Tuesday, December 21, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 51 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Xmas Hours


New Girl In Town

The question I keep hearing, as my time in The Pass continues to roll on, is “how do you like The Pass so far?”
My standard response is, “it’s great. I love it. It’s beautiful here,” and so on and so forth.
This is all true. I am still as in love with the community as I was the first day I came here.
The people, for the most part, are warm and welcoming, the local music scene is relatively healthy, and you can usually find something to do with your free time, all of which may seem strange to my fellow Vulcanites.
But there were a few things I was unprepared for, and admittedly should have been.
The first is the wind. I possess and ardent disdain for wind. It makes driving nerve-racking, blows excess amounts of dirt and dust through my open windows, and as I am the kind of girl who can be frequently seen wearing skirts or dresses, it can lead to embarrassing incidents of passersby getting a better view of my pantyhose than I would like.
I knew it was windy here, but I don’t think I was altogether prepared for just how windy.
When my mother called me one morning to inform me that she had heard on the Global Calgary weather report that wind speeds in the Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek were expected to reach 120 kilometres per hour that day, I thought to myself “what have I gotten myself into?”
The other is winter in the mountains. First off, I lived in Calgary for the first four years of my adult life, and come from Vulcan, so I am not at all unprepared for the horrors of Southern Alberta winters. But this winter in the Crowsnest Pass has been a completely different monster.
The first massive downpour of snowfall resulted in me not being able to remove my car from the parking lot of the apartment complex in which I live, and being unable to get to work.
Now, it’s not like I drive a Pontiac Sunfire or Chevrolet Cavalier, or some other small, feminine compact car that other girls my age would drive. I drive a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis, which has in the past proven more than capable of getting around in icy, snowy conditions.
My father, being a tire man for more than 20 years, assured me that the winter tires he put on my car were adequate if not adept at achieving their purpose. But after the issues I’ve been having for the past month or so, he has responded with “well, maybe we need to get you some different tires for living in the mountains.” I think you’re onto something, dad.

One night, my car slid off the road and into a ditch which was heavily inundated with wet, heavy snow.
After a brief panic attack, as I was on a sparsely populated road with no one around for miles, I proceeded to dig myself out of the ditch with a shovel I borrowed from the porch of a nearby home.
I dug an approximately 20 foot long by six foot wide trench out of the waist-high snow bank, returned the shovel to the porch, drove out of the ditch, and the following day, purchased cat litter, sand bags, and my own shovel. Lesson learned.
On the positive side of things, I absolutely love being so close to British Columbia. Being able to tell my friends and family that I “went to B.C. for a couple of hours”, and that being totally normal, is a strange and wonderful thing to me.
Also, as I told my friends when I moved here, all I really need to make me happy is: a cool old movie theatre, a cute little cafe, and a cozy coffee shop, all of which I have been able to find in the Orpheum Theatre, Stone’s Throw Cafe, and Blackbird Coffee House, respectively.
Lastly, to those who ask me how I feel about living here, I offer an anecdote.
On the final weekend in November, I travelled to Calgary for my best friend’s annual celebration of birth. As soon as I reached the fork in Hwy 2 where the left hand lanes become Macleod Trail and the right hand ones become Deerfoot Trail, a sense of joy overcame me. When I finally came upon Memorial Drive and made my way into the city’s centre, to her house in Kensington, I became overwhelmed with a feeling of coming home.
This is a feeling I had previously only felt when I would leave Calgary on occasion to visit my parents, sister, nephews, and cousins in Vulcan.
How lucky I felt to now have two homes.
When I left Calgary that following Monday to return to the Crowsnest Pass, an obvious sense of sadness washed over me, as I now do not get to spend as much time with my friends (adoptive family) as I would like, and leaving them is always a little depressing.
But as I reached the part of Hwy 22 which intersects with Hwy 3, and I saw that final windmill, that same feeling of coming home again overwhelmed me.
As I drove onward and came upon the Burmis Tree, a smile spread across my face, and it occurred to me: I now have not one, not two, but three homes.
Does that answer your question?

Love, Kimberley

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   Volume 80 - Issue 51 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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