Tuesday, October 8, Hague, Saskatchewan
In B.C., I defend Winnipeg weather, which tends to be misunderstood, and usually I do so in terms of its sunshine. According to this comparison of Canadian cities, Winnipeg tops the chart in annual sunshine. The four days we just spent there, however, failed to reward my fond defence. It was grey and moist throughout. But Sunday evening, the sky cleared somewhat, and yesterday (Monday) we were on the road again under bright sun and summery warmth. All day we enjoyed that light and the beauty of the prairies, a modest beauty, but beauty for sure, mostly flat but valleys and waves of land here and there, stands of trees turning yellow (with occasional hints of red), grazing cattle, geese in long lines overhead, stubble in rows and dotted with bales.
We took the Yellowhead highway to Saskatoon, which took us through Neepawa, which I don’t drive through without thinking of Margaret Laurence. I’ve been re-reading her work this year, as well as reading the Africa books, which I hadn’t read before. She was an enormous inspiration and influence in my reading/writing coming of age. (About an earlier visit to Neepawa here.) We passed through numerous other towns, some large, some small, many with truck and implement dealerships, gleaming vehicles and machines on display. And always the vast sky, set back and cloudless, insisting that we focus on the landscape.
We arrived in Hague, where my sister Linda lives, in time for supper, and spent the evening visiting with her. A bit of panic ensued when I saw my MacBook was almost out of power but I couldn’t find my charger. I figured I must have forgotten it in the last bedroom we occupied. How dependent we get on these instruments of information and communication! This morning I found it, packed in the place it wasn’t supposed to be packed, and all is well, it’s juicing up while I write this and H. and I are drinking our daily morning yerba mate.
We’ll spend this day with my elderly mother (97) at the Mennonite Nursing Home in Rosthern, and the evening at a reading event in Saskatoon. More on that after it happens!
Dora, I love following your blogs!
Thanks Alice. By the way, I’m in Linden (afternoon) and Calgary (evening) this Thursday the 10th. Any chance to see you?
So you drink Yerba Mate too! John & I drank it regularly when we were in Paraguay for a year in 2003 as teachers, and tried to continue here at home, but it’s just not the same. Often, on road trips, though, we take it along. Btw John spent his first 14 years in Neuland.
I love your blogs Dora!
Dora, you just didn’t stay long enough! Today is another beautiful, warm, sunny day. I have enjoyed the sunshine for the last three hours working in my yard.
It was so lovely to spend some time with you in Winnipeg. Safe travels!
I’m so glad you’re doing this road trip diary, Dora. It feels like I’m traveling with you, sharing the events. Such fun.
I too enjoy your travel posts, Dora. Thinking I might want to do that as well since we are leaving for Ontario tomorrow. We’re escaping all the bad weather predictions coming to Manitoba (I hope!) I too am from Neuland Colony, lived in the village Of Einlage for 5 years, until I was nine. Now I want to play the “Mennonite Game”! Kathy Rempel, (post above) are you related to Hans Rempel, he pastored together with my father, Bernhard Neufeld. Hans Rempel had one son also named after him and several daughters, one of whom, Annie was in my class. I remember that Yerba Mate was kind of a forbidden drink, but the men would gather at the local blacksmiths place and drink it. That was in the late 1940s and early 1950s!
Yes, I am married to that son, John. They came to Canada in 1959 & joined my church where my father-in-law Aeltester Hans Rempel continued preaching for a while. Annie lives near us in Virgil. The whole Yerba mate issue became acceptable after a while. I think at first it was viewed as a bad habit like smoking & drinking. Now everyone drinks it & it helps to control dehydration in the hot summer.
It was such a great afternoon seeing so many friends and cousins and best of all catching up with you Dora and reminiscing about years gone by. I have started reading your book and it’s hard to put down to do household duties.