Things being as they are, Fort McMurray gets is fair share of media attention, some of it is fair and accurate and some of it is rather ignorant and inaccurate. I know in some ways I fit the Fort Mac stereotype to a "T"....I work at site, I do shift work, I'm originally from "back East". I'm not a Newfie, mind you, although I do have relatives from there. In other ways, I defy the Fort Mac stereotype.....I own my home (or the bank does, anyway) rather than rent someone's basement, I don't own a truck with a lift kit and I like to spend my days off bird watching or hiking rather than say, drinking at the Podollan or the Oil Can.
I think there is also the stereotype that people are only out to make money and don't really care about helping out fellow residents. I have to admit I've carried that one with me but in my defense, I've lived in a lot of places where I felt that way. Anyhow, I thought I'd take a moment to show my appreciation for a kind act towards me this evening. Coming as it does during this holiday season, a holiday season I'm working through, I think it speaks volumes of the kindness of others and helps restore my confidence in my fellow man, particularly following the recent shooting tragedy in the U.S..
Initially I was supposed to be off this weekend but agreed to work through until next week. So I found myself short of groceries for lunch and knew a couple days ago I'd have to get to the grocery store pretty soon. The one wrinkle was that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day got in the way and my grocery store was closed by the time I got home from work. I thought I could sneak in a quick trip last night after work so I took a different bus home that would drop me off at the grocery store. I could then cab it home from there with my groceries. Unfortunately I got to the store just in time to find out it was closed. So I had to walk home empty handed......a distance of perhaps a couple kilometres. Normally, I don't consider this a long walking distance but with the recent spate of cold weather and having worked outside in it all day, it was, shall we say, annoying. I suppose I could have called a taxi on my cell phone but it was nearly dead and anyway, I wasn't keen on spending money on a cab to take me home with no groceries in hand, so I walked. I suppose this makes me both a cheapskate and a stoic.
Anyway, about a block into my trek I noticed a bus up at the intersection. As it turned out it was the route bus I normally take home. I assumed my driver was doing his pick ups for night shift and would hang a left and continue on his way. But no. I crossed the street in front of the bus and as I got to the sidewalk on the other side, I heard the door open and a voice. As it turns out, his bus was empty and he was heading back down toward my street anyway to start his next run so would I like a ride? Gratefully I accepted.
This one gesture really made my day. Not only did he totally not have to stop and offer but he did save me a cold walk and so I was rather relieved. Why walk 2km in -28C when you can have an entire coach to yourself?
So in the end, I didn't get my groceries (although, no worries, Mom, I did manage to scrounge up enough for a decent lunch from the larder) but I got a great little story of a random act of kindness during this holiday season.