Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Heading Back to Normal

Yesterday was my first official day back to work after being evacuated because of the forest fire.  The events of May led to the biggest work disruption in the history of the oil patch.  Slowly we are getting back to the work that has slowly been piling up, held in a state of suspended animation.  Six weeks is a long time to be off from work and I am slowly rediscovering muscles and tendons that went dormant.  It was also nice to see some familiar faces and have that sense of normalcy which had been so suddenly ripped away, restored after an extended period away.

I did deliberately use the title of "heading back to normal" for this post because while things are slowly getting there, I recognize that we still have a ways to go.  The neighbourhoods of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways which were hardest hit by the fire are now effectively "no go" zones and access to them is strictly controlled.  It is unknown yet when, or even if, these places will be rebuilt and what they may look like in the future.

From my back yard I can easily here the school bells from the three schools in my neighbourhood.  The bells (more like a buzzer actually) sounds faithfully each day marking recesses and class dismissals and yet they sound for no one as there are no students.  All schools have shut down and local students find themselves finishing off the school year in communities scattered around the province and the country.  Schools located in affected neighbourhoods won't be opening along with the others in the fall and at least one will be closed for at least a full school year while damage is repaired.

Many of my favourite local trails are also closed or restricted meaning I will have to patiently await a time when I can access them and might have to get creative when it comes to finding places for hiking or bird watching.  Public transit also isn't back yet although the taxis are.  But if these are the biggest challenges  I face during these summer months then I won't complain.

Most of businesses are now up and running again and I believe the hospital is now good to go as well.    So we are getting there.  Some things are progressing faster than others but we will get there.




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