Q & A about The Beacon

Friday, 7 February 2014

Surviving the Snow & Ice

The Snowy Drop In 

This has been the coldest winter in many decades and The Beacon is getting snowed in from two sides.  Snowplows have pushed the banks up against the incline at the edge of the parking lot, and have half buried the stairs coming from the upper parking lot. The drifts and piled snow is about 7 feet high (2.134 metres for the metric types).
Snow removal beside The Beacon's steps
Here 'A' and 'A', a pair of brothers, help me get some snow removed for people to walk past. At least if people trip here they won't fall very far and they'll land on something soft.
We have heard good news from the municipality; namely that our request for $2500 has been put back on the table, since they realized it was coming from a separate budget and would not cause a tax increase.
 I was visiting at Brighton Public School last week, in the middle of the snow day they had instead of a scheduled literacy day.  I had been asked to do a book presentation, and went ahead with it, despite the fact there was only about 30 students there.  It was a good practice run for an event I attended later on that week.
Despite the snow, The Beacon carries on...
ENSS students were sad to hear of the death of one of their own, Renee Laura Ann Miller.  My Writing Club students dressed in yellow and black (Renee's favorite colours) and some of them will attend the memorial service.
    What causes someone to commit the ultimate unfair act on themselves? Our society has turned its back on so many values. Kids are confused. Morals replace faith, but morals change to suit a situation.  Common sense replaces deeper values of giving.  Altruism is always a popular personality trait in other people but it is not taught.  The value of human life is being debated and legislated and quantified until it loses its value.  And that's no different than 100 years ago. Or 1000.
But I digress...
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We had quite a few students come at lunch on Tuesday, bringing the sun with them and cheering us all.
This week it snowed some more and the banks are piled even higher.  Next to Jim, here, they come up to his shoulders.

Thursday (when this photo was taken) we had a visit from John Campbell of the Brighton Independent. He came and took lots of photos and interviewed just about everybody.  There were a number of kids there, and a few had already left, missing their chance to get in the paper.

John asked about our religious stance and I explained we accept everybody and don't force a belief on people or judge them, still we tell where we are coming from.  When he asked for an example I said that Jesus healed people, and fed the hungry, and broke social taboos by hanging out with people he shouldn't have, long before he preached anything to them.  It's a hard act to follow but we try to do that.

Here Jim stands beside a freak situation, billiard-wise. After the break, which missed the centre but peeled off four balls, Jim took a shot which took away four more, leaving this perfect pattern of seven in the middle.
Huh!  None of us had ever seen that happen. Even Rick, ex military man and long time pool sharpie, hadn't seen that done. So we took a photo.

Rick is a blacksmith, as well as ex-RCMP, ex-OPP and ex-military.  He is an excellent listener. Rick is helping organize a bike rally for us at the end of May as a fundraiser.  Another favorite of the kids is Don.  Don is a retired shop teacher with about 30 years in the business. He knows kids and what they like to talk about, and he is learning to shoot pool.  No kidding. He grew up in a strict household where pool was discouraged, so he never learned.  Now he wants to buy a table.  Reminds me of a Flintstones episode when Fred and Barney had to babysit Pebbles, who wasn't talking yet.  Wilma and Betty came home to hear Pebbles say, "Shoot pool, Daddy".


I don't think we'll see this amount of snow again, unless it comes next week and then next winter. I'm sure we're affecting the world in a whole bunch of ways and this is the result.

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