A Bit of Sunlight – A Road Trip

It is a gorgeous day. I feel like I am floating down the highway as I drive to Esterhazy. I love it. I am going to meet Frances, my mom’s first cousin. My mom said that there were no relatives left on her mother’s side. None of them had kids and all her mother’s siblings have passed on. But I couldn’t believe it. I see how families multiply and grow, there had to be someone who could tell me about my grandmother Nellie. I can’t believe this dream of mine is coming true. This is really happening. I have found a treasure box in my family tree.

I feel guilty about cancelling a counselling session and not showing up at yoga practice but I really feel that I have to do this. As I drive I kind of dissolve into the blue sky in front of me. I wonder if the houses I past, the abandoned farm yards of families long ago suffered as I suffer now.

Did the women accept their world and environment? Did they enjoy parenting and cleaning? Or did they long for something more? Did their longing kill them? Did they get to do what they wanted to do? Could they dream past their present situations? Did they find happiness in the small, everyday things? 

Looking at the houses and I wonder where the gardens were, where the kids played, did the mother have a special spot in the yard or a favourite window to look out of? Did she garden out of necessity or did she enjoy it?  I can almost imagine kids running around outside but only there was more trees around the yard back then.

When we live in one world, a world of pioneers, can we even imagine living in a world outside of that?  Can we imagine and have the opportunity to move towards our passions?

Photo was taken through my car window in 2007 along HWY 11 in Saskatchewan, Canada.

 

This Old House

I do not have poetry ringing through me.  Actually, for the most part I find it hard to understand and have always turned away from poetry.  Lately my interested in it has been growing.  A couple of years ago my daughter Emily needed help with a poetry assignment at school.  When I went to bed that night these two poems just fell out of me.  I know nothing about poetry and I am pretty sure they are not perfect but I am going to put them out there anyhow.  I will work on them and include them into my memoir This Old House.

Childhood Home

This is my childhood home as of last year. It has been abandoned for the last 8 years. Sadly that hasn’t changed its appearance much. I had the most amazing childhood due to being poor. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

This Old House
This old house, worse for wear
On the outside showing a lack of care
One‐pane windows, wooden and rotten
House repairs bottom of the list but not forgotten
“Better to build new then fix this old house”
says the master of the dwelling
With a family of six, and even a mouse
All the while the wife’s anger swelling
For she wanted more
Than a shack with one door.

Me, picking at my fingers, and my sisters.

My Sisters
Four sisters went out to play
They played in the sun for most of the day
They danced and ran and chased the wind
Knowing all the while there was love within

Rain will wash away the old
Now, new beginnings yet to be told
Young blond girls play in water and mud
Rainbows in the sky hit their heart with a thud

Snow would come and out they would go
to frolic and skate in the white fluffy snow
So many stars twinkle in the prairie night
Where the four sisters play in winter delight

Four sisters went out to play
They played in the sun for most of the day
Bringing joy and laughter
To live a life happily ever after

A Random Post Regarding Saskatchewan Weather

Before I post my intended post I wanted to share some photos and a video of some of the weather we have been having here lately.

A week ago we were under a tornado watch that turned into a tornado warning really fast. They were forming and unforming quickly all around us. None touched the ground where we live but this one was awfully close to my house. This is my back yard.

Tuesday, June 26th we had an ‘extreme thunderstorm warning’ and a tornado watch. After the last tornado watch we became a little more concerned. The picture does’t do the approaching storm justice. The energy from the sky was magnificent. Everyone was staring at the sky. Even my dog was barking at the clouds.

I drove by this grain bin on my way for tea at a neighbours house, only to realize we could not make tea because we had no power due to being in the middle of a wind warning.  Winds were gusting over 100 kms an hour.  I drove by this grain bin and thought I would take a video of it to share with my friend at tea and now I share it with you.

 

Pictures and video from my personal album.

My Saskatchewan Heart

I do not like my surroundings; Saskatchewan seems depressing to me. Feeling and thinking this way bothers me. I have always loved to look at the flowing wheat and barley in the endless fields as I drove. The golden fields would be interrupted by yellow canola flowers and purple flax – so many colours. I have always loved Saskatchewan’s beauty. I thought that enjoying a prairie lake would revive the Saskatchewan heart that beats in me. Instead I find myself crying. 

          – Excerpt from Sunlight, Wakaw Beach Chapter

 In Sunlight I wrote about my struggles with my Saskatchewan heart.  Since Sunlight I have recovered it and have come to realize that there are others out there with a Saskatchewan Heart but it is different than mine.

Despite me living on an acreage which looks like a farm because we just bought the yard but are surrounded by fields, I am actually a small town girl.  As a child I loved biking down town or cutting through some paths accross the tracks to rent a movie.  Dances in a small town are amazing.  The whole family attends, bar is open and if you live in a town you can walk home afterwards.  I was never much of a drinker so I never much benefited from the walk home for that reason.

Teela dancing at my hometown’s reunion last summer. My older girls are behind her and to the right.

My friends in town would come and knock on my window in the night and I would “sneak out” to go for a walk with them at some crazy hour in the night.  I never really “sneaked out”.  We lived in a very small house which I often refer to in foundness as a shack.  There was only one door in the house and you had to walk through the living room and kitchen to get outside.  So there was no sneaking past dad.  Unless he was in the washroom.

Childhood Home

This is my childhood home as of last year. It has been abandoned for the last 8 years. Sadly that hasn’t changed its appearance much. I have great memories growing up here though.

There are town kids and there are farm kids.  I think being a farm kid had more prestige in my class or school but to me it was all a matter of perspective.  It kind of reminds me now of the story “Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss.  Some Sneetches had stars on their bellies and others did not.  There was  a lot of segretation due to these stars just as there was some segregation if you lived in town or not.

My childhood yard. We had an amazing fort in the back of those trees.

This leads to the idea of their being different types of Saskatchewan hearts out there.  If kids grew up on the farm they have more of an attachment to the farm, to openness, and perhaps even the earth.  That is not to say us town kids were not attracted to these things but it was different.  We biked out of town to find them and the country kids had it right outside their door.

My father-in-law has the heart of a prairie boy.  He is a hunter and simply loves to be outside with earth.  Building, tending honeybees, gardening, seeking out people who have fresh eggs or farm meat.  He is resourceful and innovative.  He is always inventing and designing.  He is a farm boy.  Farm boys is another type of Saskatchewan heart.

Last night I attended my daughters year-end celebrations for pre-k.  One little guy up there won an award for being the first bullriding cowboy.  Everyday this boy wore cowboy hat and boots to match plus one glove cause he was that is what bull riders do.  It runs through his blood.  His parents won’t be able to shake him from it even if they tried.  Which I don’t think they will.

(My Teela won the award for Littlest Princess.  She is everyone’s friend and kind.  Plus she wears dresses all the time and fancies herself a princess)

Oh, there is more types out there.  I am sure there is a blending of them all or parts and pieces of a few.  If you ever hear someone say they have a prairie heart just ask them what they love about it.  It might be hard to put into words.  It is like asking us how our DNA feels.