Here we'll focus on life in the Ottawa Valley - and we'll do it with a sense of humour.
Valley folk are proud of where they call home. They work hard, play hard, love their weekends and their toys.
AND they love to laugh. Even at themselves.
Enjoy this little slice of Valley life. through the eyes of a true Valley boy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There's snow way we'd get a day off

I flip on the computer at 5:30 this morning, and what do I see? Well, honestly, a scantily clad Jennifer Aniston.
What I find 20 minutes later is a flurry of activity about school buses being cancelled.
Buses were cancelled and a single snowflake had yet to hit the ground. Pre-emptive cancellations. A threat of a snowstorm. In the afternoon.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm all about safety. After all, a school bus full of kids could hit a snow drift and topple over. That concerns me - I could scald myself with my cafe mocha should I need to swerve to avoid injured children on the road.
But at some point over the past 25 years, the people making the call on the what constitutes a "snow day" have become wimpified. Candyassified, if you will.
Like every Valley person of my generation, snow days were few and far between. The school board members were tough as nails. Parents equally hard-assed. And the bus drivers - hardcore every step of the way. And they all worked together to get us kids to school each and every day.
When it was snowing, every kid in the neighbourhood would have an ear glued to the radio in the morning. Would today be the day the buses weren't running? Hell, no. It never happened.
We were bundled up in our snowsuits and Cougar boots (yes, the tan-coloured ones with the red velvety lining) and handed a shovel so we could tunnel our way out the front door and down the driveway. If you think that was cruel, we were also handed a lunch bag with a mock chicken loaf sandwich. I told you the Valley parents were hard-assed.
Snow banks would be to the top of the hydro poles, polar bears would be roaming the neighbourhood and we would hold a glimmer of hope we'd be given the day off. Then you'd hear the heart-breaking roar of the school bus. Nothing would stop that guy. Fueled by 11 gallons of coffee and four pounds of mock chicken, he resembled Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Only he wasn't sporting an axe, but, rather, he was behind the wheel of a souped-up monster truck school bus.
Arriving late was not an option - and we were expected to do our part to make it happen. If we did slip off the road, he'd recruit kids to help him get the bus back on the road. Not the older kids. Or the stronger kids. But the kids wearing corduroy, because if thrown under the rear tire, they provided the best traction.
I told you, we now live in a society of wimps.
Yes, folks, it will snow. We live in the Ottawa Valley - grab your toque, your shovel, your corduroy pants, your mock chicken and get those kids to the bus stop.