Numerous fundraising activities have been initiated by residents and businesses, the most recent being a barbecue sponsored by Jason Williams and Pharmasave.
It was held last Friday (in the rain) and I was blown away by the number of people who lined up to purchase a hamburger and pop. The organizer must have been blown away as well because a huge response by the public resulted in Jason and his staff cooking every burger they had, and then exhausting the supply of burgers at Shop Easy and Co-op. My wife, who was purchasing burgers for both of us, was at the back of the very long lineup and she missed out. Isn’t it great to have such an incredible problem? It’s heart-warming and overwhelming.
Isn’t it also fantastic to receive a substantial rainfall? After going through a very dry spring, it is amazing how happy people can be for a half-inch of rain. I cannot recall the last time I saw so many residents thankful for so little rain, but it must have been before the flood of 2010. I know the precipitation is late for hay crops, but better late than never. It seems like this spring was considerably drier than other years, so it makes me wonder if weather patterns are not beginning to shift back to drier conditions. Only time will tell.
On Saturday, I received a real surprise. I looked out the news office front door and was shocked to see large hail stones across the street in the driveway of Menko’s Hair Dezign. Taking a second look, it quickly became apparent the hail stones were confined to the driveway and moved in the wind. They were in fact blossoms that had blown off a nearby tree or shrub. Yes, I felt a little silly since I had not heard any hail hit the steel roof of our building.
Saturday was also the day I went four wheeling on town property. In an attempt to get rid of unusable items before July 1 when landfill tipping fees will come into effect, I made a trip to the dump. I discovered the wonderful rain that we received had transformed the pit road into gumbo soup. Going down the gentle incline was no problem, but it would have been impossible to drive out without a four-wheel drive vehicle. However, I have to admit that it is absolutely wonderful to have such a problem and the rain that is the root cause of the situation.
I also found myself dealing with another situation. It was actually a question of image and masculinity and it was not related to the office. Here is some history on the subject. Shortly after we moved to Maple Creek 18 years ago, I met an individual from Consul. He carried books and small items in a bag which he called his “man purse.” At that time I thought it was very odd for any guy to have such an item and refer to it as a purse. Then I got to know Paul Heglund on a personal level and discovered his unique sense of humour. I also learned not to ask how he was feeling because his simple reply inevitably consisted of an obscure word or term I had never heard. The bottom line is I also learned that I was not comfortable referring to a tote bag as my man purse.
Jump forward to 2014 and I found myself carrying my lunch to work in a handy-dandy flat, bottom reusable bag. It was stored with my wife’s reusable shopping bags and was the perfect size to accommodate my lunch. It was also strong which is important since it must support my go-mug as well. I was taken aback when a female clerk took note of my bag and pointed out that it is unusual to see a male toting an Epicure spice bag. I had to agree with Rachel as the brand name stared back at me from the side of the bag. All of a sudden my hand-dandy lunch bag did not seem as rugged and macho as before. In fact, it kind of reminded me of a man purse (without a shoulder strap).
Walking home with my bag in hand, I thought of my world which is comprised of brand names, labels, nouns and terms that are often associated with one gender, culture or group of people. In fact, some companies invest huge sums of money to promote a particular product or image to a specific gender or target group. They imprint their message or values on unsuspecting minds that adopt it as their own. That’s another subject for another day.
As for me, I won’t be purchasing a man purse anytime soon, but I will continue to use my Epicure lunch bag without reservation. That’s throwing caution to the wind, albeit a very tiny wind that blows in my world.