Valerie’s Voice in La Ronge

As I look out the window this morning, snow is falling. It’s been warm, then cold, little moisture, so the threat of fires is in the back of our minds here in Saskatchewan’s north.

It has been a busy month with many activities happening, both socially and personally, some interrelated.

I realize I get more energy from the sun. Don’t we all! But I have been noticing it more lately.

When it’s cloudy, I want to curl up with a book and relax.

But the sun gives me energy to go out and do things.

I’ve been trying to get to the gym more regularly and enjoying that. Particularly the air bike.

I’ve never been athletic particularly, but I seem to be getting more into the swing of exercising regularly.

Trying to eat a healthy diet and exercise have become important to me, so I am always looking up different ideas for meals and ways to exercise better. It’s fun!

I don’t have any great advice about it, but just, it’s important to do it and I feel better.

Of course, the constant problem of tailgating, vehicles driving too fast behind you and moving up too close before slowing and braking at the last moment.

I’ve been hit twice over the years, which is probably one of the triggers I have when I notice a vehicle speeding faster than I’m going, and behind me.

I have a sign to put on the back of the car giving those driving behind the message: you come to close: I slow down.

We have too many walkers in our community, and I’m sure it’s true of other northern communities, to be driving to close at a higher speed, because you have no control. That’s what leads to the multi-car pileups we hear about, I was told in an interview I did about tailgating.

Passing on the right side of a vehicle is another one I see much too often. I remember an RCMP officer calling me one time, with that concern. At the time, I can’t say I was aware, but ever since, I have become increasingly aware of the dangers this action puts other people in.

I wonder: do drivers think when they are driving?

Continually we experience, people putting themselves and others riding with them, in danger by their driving practices.

I hear this from others in the community and elsewhere around the north.

People passing on double lines on a curve! Yikes!! It’s more common than we think.

What gives people the sense of entitlement that they should take this kind of action?

It takes me back to a workshop I attended years ago focusing on what the presenter thought was so important – teaching children compassion.

I spent a day on the Trans Canada, highway in northwestern Ontario assisting after an accident, where a young child was killed because a driver, in a small car, thought they needed to get somewhere in a hurry, or something. I will never know, but it was an awakening for me when I sat in the back seat of a car trying to find the words to tell a mother her child had died.

That mother travels with me, I think. Reminding me that life is fragile sometimes, but very precious.