Small kind­ness helps fam­ily through Irma

Woman sent in­struc­tions to make her own don­air

The Amherst News - - REGIONAL - AN­DREW RANKIN

Natasha Snow Hey­wood cried the mo­ment she bit into her don­air on Satur­day.

Un­der­stand­ably, the re­ac­tion had a lot to do with the fear the Hal­i­fax na­tive had been hold­ing onto for days, know­ing there was no way she and her chil­dren could es­cape the wrath of hur­ri­cane Irma. Her hus­band was away work­ing at the time.

But the tears also rep­re­sented her af­fec­tion for home. That very don­air rep­re­sented a ges­ture of kind­ness that she had longed for and had come to take for granted be­fore leav­ing Nova Sco­tia for cen­tral Florida seven years ago.

That don­air was the prod­uct of a sim­ple Face­book post the mother of three wrote last Thurs­day. She was re­act­ing to a story posted on a Hal­i­fax news me­dia Face­book page, pre­dict­ing the com­ing wrath of hur­ri­cane Irma.

“If some­one can send me a don­air pizza down south to cen­tral Florida, it would be ap­pre­ci­ated,” she wrote from her Lake­land home.

She was in luck. A top-shelf recipe for don­air meat and sauce made its way into her in­box hours later.

She was over­joyed.

Two days later, a day be­fore she would ex­pe­ri­ence the scari­est two hours of her life, Snow Hey­wood bought the sup­plies and went to work. It was glo­ri­ous, just like the last one she’d gob­bled down seven years prior to that mo­ment. Her kids shared in her ex­ul­ta­tion.

“It was just over­whelm­ingly nice and it just re­minded me of how great up home is,” she re­called.

“When I took the first bite I cried but I was skep­ti­cal, won­der­ing if it would taste like it does up home and it was ev­ery­thing I could re­mem­ber seven years ago.”

She took to We Love Nova Sco­tia’s Face­book page to de­clare her grat­i­tude for the small act of kind­ness shown to her by a fel­low Nova Sco­tian. She posted a pic­ture of the cre­ation, and an out­pour­ing of sup­port en­sued.

“I just wanted to say thank you. It’s a small ges­ture and it went a long way for me with the stress of the hur­ri­cane. I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to have such an out­pour­ing of sup­port from peo­ple.”

It was what she needed to steel her­self for Sun­day’s hor­ror.

“It came right over our city about 1 a.m. this morn­ing (Mon­day) and it was re­ally scary,” she said. “We packed our­selves in a lit­tle hall­way, me, my three kids and three dogs.

“Ev­ery­thing shook. I thought the win­dows were go­ing to blow in. It was this hor­ri­ble screech­ing wind. I never heard any­thing like it. I’ve never been that scared. Ev­ery­thing went silent and then it started back up. It was the long­est two hours of my life. I kissed my kids on the fore­head and just prayed.

“Af­ter it was all over, there was a lot of dam­age around us. We walked out of there un­scathed, no prop­erty dam­age. Our neigh­bour lost his roof. A part of a whole tree was in some­one’s wind­shield. An old wil­low tree came out of its roots and al­most crushed some­one’s house.”

What about the woman who came through in the clutch for a fel­low Nova Sco­tian? As it hap­pens, Kirsten Anne Mac­Don­ald, a don­air con­nois­seur from Dart­mouth, was just do­ing her job as one Mar­itimer look­ing af­ter an­other.

“I was so happy that some­thing so small would bring her so much joy,” said Mac­Don­ald. “But that’s my roots, the way I’ve been brought up and a lot of us have been. You look out for each other and you help any­one out you can in a time of need.”

As for the recipe, it’s top se­cret. Mac­Don­ald would not say from which lo­cal don­air es­tab­lish­ment it comes from.

On Mon­day af­ter­noon, Snow Hey­wood was at a friend’s place pre­par­ing to make more don­airs. She’s also count­ing down her next visit to Hal­i­fax in the com­ing weeks.

“You can’t imag­ine how ex­cited I am.”

(Natasha Snow Hey­wood photo)

Thanks to the kind­ness of a fel­low Nova Sco­tian, Natasha Snow Hey­wood and her fam­ily were able to en­joy some home style com­fort food in Florida while Hur­ri­cane Irma wreaked havoc there over the week­end.

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