This blog went from my oldest, above, learning how to print his name, to today where he’s got his license and preparing for university next year! This school year is a big one. Even though it seems like the construction-paper hats and tassels of kindergarten graduation happened just a “few” years ago, we have two graduates in the house this spring. My oldest, just over 3-years-old when this blog started, is graduating high school and my middle-child is graduating grade 8 (grade 8 grads weren’t a thing for me growing up so I’m still trying to understand that one). It’s a year of change, following years unlike any other, and it means we all have to be a little more focused and intentional in our actions – which this year especially lead to big things down the road.
These past 2 years (we’re almost at that point where the word Covid came into our lives 2 years ago) have been a metamorphosis in many ways. I, myself, made some big changes in my life – views changed, priorities changed, and I made a shift to change the person I was to the person I want to be for my family – deep stuff right? The point is, I’m learning more about how individual actions affect a greater community, and how I can help a larger community beyond the walls of my own household.
With ICUs in Saskatchewan stretched to capacity, it really hit me one day while driving my kids to a store on the other side of the city. I realized that, should a car accident happen and we needed ICU care, we would be in a hospital with full ICU beds, and people needing critical care more than ever.
It scared me.
It made me hyper-focused on the road around me and the other drivers.
I had to remind myself that I could only control my own “stuff”, I unfortunately could not control the actions of others on the road. I also reminded myself that if everyone took some extra time, was as focused as I was driving that day, we’d come together as a community for the greater good of all.
It’s the little things I can control. I can ensure that I’m alert and focused when driving, that the kids aren’t distracting me, and that my vehicle is maintained, gas tank full, tires ready to hit the pavement.
According to Kal Tire, despite an overall decrease in fatalities due to motor vehicle collisions in Canada in the last 5-10 years, crashes in Canada continue and are usually related to one or more of the following factors:
- Human error
- Environmental conditions
- Vehicle issues
Tire blowouts, severe tire wear and incorrect tire pressure, are factors that increase risk. Those risks fall into the category of things I can control. So, last month I made my twice-yearly visit to Kal Tire to do the fall switch to my winter tires. Of course, safety outside of a vehicle and indoors is a concern we have right now too, so I was very happy to see how considerate and health-conscious the local Kal Tire location here in Regina was while I waited.
The waiting area has changed, it’s very well spaced out, and the chairs are cleaned after every customer has visited meaning at a quick glance you can see if the chair is ready for you or not. But check this out, even keys are well protected from germs!
It’s the little things – big things really – that matter to me right now. It’s about each of us taking that little extra time, courtesy, for the greater good.
You can install winter tires as soon as the temperature is consistently +7 degrees or below. Typically in Saskatchewan that’s October but – because everything is weird right now so why not – we’ve had a warmer than usual fall so I suspect many of us Saskatchewanians may not have booked that appointment yet. My suggestion – get that scheduled now so that you can beat the rush when the first “snowfall that sticks” happens.
Other things you can do, courtesy of Kal Tire, to ensure your car is ready to hit the road this winter:
Life isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and there’s a lot of good things ahead even if we feel like we’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of intense news, health and safety protocols and learning more about science and epidemiology that we never thought we would. I think we’re on a good path now in Sask to get to a better place, a better winter than last (we may hit the road and travel to Calgary to be with family this holiday season, something I missed so much last year). What we can do now is prepare for all those good things, while ensuring that we’re checking in and taking care of those around us. I drive safely for my precious cargo in the vehicle with me, but also for everyone else on the road. We’re Saskatchewanians, we’ve endured a lot, but we persevere and plough through. It’s who we are.
This is a post in partnership with Kal Tire.