It has been one year since my daughter, Laura, and Alex got married. With the addition of baby Alex Junior (AJ) last July the time seems to have gone by in an instant, like the flash of the firefly in the late evening. An Aboriginal proverb by the Blackfoot likens the passage of life to “the breath of the buffalo in winter time.” Before you know it, vapor mist exhaled disappears in the cold outside air.
Good news! Alex has completed his five-week heavy-equipment operating course at Taranis Training in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The schooling consisted of both classroom learning and hands-on training where graduates receive an official heavy equipment operator’s certificate. He studied the following machines: rubber tired backhoe loader, bulldozer, excavator, fork-lift, rock truck, and grader, plus attaining certificates in surface miner common core and WHMIS. The instructors indicated that he had a natural aptitude for operating machinery and suggested he would have a position next spring. However, after supper last night he indicated to me that he was going on a job search tomorrow! He is not willing to wait! He, Laura, and the kids want to move into a different rental house away from their current location and need cash in order to do so. Actually, the rental unit they are eyeing is closer to where my wife Karin and I live, which is a bonus.
As Alex was away all week, excluding weekends, while training, he really missed his family. It was fun to watch him in the ice arena recently holding four-month old AJ up close. At the time, Justice was playing novice hockey while Angelina was running around the building with her girlfriends. Laura was just glad to have him sit nearby on the bench for a change.
One of the stresses of fatherhood is to provide a comfortable and safe home for your young family and being able to afford to do so. Working on equipment in Northwestern Ontario generally takes you away from home and family, which in itself can be stressful. You can find work but at northern mines or doing traditional bush work logging. In any case, Alex is pining for a job on a grapple skidder, a machine which is used to forward tree-length wood roadside for processing and hauling to local pulp & sawmills which have seen resurgence in operations after a seven-year slow-down. I wish him well in his quest for a job. I hope and pray someone with a kind heart and an open mind for hiring a new less-experienced machine operator will give him the employment break he has studied to achieve.
We just have to keep our skates and stick on the ice!