Chris and I invariably start out late on the first day of a holiday. Too much too do with too little time to do it. But today, we outdid ourselves in a late start. Of course we blamed the grand children and their parents for staying a couple of days after the Christmas party at our home. Although we cast blame on them, we loved the visit. It was a fantastic visit from Nasya, Emma, Nick, Debbi and Nolan who all stayed a couple of days extra to keep us company and we loved every minute of it, but this made it impossible for us to pack or get ready for our trip down south. It was all worth it. And retired people like us can go with the flow. We just left a few hours later than we otherwise would have wished. No biggie.
First I had to drain the hot tub. That was a draining experience. Then I had to pack my stuff. It is hard to pack for 3 months. Packing is always more difficult or at least time consuming than I think it will be. There are many important things that “must” be brought along.
At the top of the list from my perspective are books. I always take too many books. This time I took a stack of books, but I was reminded of Abdul Kassem Ismael, grand vizier of Persia in the tenth century A.D., who never travelled without his library of 117, 000 volumes, carried by a caravan of 400 camels trained to walk in alphabetical order. Sadly I had no servant to do my bidding. What a pity.
Our first stop was the Salisbury House. We had not eaten breakfast or lunch. This was barbaric! I loved the cartoon I read there that showed 2 polar bears. One said to the other, “I never thought we would be going south for the winter.” This was no doubt in reference to a recent event that was reported by Canada’s head of Weather Reporting Dave Philipps. He said that he lived in Windsor the most southerly part of Canada. The other day, he said, it was much colder there than it was at the North Pole. The weather is acting weird. Again.
The day was fiercely cold. The coldest of the year I believe. Temperatures were expected to reach -33°C. It was about -30 when we left. Yet, the drive was most pleasant. Conditions were perfect except for extreme cold, which we had to be careful about of course. It was my last chance to listen to CBC radio for 3 months. At least that was what I thought. I had not taken into consideration the wonders of modern technology. More on that later.
CBC broadcast a wonderful repeat of the Song Writers Circle that had been held in June for the Juno Awards. There were a number of outstanding singer/songwriters including Colin Linden, Lisa LeBlanc, and Bruce Cockburn. Cockburn talked about his song “Lovers in a Dangerous time.” He said it was not just about lovers, but it was also about the times. These times are dangerous because of wars and environmental damage and economic chaos. Yet a line from the song said, “Spirits open to the thrust of grace.” He also talked about his song “If I had a rocket Launcher.” In that song he said,
I don’t believe in guarded borders
And I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals
Or their stinking torture states
The ride out was beautiful. We saw gorgeous sundogs near the border. The beauty of the prairies on such an extremely cold day is also extreme. Chris took a couple of great shots of them as we drove. Later we were shown a fine prairie sunset. What a great start.