Long weekends are ripe for memory making.
What kinds of memories is up to you and your decisions.
With summer-like temps and the extra day, life for those that work the five-day work week, this Victoria Day weekend has the potential to be full of adventures alone, with friends, or with family, or it can be just a time to catch up on chores, or a barbecue in the park or backyard with a small gathering of friends and family. Laughter will be shared. Great food savoured. Toasts around the kitchen table at home, or in front of the lake, as the sun’s warmth makes everyone’s face glow. Watch the clouds float by and do nothing. Play board games at the dining table where everyone is shouting all at once. There are a myriad of opportunities available to satiate our desires and satisfy the soul this coming weekend.
For all this opportunity of joy, there is the potential for tragedy on the roads or the potential for a careless action to lead to a forest fire, which is a reality with the conditions in the Highlands since a recent fire ban was announced by all four municipalities in Haliburton County on Thursday, May 12.
It’s obviously disappointing to not be able to have a bonfire, but let’s remember the dangers, which not only apply to the immediate vicinity, but the potential of a how quickly a fire can blaze its trail of destruction beyond what you can see, destroying property, but also potentially harming others.
Also, let’s not add to the sobering statistics by aggressively driving to wherever we need to go. Exercise patience for the greater good for us all, so we don’t have to read about it in the newspapers and hear about it on television.
Earlier this year, the OPP released important statistics pertaining to road calls.
There were 315 deaths on the roads last year, which is four per cent more than who died compared to 2020. Of these there were 81 speed-related deaths on the roads last year, which is a 10-year high. Another statistic that jumps out was how there were 60,544 road crashes in 2021, which is up eight per cent from year before.
It’s easy to get excited with the anticipation of getting away from it all, hoping to start what you have been anticipating for a few weeks or even months sooner than later because of a slow moving vehicle. Saving the 10 minutes or 30 minutes by driving excessively more than the posted speed is tempting. Is it really worth it though?
Let’s all do our best to practice patience and good judgment. Have your drinks over the course of several hours on the dock or just in your backyard, but recognize that staying over or getting a ride is not just the right thing to do for yourself, but is right for everyone. Let’s have this weekend filled with magical memories that last generations instead of regret because of tragedy, which can have a ripple affect, whether that is the sorrow felt by those directly affected, or indirectly by the emergency responders on the scene and the healthcare professionals in the hospital, who have to work this weekend, keeping us safe and or end up saving our lives. Think of them when you consider passing a line of slow vehicles on the way to the cottage, the trail head, or the boat launch on a two-land road. Think of their families and their mental well-being before you make an emotional decision to be quicker than others, so memories are made instead of emotional laden calls, letting people know loved ones aren’t coming home. Exercise your power for a great weekend, so we can all go home with heart-filled memories instead of the feeling of emptiness of tragedy and sadness.