Monday, April 17, 2006

Lead.r, Ska-ska-chew-waaan

I LOVE how people from elsewhere say 'Saskatchewan'. It always falls away at the end alarmingly, like someone is falling off a cliff - 'Sask-a-chew-waaaaaaaaaaaaan...?!'

Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating a little.

We went back to Lead.r for the first time in 6 years this weekend. Going there is so fraught with anxiety that I don't do it any more often than I dare to. I'm going again in June for the 20-year high school reunion - hopefully with my sister in tow for added hilarity - but somehow I needed to see my childhood home and the town beforehand, to mentally prepare.

When I was growing up there, Lead.r had 5 grain elevators along the main street. You could recognize it from miles away because of the string of prairie giants. Now all the elevators are gone save for one. It just seems all wrong to me, but I suppose you get used to it.

My childhood home never feels like home, because Aunt Frieda has packed it really full of boxes and crap. There are traces of my personal space there, but most of it is almost completely erased/buried. And so I don't really miss home. Furthermore, I left Lead.r over 20 years ago so I dont' really miss the people either, because I don't know them very well anymore. What I do miss is the landscape. I long for the olive green of the river hills, the white wind-blown clouds, the red orange gold pink sunsets, the dusty flat prairie yellow of harvested wheatfields.

Jim and Sprout came along with me for the weekend, and we spent some time Sunday afternoon in the park that I played in as a child. There is new playground equipment but it's the same place I remember. It was really windy while we were there - and a cold wind too - but it didn't bother me. I was actually quietly thrilled to sit for a while on a bench in the park watching the sky, getting blown frozen by the same wind that I used to play in. It smelled right, you know?

(I tried hard to ignore that the bench I was sitting on claimed to be sponsored by 'D P COMPUTORS', which I guess is a local business that doesn't mind that it's sponsored bench sports an eternal spelling error.) (Perhaps their largesse on this point shows that they have a lot of heart.) (Or perhaps they really registered their business name as 'D P COMPUTORS', and there ain't no typo.) Heh.

The visit with Frieda was stressful for me and by association for Jim, but Sprout seemed oblivious. He had a good time digging up the dirt in her flower beds and blowing bubbles in the wind. And eating chocolate, which he doesn't get very often around here.

We came home last night, and spent a nice day at home together today. For the first time since Sprout was born three years ago, he let me dig in a flower bed until I was completely done my weeding job - this is the tiniest of victories, but very satisfying. I hate stopping a job mid-flow. Sprout entertained himself fabulously. He dug holes. He built dirt castles. He put out imaginary fires with his firehose (a stick). He covered worms. He theorized on bugs' lives. He helped me clear old leaves from the flower bed - "Now dat is so pretty, Mama!"

All in all, a very nice Easter.


Anonymous L. said...

After the previous posts, I'm glad you clarified that his firehose was a stick!

3:43 pm  

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