Boy, what a week! Many of us have now gone from refugee status to home, sweet, home! What have we all learned from this?
Never, ever take for granted our electrical source. I try to conserve as much as possible although this week would not have mattered. The combination of ice, frost and now, snow, left our city quite paralyzed, and it didn't matter whether you were poor or rich, we were our all over the place. In fact, as I was driving to stay at my dear friend, Hilary's home, I pass through Forest Hill and the amount of trees down and blocked off streets, was staggering. Like an obstacle course.
I have witnessed the very best of the best of humanity this week. Neighbours on Thurston Road have me on a group email (I am an honourary Thurstonite!) I was receiving constant status reports, "it's on..." or "boo, it's off!". In total, I was out of my home since Sunday afternoon, returning Christmas morning. Neighbours helping neighbours, checking in on seniors, shoveling, clearing branches; all in good spirit. We had not control over this so hence, better just roll with it. My friend Hilary put me up for two days, along with my dog Elmo. Elmo and I were both treated like royalty...thank you, dear Hilary!
Hilary's kids were coming home for Christmas, so I was able to secure a hotel room at the Sheraton, sans dog. What a great hotel and aparently a number of dog owners in the hood were down that as well, at various times. Gracious and good spirited, the staff. I shall write them a note.
On Christmas Eve, we went for a walk and I witnessed more miracles. The Hudson Bay Company had the windows this year that were filled with animated puppets and movement. I haven't seen that since I was a child and it warmed my heart. I suspect they will be in the window until New Year so if you are cruising down there, check it out.
Also witnessed was the incredibly beautiful people who gather food and warm clothing together and take care of the street people. People with bags of food, dropping them off at the grates where some were sleeping, offering warm, second hand coats and hats...it was a brutally cold evening and I well up thinking of those folks out there helping others. It really is the spirit of Christmas.
Finally, I believe Mayor Rob Ford and Katherine Wynn performed excellently in keeping us apprised of what was going on. The decision to not declare a state of emergency was prudent. Toronto Hydro, Hydro One and Hydro services from the U.S. and Canada, all converged on our area and the GTA and worked tirelessly to get things up and running. Thank you. Santa came early this year in a Green truck and overalls.