You may have noticed that the blog has been offline this past week. It seemed irrelevant and frivolous to be posting about a meal idea when my neighbors to the north were evacuating through literal walls of fire. Like most Albertans, I’ve spent the past week glued to the television, the radio and social media for any tiny bits of new information that might be coming about the fires, the evacuations, the emergency reception centers… anything.
I’ve grown up in Alberta, and for the majority of my life Fort McMurray has been the northern economic giant of not only my province, but the country. People love to hate on Alberta, but especially Fort McMurray (even more than my home, Edmonton!). Those that have made their homes here, though, don’t throw any shade about our northern neighbor. It’s a boom town that has welcomed with open arms people from all over our country and the world, with all different skills, backgrounds, faiths and origin. If you want to see a harmonious melting pot, look at Fort McMurray. Simultaneously, those that live and work in Fort McMurray give back to their own community, our province, country and causes all around the world every day.
There’s a lot that gets said about Fort McMurray and the industries that have brought so many people to the northern town, and I’m not going to repeat any of it. What I am going to say is that big business up north not only took care of itself, but of the community as a whole. When the times got tough, everyone pitched in. You can see in the news footage Syncrude fire fighting trucks working alongside emergency services to put out hotspots around the township. Most know that many residents were evacuated to the camps north of the city- industry partners flew out their own people to make room for evacuees, and then assisted with the evacuation of community members from their camps as well.
And then there are the everyday Albertans who dropped everything to drive north with water, fuel, food and supplies for families stranded on the way down. The community members who stopped what they were doing to work in reception centers, sort donations and the thousands upon thousands of people who have already raised $29 million for the Red Cross. The military and first responders from all over the world have come to help keep Albertans safe and protect as much of Fort Mac as possible.
This is the important stuff that went on this week, that no “guideline” on regular posting on a blog or killer recipe could supersede. Regular posts will resume after the weekend, but like a lot of Albertans, I’m going to go spend some time with my family, grateful for what I have.