A Trip to Calgary

Well, I’m back in the wilderness again after a long exhausting trip. My recommendation would be – don’t travel when construction is going on (all spring, summer and fall I think) and of course don’t travel the mountain passes in the winter either. I guess that would eliminate travelling all together. I do like travelling but I was delayed about 2 hours by construction which was irritating. I got into Calgary around dinner time and visited my son which was nice. I miss Shaun a lot. I think it’s called ‘empty nest syndrome’ and I often suffer from that. My son works such long hours so the following day I was alone all day. Then Saturday I went to visit my girlfriend Cathy, which was very nice. We drove out to a lake and visited her friend on Sunday, Cathy needs very much to get out of the hectic city once in a while. It was a relaxing afternoon.

Monday morning I got up and drove early to Edmonton to pick up my sister, Nola. She was anxious to get home so we left immediately for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Of course there was construction going to Edmonton too which delayed me about an hour. Then we drove through Saskatchewan. The roads were rough but I drive a pick-up truck with good tires. It was a relief – because Saskatchewan mainly leaves their roads ‘untouched’ and consequently there was little construction.

We arrived in Saskatoon after dinner – so being as my sister was anxious to get a room – we got a ‘Motel From Hell’. We needed outside access to the room to get Nola’s stuff piled in the back of my pick-up inside. I understand people steal stuff like that – although I don’t understand why since it’s mainly clothes and shoes that don’t fit many people (my sister is very small). The motel had very small lots and only a narrow road to get into the spots. That was my first challenge. Then, after charging an outlandish price, our key didn’t work outside. Finally we managed (my sister anyway) to pile everything inside – going through an inside door first. We go for supper next door and that was a mistake too I guess. First – we were given soup which neither of us wanted – but we did take a taste. Then, before we could say anything – except we didn’t want the soup – the waitress grabbed our bowls and offered them around the cafe as ‘free soup’. It was hilarious because there was a guy who took them??? By the following morning both Nola and I had the runs which kept us confined to our room for a few hours. Other things began to happen – we couldn’t get hot water – Nola went for ice and the machine was of course broken. At least our neighbors around us were friendly and nice. The clerks up front were not even slightly nice and we continually felt like we were a burden and annoyance to them.

Then, Tuesday morning we went and explored Saskatoon – a very pretty city, well kept and with huge parks and foliage winding throughout the small city’s hills, trees and river, the South Saskatchewan River. My aunt, who we were visiting had gone to have a cyst removed at the doctor’s office. Then we went to Aunt Nora’s. She is amazing. She does her own cooking and cleaning (and I don’t think there is anyone who can cook or clean better than Aunt Nora. She had all sorts of goodies for us – kuchen’s, strudels, etc. She wanted to cook our dinner but we insisted no. We took her to the Red Lobster – mine and her favorite restaurant. Both she and I ordered the Admiral Feast – loads and loads of sea-food. She cleaned off her plate and enjoyed it so much. Unfortunately Nola doesn’t like sea-food. She had chicken! I am so glad I travelled so far to see Aunt Nora. It was a great day.

The following morning we left for Regina. I grew up in Saskatchewan and I forgot how much both the weather and politics dominate conversations. When we stopped for a late breakfast we listened to comments both on the weather and the waitress’s comments on their new Primer. My niece and nephew in Regina have a beautiful house. Lynette is pregnant with a girl. They already have two girls – one blonde, one red-head (Danika – my inspiration for Danika Dreams a youth fantasy series I am working on.) Emma, who is now six – requested I write her a book too. I will. She is the most beautiful little blonde and we went to her soccer game. Kevin (her father) told us that when she first went she was so shy – she would cry, refuse to go on the field and want her parents with her. You should have seen little Emma play soccer. I was impressed – she was the smallest, youngest player on the team. She played defense – and was one of the best players there. She kept the ball from going into the net and she ran fast and she could kick – my how that little girl can kick! It was a pleasure and an example of building self-confidence. When she tried – she learned and was good. Way to go Emma!!!

The next day I drove back to Calgary – another 8 hour drive to stay again with my son. Shaun had the week-end off which is a rare treat for me. He is always working and visiting him means late suppers, early to bed and not being up in the morning when he leaves early for work. I got into Calgary about 4 and was tired. I called Shaun – he ended up working until 8:00 that night. I couldn’t get into his place so spent the timeshuffling around the mall by his place. We had dinner at Rickie’s then I went and slept! The next morning we went and got his new truck – 2009 Ford Ranger. Shaun was so happy. That afternoon we went to Terry’s birthday barbeque. It was fun and Terry sure does know how to barbeque steak. We spent the afternoon at the lake for the community. The weather was nice for us

Shaun at the Lake.

Terry's birthday

Terry and Anik

Terry & Anik

Shaun played in the water. Terry played with a phone and the men got together to examine and discuss Terry’s ‘deep-fryer’ for ages.

Then Sunday I took Shaun and Andrea (his girlfriend) to the Red Lobster for his birthday present. It was so nice to have Shaun not working and have some time with him. Shaun and I always had heated ‘discussions’ and still do. I recall once when he told me when he was a teen that one of his most enjoyable memories were when he and I would go for lunches and have sometimes very deep discussions. No topic was off limits.

The next day I drove home – again through construction and this time with a detour down to Radium and then back up to Golden. The drive from Sicamous to about Chase was beautiful. When you ride along-side the Shuswap Lake it’s one of the most beautiful areas in Canada.

When I went across the Coquihalla it was amazing. At the top I drove through a thunderstorm that was all around me. I was so high up – the thunder and lightning was right there and seemed to be by my truck. I was fascinated and enjoyed it. It was raining so hard I could only see additional heavy spray to indicate there was a car near me. I had no idea whether they had lights on or not. I have gone through many, many thunderstorms and this one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen. As soon as I started going down it cleared and was suddenly sunny. It was a unique experience. I went to bed at 7:30 that night and didn’t get up until 7:30 the following morning. Normally I cope quite well with 6 or 7 hours sleep.