At 7:30 last night I was just finishing up my shift at the Villa, the seniors’ residence where I cook a few meals every week. My husband, who was waiting for me to finish my work, asked if I could hear a siren. He’d already alerted the residents that something unusual was going on outside, so they were all watching from the large picture window that faces the car port.
We saw a Fire Department vehicle, sirens blaring and lights flashing, drove into the Villa parking lot. A moment later we had the opportunity to witness first-hand a Drive-By Shouting.* We were forewarned that this would happen, but it was to be a surprise for the residents.
Two of our seniors had birthdays yesterday; Melvin turned 86 and Wilbert 91, so their families, together with the Villa board arranged this birthday party on wheels. Wilbert’s great-grandson and a friend drove up to the carport in a sort of dune buggy with flashing lights; they jumped off and fastened a large banner between two pillars on the outside of the carport, facing the picture window. “Happy Birthday Melvin & Wilbert,” it read.
Then they led a long procession through the carport, the two men’s families, Villa Board member and a number of others from the congregation. Our guess is at least twenty vehicles passed through our carport, with passengers honking and waving — much to the delight of the two “birthday boys.” Many vehicles were decorated with signs and balloons; in the back of one pickup two young people held up a large plywood sheet with Happy Birthday painted on it.
As they say, “A good time was had by all.”
Actually, we later heard that the local Fire Department had been involved in an earlier drive-by shouting, together with friends and family, for a Mrs Smith who turned 95 yesterday.
*I don’t know how widely used this term is, but a Moose Jaw reporter recently wrote about “the increase in drive-by shoutings” in that city, so I’m borrowing it. When folks are supposed to be self-isolating, they find creative ways of interacting. And there’s no ban on drive-bys.
I’m happy to say that our residents — and most residents of seniors’ & nursing homes in the province — have escaped the virus thus far. The stats I’ve heard today for Saskatchewan are: 301 diagnosed with Covid-19; 187 recovered; 4 deaths. So we’ve much reason to be thankful to date.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is BAN