Grey Matters: Valentines delivered

Whining? Who’s whining? Never! Well … I have to admit, I may whine a little. The straw has finally broken the camel’s back. It’s the mountains of snow that have played havoc at our place. There have been so many challenges and setbacks to deal with COVID.

Like many Yukoners, I’m eager to escape to another planet, or tempted to hibernate for the rest of the winter. We keep asking ourselves when this will all end. My friends and family have brightened my day with words of encouragement, emails, funny YouTube links and phone calls. There are lots of valentines that go out to them.

After last month’s record snowfall, my husband used the ATV to plow the driveway on our rural property. He plowed for about two or three days in a row and the driveway got more narrow with each pass of the blade. Twice, our neighbour came to push the snow back with his truck plow, but the accumulated snow was too much for the plow to have much impact. Valentines to them for their best efforts to clear the driveway.

Valentines to friends and family for their best efforts to clear the driveway

Then we heard from a friend that Yukon Highways and Public Works provides a (schedule permitting) driveway clearing service for rural Whitehorse area seniors. Of course, top priority goes to clearing the highways and side roads and we thought we’d be waiting for a long time. We called them at 667-5322, filled in the third party work order and the supervisor checked our driveway to assess that it was possible. He pushed back the snowbanks to accommodate further plowing with our ATV plow when it snows again. This was all done within five days! A valentine out to Dan and Highways and Public Works for helping seniors to “age in place.”

A friend gave us a gift of sourdough starter for Christmas, so I’m back into baking bread. With an easy overnight rise of the batter, and mixing of the flour and oil in the morning, one rise in the pan—violà—freshly baked sourdough bread in three hours! A valentine to my friend who provided the sourdough starter mix.

Some days, the “brain fog” settles in and I lack motivation to do much. I whine a lot and feel sorry for myself, but then I watch the news and give myself a reality check. I’m lucky to be living in the Yukon countryside where I can go out for a walk (even if it’s only daylight for about seven hours—three hours less than San Diego where a relative lives). Think positive! Every day brings about five more minutes of daylight and we’re only about two months away from spring! I even have an amaryllis blooming in my living room, providing more reminders of spring. A valentine to my friend for giving me the bulb at Christmas.

But a huge valentine must go out to all those “behind the scenes” helpers in our community who provide services to us every day to keep us healthy and safe. At the start of COVID, we were “banging pots,” expressing our thanks to health care and support workers in our hospital, long-term care facilities, health care centres, doctor’s offices and vaccination centres. Daycare workers and teachers have provided support to children and parents. First responders have rallied to provide emergency aid. Grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacists, transportation workers, cleaners and others have continued to operate following COVID guidelines. Valentines to all of you under these unsettling times.

Now is the time to take heart. To join with family, friends and community to support each other in ways that are appropriate. Stay calm, be kind and be safe.

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