4 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Ross’s Ramblings: Enlightening encounters and braving the chilly elements
Enthusiastic, cozily dressed members of the NOTL Newcomers Club, Women's Walking Division, discuss the world's problems while enjoying Canadian Drizzle Lattes on the patio of Balzac's Coffee Roasters on King Street. ROSS ROBINSON

So much going on in our town and so much to learn.

Last week, I came upon the Learn & Live seminar at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, presented by Trevor Kwolek of Great North Physiotherapy in Virgil.

The title “Spin City: Dizziness and Falls Prevention” caught my attention, so I joined some 25 other aging NOTLers for an hour of learning. Enlightening, frightening, free and so very useful.

Kwolek is a trained vestibular therapist, having studied in several countries around the world. A vestibular therapist teaches us how to stay vertical as we age and the statistics he presented to get our attention really got my attention.

Through his Virgil clinic he has already been helping many local folks lead a safer lifestyle.

He provided easy-to-understand data, plus then tips and ideas to lessen the chance of falling.

It is a fact that if you fall once, another fall likely will follow. Eliminating clutter, making certain lighting levels help us navigate safely from room to room and paying attention to the task at hand all contribute to safer days as winter arrives in Niagara.

Also, doing basic exercises regularly ensures muscular strength to let us walk, climb and bend more safely. There’s that magic word again. Walk. What we consider aerobic exercise, our ancestors considered transportation.

They walked to school, to church, to work and to the shops. Now, as we tend to drive even short distances, our muscles atrophy and our co-ordination suffers.

Just a day or two later, after nobody showed up for my NOTL Free Walking Tour, I decided to enjoy a hot chocolate at Balzac’s Coffee Roasters on King Street.

It was a chilly, drizzly and damp morning, but on the patio sat seven cozily dressed young women. They were full of fun and chatter, seemingly unaware that it was too cold to be outside.

I learned they are members of the local Newcomers Club, Women’s Walking Division, who walk a couple of miles every Monday and Wednesday morning. Rain or shine.

They were actively yakking and were appropriately enjoying the weekly special Canadian Drizzle Latte. How very froufrou. And they live by the Canadian mantra that there is no such thing as cold weather. Just cold clothing.

I agree with them and my Cochrane-raised mother often said Canada’s transcontinental railroads were not built by people afraid of a few snowflakes or raindrops.

These Newcomers are meeting interesting new friends, promoting muscular development and therefore lessening the likelihood of falling in the home or around the ‘hood.

A few diverse thoughts to wrap up this weekly ramble: I hear the town is organizing a contest to name the three new snowplows. Can we look forward to an equally exciting contest to name the new roundabout in St. Davids?

Or will there ever be a new roundabout in St. Davids? A resident of that village and I recently enjoyed a cold Oast House Barnraiser and he noted that the true cost of expropriating land needed for a large roundabout has not been revealed.

Expect this roundabout to be big, to efficiently allow large farm vehicles to pass. Just sayin’.

Perhaps appropriately, we seem to be going around in circles when discussing a roundabout or a traffic light in historic St. Davids. Or somewhere along York Road?

And the issue of hockey players wearing neck guards lingers. Some players and their unions are waffling when leadership is what’s needed.

A primary goal of any union is workplace safety. Can you imagine the UAW allowing two brothers to fight and not to insist on safety boots and hard hats?

Remember the resistance to hockey helmets and automobile seat belts. Remember Lorne “Gump” Worsley barefaced in the net, bravely challenging slapshooters only 60 years ago? Change, my fellow Canadians, is rarely welcomed.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, what can we do about the rusty eyesore on Mary Street, in the Tim Hortons parking lot?

Unused for over six years, chained awkwardly, on an angle, in place. In the interests of town beautification, should I go to Penners and spend 20 or 30 bucks on a Christmas wreath or some colourful lights?

There are huge problems in our world. Let’s solve a couple of small issues in our lovely hometown.

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