Well, what a week it has been around these parts! Old Man Winter in Newfoundland, as it has been for much of the continent caught in the “Polar Vortex,” is baring his teeth and delivering a wallop to most areas, a wallop stronger than any in recent memory. It has made some of us wish we could hibernate until spring, and others long to escape down south for an extended vacation or even retirement.
But the weather has also made some people shine. Like the old expression about when the going gets tough, that is just what was needed when our version of a “perfect storm” arrived: record low frigid temperatures, record amounts of early snowfall, and lengthy bone-chilling blackouts, the like which has not been experienced since 1994. Add a blizzard and our inadequate power infrastructure for our needs today, and you’ve got real trouble.
Sometimes it takes a situation, (or a “crisis,” if I may, Premier Dunderdale) to see who the heroes are, to see who is willing to stop complaining, roll up their sleeves and help wherever help is needed. No matter where any blame lies that contributed to the power problem, I’m the sort of person who prefers to look at the positive side of things whenever possible. I have heard stories of gratitude for those who shovelled, plowed, or dug people out of their homes. I have seen good folks answer the call when warm food and shelter were needed, and still others with wood stoves and propane fireplaces open their homes and offer comfort. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Newfoundland Power maintenance workers and crews, the snow plow operators, and everyone who worked and is still working tirelessly to return everything back to some semblance of normal.
But it is the personal stories that warm me more than any wood stove can. Like the couple who went ahead with their wedding Saturday night in spite of the blackout and the freezing temperatures (link below). No, perhaps it was far from ideal, but they have quite a story to tell their children and grandchildren one day.
Even my daughter and son-in-law were up to the challenge this weekend, when they decided not to postpone our granddaughter’s sleepover birthday party at home, but went ahead with the event in the dark. Son-in-law even barbecued hot dogs outside in the freezing cold for them. And the party was a success! These are the things lasting memories are made of.
So whether this makes you think Newfoundlanders are hardy, or just plain foolhardy, that is entirely beside the point. All I know is the warmth of the human spirit is alive and well in our little corner of the continent.
Do you have any storm or power outage stories to share? How about one with an unexpected positive spin?