Really getting ready for winter

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Added: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:46pm
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Winter!  2017’s beautiful fall is giving way to rain, sleet, and bone-chilling
wind; this past weekend saw the first ice and snow sotrm roar through. Black ice
on the roads, snow in the driveway.
We rely very much on technology to keep us going through the winter months. One concern could be if our car seat heater still works? Are cell phones
adaptable to the cold, will they work in emergencies, or do they freeze up at minus Celsius weather? Will the snow blower make it through a foot of the fluffy stuff? Will the furnace crank up the joules when needed, and will power never fail on those coldest days?
However, technology solves only some problems.  Winter can bring the problems of isolation and loneliness, especially for older folks and those bed-ridden.  It may be an urban myth, but death rates seem to climb with the shift into a colder season, and certainly those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by lack of direct sunlight, find the winter exceptionally difficult and long.
What about making a “winter resolution”, long before New Year’s Eve? And what about resolving to extend a hand or a voice to these suffering through the long, cold months? Offering and re-enforcing friendships helps others find solace, and it also helps us get through our winter.
Let’s remember our sick friends. Call isolated family members who may not be able to visit due to mobility problems. Make friendly with neighbours, especially those who are getting up in years and may have trouble getting a window locked or winter washer fluid in their car.
Winter reminds us that togetherness is joy, and togetherness means helping others where we can.
Winter, opened to us by the Christmas season, is our opportunity to do our
good deeds and to perform our citizenship duties:  the pleasure we give with just
a phone call to a shut-in or by accompanying a grandparent hesitant to go for a walk on a slippery sidewalk, these gifts to others give us back immense rewards.
Clearly social isolation is alleviated by reaching out. The therapeutic benefits cannot be underestimated.
All of the world’s studies of what makes for happiness include feeling a part of one’s community as a major requirement for a happy life.  This is the opportunity given us by bad weather, by freezing temperatures and deep snowfalls.  We are able to express our best intentions and get back in return a gratitude which will carry us far into our own futures.
Let’s resolve to make the winter of 2017-18 the winter we tied a tighter knot with those we love and respect, the winter we called our grandmother every weekend, the winter we visited a friend, a relative, a neighbour in the hospital . . .  the winter we made the world a warmer place.

Carl Hager
Rédacteur en chef interim /
Interim Managing Editor