Sunday, August 07, 2005

This is Saskatoon at its best

I live in a city that is without question the friendliest city with the most caring people in Canada. The people are known for their volunteering, collecting for the needy and a smile and head nod of greeting when passing on the sidewalk. When I first encountered this when I arrived in Saskatoon I kept checking to see if my fly was open. They drive from one red light to the next without any sign that it bothers them. I wonder what they think drivers from outside of Saskatoon are doing when they are beating the steering wheel with their fists and yelling at every red light, singing. I have a friendly volunteer check on me and bring me a hot meal, my medication costs are based on my income and I pay 3% of the total cost. Two doors up the street lives a man that snow blows my walks in winter, I am surrounded by people who offer to clean my house, cut the grass and on a few occasions call an ambulance for me. I can call a volunteer to give me a ride for doctors appointments and shopping or a bus that picks me up at the front door when I am in my chair or a kid to go to the store for me.

I had met a disabled man in a wheelchair at the hospital and we would get into discussions about just about everything as long as it was not during the time he watched Jeopardy. I was embarrassed by the amount he got right and by his ability to find a clue that pointed him to his vast knowledge and the answer. We talked a bit about our disabilities, mostly the difference between slowly becoming disabled and wham, he was in a wheelchair completely dependant on others. We had been talking about how high the river was and I knew there was a happy ending by the way he told me that he had been mugged on his way to see the river the next day. A man had asked him for some change, he has one arm that has limited movement and allows him to use the control on his chair. He would have had difficulty getting the change and the man grabbed his money and walked away. He did not walk very far, someone witnessed what happened and the chase was on, joined by others who he thought were city workers the thief was caught and held for the police.

His money was returned to him. What the people who chased down this thief gave to him was priceless and could not have been bought at any price. Had the people not taken chase it would not have been the loss of his money that would have been devastating for him. This is Saskatoon at its best.

No comments: