Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Up here on the Bruce, snow storms are a fact of life!

It comes like bananas!

This past week was an example if  the best of the worst.

I couldn’t help but notice that the first sign of a storm, it was the government offices that were shutting down, then the OPP were closing roads, then the schools then and only then did the small businesses start to shut down.

Under Ontario labour law, an employee gets paid for a minimum four hours if he or she was called in to work and gets sent home even if he is there for one minute.

I don’t know the rules, but if I drive a snow plow and the roads get closed right after I pick up my Timmy’s and I am stuck in Hepworth for 3 days am I paid for the time I spent at  Tims? By the same token, If I am an OPP and I decide to close the road in Hepworth, park the cruiser at Tims do I get paid for the down time.

Who makes the call on what is bad and what is not?

I recall when snow banks were as high as telephone poles and roads were one lane or less but the mail still got through and you never heard of shut downs in town.

It seems to me that at the first sign of a blow these days government shuts down and we are to fend for ourselves.

 Many a time I have listened to the road closures when I was on the road and had to wonder what the hell they were talking about as I drove on through what was a little snow after the schools were closed, offices shut down and everyone was sent home.

It seems to me that over the past few years we have been seeing less and less snow but more and more snow days!

Forty years ago we got to work come hell of high water. Today it seems everything closes in a heart beat under the guise of public safety.

Now I am not suggesting for a minute that we should ignore safety I am just saying that we see  a lot more closures today than what I have seen in the past.

Further, I think our road crews do a pretty fine job overall. I do have to wonder sometimes though!

This past week has been an adventure in that regard. With all the roads closed, the schools shut down , the civil service having snow days I noticed that my snow plow guy Mac Boulter, never missed a beat. He was there keeping my lane open regardless of how much snow fell. The guy was amazing!

I think we are very lucky over all and I do believe the men and women of our Civil service do a pretty damn good job but there are times when I have to wonder.



Beep, beep, beep, beep the insistent noise wouldn’t stop!  There was a light over the nursing station and people whispering all arround me.

As I opened my eyes I could make our the little curtained room with a green light glowing above my bed and wires and tubes hanging in the glow above my bed.

So much had happened in a short period of time, it was all very confusing! As the events of the last couple of days rushed into my head, I began to recall where I was.  Though the facts were coming to me slowly and garbled it didn’t take long for me to connect the dots and feel a twig of fear invading my whole being!

A nurse came from behind the curtain, “So you are awake?” she said moving the curtain back ,the rollers on it screaming in my head.

“It appears so” I responded in a frogy voice trying to adjust to the light. God I was thirsty.

She bounced back with questions “So you know where you are, what day is it, how many fingers am I holding up?” the same questions five and six times a day

I always managed to answer with the correct answers, least wise they were correct as far as I was concerned.

As the nurse was going about her duties the good Doctor Epp appeared out of no where with his trusty sidekick Pat both with clipboards and glasses. “Mr Bruce. I am Doctor Epp do you remember me? and How are you feeling?” he asked in a matter of fact sort of way.

“Like ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag and yes I remember you, but other than that I feel just fine!” I replied looking for a laugh.

I had just completed a whole  mess of blood tests and MRI’s  after doing all the same tests in Wiarton before arriving in London.

Trust me, those MRI machines are the meanest piece of work I ever tangled with! They may be life saviors but they are scarey! It is like it swallows you into this metal gullet and then start blasting you with really loud noises.It lasts forever but you cannot show fear or any weakness as it is you against the machine! I resorted to repeating the Lords Prayer over and over again to keep mind busy and because it is funny I resorted to the only man that could save me now!

” So you guys look like your dog died, wanna share?” I asked.

“Well Mr. Bruce, I am afraid we have some rather bad news for you! You have a 5 millimeter growth in your brain and all indications are that it is cancerous! We would like to operate and remove it but we don’t know if we can help until we get in there and have a look!”

“If indeed it is cancerous, the location is not conducive for a successful operation and in all likelihood you will require Kemo after the operation and likely die within a year and a half!”

Well now,  that was a taste of reality that was a bit of a kick in the pants!

“So what are the options Doc, or is that the bottom line?” I responded diving head first into a pond of denial.

“Of course there are options, albeit they are all maybe’s. It could be that it is a puss filled cyst and we go in and drain it, or maybe it’s not cancerous and we just remove it. It is possible for us to do an exploratory assess the damage close you up then go back in after the fact and fix what we found. But I have to be honest with you the odds are not good!”

I have to tell you, I was shocked. The rush of emotion overwhelmed me. My first thought was how was I going to tell Marg! If I was going to die who would take care of her??

“Ok Doc, I guess it is lucky I didn’t pay for our winter vacation like Marg wanted to eh?”

“Tell you what, I want to think about this and talk to the wife and family before I commit so let’s have a little chat later and I will give you my thoughts OK?”

“Of course, we understand and we will come back this afternoon to hear your decision!” and they left.

I don’t think I ever felt so alone!