As I watch the January spring rain pelt the window pane it is hard to imagine just two weeks ago there was a good-sized tree sitting on the back of my car, electrical wires down at both ends of the street and Santa's milk and cookies only half eaten. He never does that. He was obviously having a very long night, notwithstanding his North Pole pedigree.
As one who drives and -flies between Northern Ontario and Toronto many times a month, and who used to view this ritual through snow squalls and freezing rain as good sport, I was glad to be trapped with nowhere to go.
Not so lucky for many of our employees.
One spent the holiday season walking up 15 flights of stairs to her mother-in-law's condo delivering food and sustenance to a frightened and cold senior citizen who could not walk to freedom. Another spent an entire week with a chainsaw cutting firewood in his yard that had been delivered to the ground by mother nature wrapped in ice for the Christmas season.
One of our sales managers kept a wood fire going for six days. He moved a mattress down to the fireplace so he could stoke the fire through the night without losing heat, of which he had none. One of our Northern employees returned home from a southern vacation with limited winter clothing. The good news was they got to land in Toronto. The bad news was they got to land in Toronto. Nothing was flying and every single bus going north was full. Passenger trains, of course, are a distant memory.
As for Toronto, it's hard to imagine more pathetic leadership. Norm Kelly, the sort-of mayor of Toronto, thought he'd slip down to Florida for a few days at the height of the action, and Rob, well, it looked like he managed to stay sober, which is progress. As for the head of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, it seems he may have fallen in with some of Rob's druggy friends. Howard Eng had nothing to say to anyone until the rain came and then said he'd make sure there was a report reviewing all of the problems at the airport, but it would not be made public. Good thing he was not in the baggage claim area when they had to call in the police to manage unhappy travellers waiting for him to reopen his airport because it was too cold outside.
And then, of course, the Leafs continued to crash and burn without power of any kind...