Saturday, November 24, 2012

A little of what I've been up to

This past week has been abit of a trial for residents of southern Saskatchewan. The difficult weather started with freezing rain Tuesday morning, followed by a huge snowfall. It seems that we have had 60 cm. of snow this past two weeks, and that is more than the total snowfall we had last winter. However last winter was very unusual, in that we had  warm temperatures and very little snow.

My commute out to work at the rural daycare center where I work has been challenging. I generally take the bus to a certain point and then wait for my ride. I wait right on the highway, and so get a good look at weather conditions. This particular day after the freezing rain, there appeared to be very little visibility.

The wonderful young woman who picks me up, didn't see me, so she called the daycare center to see if they'd heard from me. She then turned around to see if she could find me and pick me up, and unfortunately became stuck.She got herself out, and called the center again who told her I had called from a store close to the highway. to enquire if she had called in. They told her to just continue to work.

Meanwhile as I still hadn't heard from my co-worker, and it was getting late, I decided to accept a ride from a wonderful parent, who was on her way to take her children to the center. So, really I was only 1/2 hour late, and as well my co-worker arrived at around the same time as me.

Later at the end of our work day, this young woman admitted to me how scared she felt to drive back home into the city, but she did an amazing job, driving at 40km all the way. The road was so icy, and we saw a few cars and a semi-trailor in the ditch.

I felt proud of this young woman, who is just in her early 20's. Interestingly she has just graduated with her teaching degree, and knows my son. She is working at the daycare, and subbing when she is called, for the school board. I just know she's going to do great as a teacher, and she is so accomplished already, as well as seeming to have nerves of steel.

The next day, at closing we still had several children waiting for their parents to pick them up. We learned that another semi was jack knifed on the highway, and that traffic was stalled for up to one hour. This day our wonderful director had already sent most of the staff home early. Some of our staff have drives of up to 1 hour, to small towns, which in these conditions were going to take much longer. The director sent me home shortly after my children were picked up, and again my co-worker drove home at 40 km, past the huge back up of traffic behind the accident.

Working in this rural daycare center is giving me a whole new look at living in our province during the winter. I find myself wondering how people really could have managed so many years ago in pioneer times. However, even today, it seems to me that rural people are a courageous, hardy group.

As well, I am planning to purchase a simple "pay as you go", cell phone to use, if needed, when travelling to work. 

Thankfully the week is over, and it does look like the forecast for next week is for better weather conditions.

My co-workers and I in the toddler room have been exploring recycled materials with our kids. We started this at the beginning of November, and have just followed our brainstorms. Interestingly, once a person begins thinking about what can be done with boxes, and other recyclables, the ideas seem to flow.

There is a whole movement in early childhood education to use open-ended materials, which allow children to use their imaginations. It seems that adults also use their imaginations more when using boxes, cardboard tubes, and empty plastic containers.

Well, really that's about it for my news. Thanks for reading along!

I had been planning on posting one or two pictures here of my ideas using boxes, however interestingly, I have now used my quota of free photos. I hadn't been aware this would ever happen! There was a time I didn't even know how to download pictures on to my computer, so this is progress indeed!!

I think I'll be able to post my pictures next weekend

Wishing you a safe and happy weekend!.


Teri Casper said...

OMG Brenda, what a scary experience for all involved. I think your cell phone idea is excellent and I hope you do it. Snow and ice are so dangerous in the winter. Sounds like your winter is fierce this year.

I love the idea of your recycling things with the kids as they have such great imaginations especially when they are called upon to use them.

Stay warm and cozy Brenda.


Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Teri,
This is my first experience with winter commuting, and it has opened my eyes, indeed. Although traveling in the city during winter can be inconvenient, it never seems scary.
However, I think once everyone becomes more used to winter driving conditions things will start to get better.

In daycare we do tend to like using recycled things, but sometimes forget, and this month we've had alot of fun with using more open ended materials.

Thanks for your visit, Teri!

The Boston Lady said...

Brenda, that weather sounds scary, but I am glad you have such a cautious, able young driver. I think the pay as you go cell phone will be a good idea for you and could come in quite handy.

As I drive through the mountains here everytime I meet my kids I always think how long it must have taken people to make such a short trip before the roads were built. When I think of how people years ago just pressed on and got things accomplished, it amazes me.

I look forward to seeing some pictures of your projects. I was surprised the first time I was informed about using up my photo allotment too! Ann