top of page


We saw enough wastow (snow) dropped off in Unama’ki to last us the rest of the winter.

That wastow is good for the garden, fertilizer is what my elders and grandparents tell me. Well, here in my neck of the woods, ‘Westmount First Nation,’ we received a whopping 150 centimetres.

Ski Ben Eoin, you are welcome! Enjoy the slopes, my skiing friends; well, when you get the opportunity to get there to enjoy them, of course.

I’m writing this Tuesday evening and there is no doubt that many are still clearing driveways and streets, but it will eventually end, and then in years to come we can all talk about the winter storm of 2024.

A special thanks to all the people who kept an eye on your neighbours, plowed roads on a never-ended basis, and who picked up shovels to help clear doorways, driveways, roads and everything else in between.

It has been a week that many of us will remember for the rest of your lives. I just hope we remember to focus on the ‘good’ instead of the ‘yuk’ that came out of this week.

Sure, we could focus on the politics of it all, and there were some doozies; but I hope we focus on the people. I hope we remember the people who crawled over snowbanks to dig out our exits. I hope we focus on the people who cleared our driveways and helped us with the shoveling.

I hope someone helped you out in some way, I hope someone brought you hope when you thought hope was lost. I hope you focus on story lines that brought you joy; made you smile and even made you cheer in happiness. The stories about people helping people, that’s what I’m focusing on and that’s how my family and I have gotten through the past few days.

This weekend, Thirders either learned or were reminded that we have the best neighbours. We called one another, shoveled for one another, checked on one another, cooked for each other, and we grabbed essentials at the store for each other. Some of us even drove through treacherous weather to get our nurses to their shifts.

I can honestly say that I cried today; not out of frustration about the snow situation, but because I was so overwhelmed with the kindness that was being shown to one another throughout Unama’ki (aka Cape Breton) and across this province. I cried because the kindness shown is worth crying about.

It was the good news stories that encouraged me to get off my rear end every morning, afternoon, and evening, to go outside once again to shovel. I’m not going to lie; some issues were getting way too much coverage and were disheartening and did make me want to crawl into bed and stay there until the reserves arrived. But I remembered that we couldn’t wait for back up, we had to be in the moment and do what we could with the resources we had. I had a shovel and a good disposition and I worked with.

We can focus on the crappy things that happened. We can focus on the price gouging by people raising their snow removal rates. We can focus on the political show that is currently unfolding.

I prefer to focus on the good people of this island, province and those coming to help from everywhere else. I focus on the courage of doctors, nurses, paramedics, who walked and crawled through a snowstorm to get to work. I focus on the snowplow drivers who picked those emergency personnel up and got them to work because they knew they needed them to be there when the emergencies happened.

I focus on the young people who lifted shovels in solidarity to make a path to a wood pile for elders. I focus on the people and communities who got together and shoveled people’s doors, driveways and entrances.

I focus on the owners of tractors who rescued animals out of barns. I focus on the people who had skidoos, four wheelers and four by four trucks and used them to grab essentials for neighbours and friends. I focus on the people who cleared a street to get someone to a medical appointment.

I focus on those who are preparing coffee and muffins for those who are clearing the roads. I focus on the frontline workers who disappeared in snowbanks while trying to get to work and posted their videos to make us gasp and laugh.

I focus on the good stories, and I hope you do too.

I hope that we will focus on each other as we work together to get to a place of…… less snow! Thank you again to all the people who helped and continue to help each other.  

I’ll end my column by sharing what I posted on my Facebook page Monday.

“Okay folks, now I remember why I don’t watch the news. I think we should remember that it’s not about the politics, it’s about helping each other. Let’s focus on helping each other, collectively we can hold every government accountable at the polling stations…later, not today and not tomorrow.”

We need to focus on what has been happening around us – people helping people.

That’s what works; laying blame is useless and doesn’t do anything but get our backs up and put us in bad moods.

We are all responsible…to each other.

Get into the work of helping each other out. Get out of the rabbit hole!

Thanks for shoveling with me and remember that you also have lots of free fertilizer for those gardens.

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page