My wife and I settled here in Niagara-on-the-Lake more than 15 years ago, accepting the advice of lifelong friends who made the move a few years earlier.
We “retired” from many years living and working in Asia and Hong Kong. We never regretted that decision: NOTL is one of the loveliest, most historic and dynamic, well-run communities in Canada.
However, there is always a “but.” Winters have exposed, at times, the “raw underbelly” of life in a Canadian municipality.
I am not complaining mind you – quite the reverse – I am in effect singing a song of praise to our community.
The story is that after last week's major storm I was snowed in for days and – mea culpa – did not look far enough ahead to ensure I had all my prescription medications.
The result was that I found myself on Friday morning taking the last of them and looking out at my driveway, under more than a foot of snow, plus blocked at the road by a snowy “berm” more than three feet high.
Now I previously had exchanged a “bit of banter” with Lord Mayor Betty Disero about the business of road snow plowing and the new legislation protecting people, especially those of an advanced age, who might come to harm in attempting to clear their driveway after it has been blocked by plowed snow.
I never thought it would actually come to the “crunch.”
Friday morning it did.
I was out of my prescription and while I did get the pharmacy to issue a refill I had no way to get out of my house to pick it up.
This is where the lovely people of NOTL came to the fore: the office of the town's office director of resident services, which I contacted, immediately offered to pick up my prescription and deliver it to my house.
Another kind person, an editor with The Lake Report, offered to do the same.
In the meantime I did try to “clear” my driveway entrance myself (I am of intrepid, self-help Estonian ilk), and three people came out to help me.
The “berm” was cut away and now I have my prescription.
Thank you, NOTL.