for the most part the answers remain inevitably the same.

“Terrible. Horrible. They were really, really bad. Not good.”

There are, of course, other comments, but those, while descriptive, are definitely not printable.

The roads went from fine to bad to worse after the rain. The first rain, that is. And then there was more rain. And then there was snow. And then more snow.

It was picture perfect, the snow, falling like gentle little snowmen playing tag with each other as they tumbled to the ground.

The only problem was it wasn’t a picture. It was real.

And, suddenly without warning, what became a nice little drive to work became a test of endurance.

I, who have driven these roads since Moby Dick was a minnow, or sometime around that time, have found myself at the computer every morning anxiously scanning the AMA road report, somewhat like a very anxious type person, which in fact, I am.

I am, of course, looking for some semblance of relief that commuting that day isn’t going to be all that bad. That, in fact, going from Point A to Point B will be a matter of routine in a busy day, not a minor miracle.

But, alas, the past few days, at least, my road has been coloured in red. Not green. Red. Not yellow. Red.

“Oh dear,” I moan, each and every morning. “Oh dear! Here we go again.”

Of course, every cloud must have a silver lining, or so they say!

And, of course, because life is what happens when you make other plans, that’s what happened. My cloud had a silver lining.

I had made it home safe and sound, minus the fingermarks I had left on the steering wheel. But, other people I knew were not home safe and sound. In fact, they were not home at all. My niece happened to be one of those people.

The texts between us started the usual way.

Her: “How were the roads?”

Me: Crappy!

Her: nothing

Me: Why don’t you stay overnight?

Her: I think I will!

And that was that!

Before I knew it I had an overnight guest, unplanned for, but very much welcomed.

She came through the front door bringing a blast of cold air with her. I got her snuggled into an easy chair with blankets and the offer of something hot to drink.

It was her birthday the next day and I decided to make it as special as I could for her. It was also my son’s birthday.

I had thought about his birthday a lot that day, remembering, and wishing I could be there with him and his little family to eat cake and laugh and remember and hug him lots and tell him how proud I was of him and just be, like, you know, a mom.

But, alas, he lives far away and, anyway, the roads were terrible.

But, here I was, lucky enough to be blessed with another family member who also had a birthday the very same day.

I decided it was cause for celebration.

I invited more family, we had cake, we had ice cream and I bought her a sweater that had glittery snow flakes and the words ‘Fa La La La’ emblazoned on it. I thought the sweater was very much in keeping with her job as a piano teacher.

And, even as the snow and ice turned the roads to sheets of something that was very undesirable to drive on, our little group stayed safe and warm and laughed and ate cake and looked through photograph albums and remembered the way it was and the way we were.

And it was good!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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

Just Posted

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Two inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press File Photo)
2 Bowden inmates test positive for COVID-19

A pair of inmates at Bowden Institution have tested positive for COVID-19.… Continue reading

Salons and barbershops are able to open on Monday, the Government of Alberta announced this week. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)
Red Deer salon owner “relieved” business can re-open next week

The owner of a Red Deer salon says she’s “definitely relieved” her… Continue reading

Red Deer Valhalla Pure Outfitters owner Darren Schaedeli has seen a significant increase in those looking to tackle winter experiences. Some are trying their hand at "hot tent camping" as he did in the West Country several weeks ago.
Photo contributed
Central Albertans enjoying the great outdoors this winter

Stir crazy and beach-deprived central Albertans are embracing the great outdoors this… Continue reading

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province needed to make a change to school reporting. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province makes changes to school COVID-19 case reporting

The Alberta Government is altering the way it reports COVID-19 cases in… Continue reading

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Updated: Jason Kenney kicks Lesser Slave Lake MLA out of caucus

Pat Rehn will not be permitted to run for UCP nominations

FILE - Joanne Rogers stands in front of a giant Mister Rogers Forever Stamp following the first-day-of-issue dedication in Pittsburgh on March 23, 2018. Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” has died. She was 92. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Joanne Rogers, widow of TV’s famed Mister Rogers, dies at 92

Joanne Rogers, an an accomplished concert pianist who celebrated and protected the… Continue reading

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
In mandate letter, PM tells Freeland to spend on temporary measures until crisis ends

OTTAWA — Emergency spending to deal with the COVID-19 crisis must not… Continue reading

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during an event at The Queen theater, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Biden’s aid plan could revamp economy, prompt GOP resistance

BALTIMORE — The $1.9 trillion rescue plan unveiled by President-elect Joe Biden… Continue reading

The Cogeco logo is seen in Montreal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Cogeco reports first-quarter profit and revenue up from year ago mark

Cogeco Inc. reported its first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago… Continue reading

Regina Pats defenceman Libor Hajek (3) fights for control of the puck with WHL Swift Current Broncos forward Tanner Nagel (25) during third period Memorial Cup action in Regina on Wednesday, May, 23, 2018. Western Hockey League teams need at least 50 per cent of their fans in their arenas next season in order to operate, according to the league commissioner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Saskatchewan gives $4M to junior hockey after extending ban on team sports

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is giving $4 million to help junior… Continue reading

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief medical officer of health says British Columbia’s decision… Continue reading

The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Andrew Furey addresses the audience following the swearing-in ceremony on the grounds of Government House in St. John’s on August 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
N.L. premier dissolves legislature, campaign set to begin

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey’s office has… Continue reading

Most Read