Welcome to my New Home!

I have moved back to my birthplace - a town of about 1800 in rural New Brunswick, Canada.

I have been gone for 20 years working in various cities, but not a lot has changed around here. People still leave their keys in their cars and their front doors unlocked...people still walk into your house without knocking and help themselves to a cup of coffee....and neighbors are both nosey AND some of the most helpful and wholesome folks you will ever find!

I am not sure if I will fit in here. I am used to "breakfast, lunch and dinner", not "breakfast, dinner and supper" which leads to all kinds of confusion when my friends show up at noon for a meal I was making at 6pm. I am also used to wearing $100 Lululemon yoga pants not $15 WalMart specials. (Not that there is anything wrong with WalMart!).

I have a convertible, which is completely inappropriate for a town that has snow 6 months of the year. I loved it when the old-timers would say, half-smiling, "So, you gonna be driving that car this winter?" like I might have just fell off the turnip truck the night before. I'd make my big blue eyes as big as I could as I would sweetly reply "Do you think I could....?"

Well, I WILL adjust, I WILL! One way or another, I want to be part of this town. I want to "be the me I was when I was child", not the one I created while living in the city.

So, let me share my experiences with you, as I adjust to this new, but old, environment.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Red Light, Green Light

In my job, I am a Manager of a Driver Examiner. I had a look at the tests that she gives to people regarding road signs and rules of the road questions. I am pretty sure I would pass any of her tests with a little bit of studying, but there is a fundamental problem with knowing the rules of the road; the problem is, that *I* know the rules of the road, but everyone else either doesn’t know them, or at least they don’t choose to follow them.

When I lived in Toronto, I could maneuver across 5 lanes of traffic likety-split, and my heart would not skip a beat. I could be driving at warp speed down the highway and come upon a sudden traffic jam, and not blink an eye. Last fall when Greg and I visited Toronto, my little niece decided to open the car door to throw her gum out while we were hurtling down the dangerous Don Valley Parkway. I did make her keep her hands in her lap the rest of the trip, but the situation was more funny than scary. When I asked her why she opened the door, she pointed out that her Dad had told her not to throw her gum out the window, so she decided to throw it out the door instead. That logic makes sense, at least to a 7-year old.

In P-A, the “local rules of the road” frighten me more than anything in the city. Come to a 4-way stop in P-A, and people start waving to each other to go first. Politeness is the rule here, over the proper rules of the road. People seem to give preferential treatment to some combination of: those driving nice cars, to people they know, to cute girls, to cute boys, and to really old people. But this just confuses me! If I arrive at a 4-way stop after another car, and the other person waves me through, indicating I should proceed first, I can’t help but wonder “Is this a trick”?!? I am not sure what kind of trick, but …. are people *really* just that nice?  But, the thing is, I am a simple person. If there are rules, and everyone knows the rules, everyone should follow the rules. I don’t have the logic skills to think up my own rules, or to understand non-verbal rules like wild-hand-waving at the end of the bridge.

Last week I got completely freaked out on my way to work. I drove the road I always drive to work. I came upon the stop sign I always come upon, but instead of just a stop sign, there was a blinky red light overhead. But wait, there’s more. I realized later that if I approach the intersection from either of the other 2 directions, there are blinky yellow lights, where before, there had been nothing.
A busy intersection in Perth-Andover. 

What this tells me is that people don’t know to heed a stop sign, so maybe the visual cues needed to be doubled-up…stop sign AND a red blinky light might get people to REALLY stop when requested.  And putting in yellow blinky lights must mean that there were too many instances of people coming at each other from different directions, pausing, then being super-polite to each other, waving to each other to proceed. Maybe all that non-verbal wild-hand-waving became too much for people, and so someone thought blinking yellow lights would help people prioritize who does what, when.

The only problem is, you give 2 people, from a super-polite community, yellow caution blinky lights, then that means it gives them even more reason to be polite and considerate and hesitate....we could end up with a traffic jam at the yellow blinky lights as people start the wild hand-waving to communicate who should proceed, with no movement from either side.

And the whole time, I will be sitting watching this at the stop sign with the red blinky light. Someone made sure as heck that I will stop, but someone forgot to put in a green light to tell me when to go!


  1. Stop, no really stop ... I think I'm going to pee myself laughing. Oh Donna, you nailed it girl.

  2. I'm glad you enjoy my observations, Linda!