Wednesday, July 11

Back to Reality

My vacation was really lovely.  We ended up being needed at "the lake" for most of our vacation so we never made it to Brandon and spent about 10 days without Internet or cell service.  What did I do?
  • Picked Saskatoon berries, they are a bit like blueberries and have a short season.  Lots of years there are no Saskatoons at all because of a late frost or wind blowing off the blooms.  I've had Saskatoon sundaes, pies, muffins etc while in MB (you don't run across these thing in Southern Ontario) but it was my first time picking and eating them fresh.
  • Crocheting - I have about 2/3 of the centre of a baby blanket done, it's a pretty pattern with shells.  I found it pretty relaxing to do and my in laws didn't seem to feel the need to suggest more things for me to do while I was crocheting.
  • Slitting sandbags or picking pieces of sandbag up after the back hoe/bobcat were done for the day.  I earned the nickname Bag Lady for a day.
  • Taking crap to the dump or recycling or to the flood damaged piles in the park.  The dump is only opened a couple of days a week so they set up spaces in the park (really it's just a field) for people to put all the associated flood stuff like empty sandbags, bales of mouldy hay, dead trees, rusted metal, etc.  The rural municipality (RM) will pick it up from there at some point.
  • Playing cards - 31 is often played in their family, if it was the 4 of us then we'd play Crib Wars, we learned how to play Canasta although I'm still a little fuzzy on the score keeping.
  • On the water.  My in laws have a few boats, I did go out fishing one night (didn't catch anything), out on the cruising boat with the whole family for Canada Day, and on the jet ski (they call it the watercraft) a lot.  It was a good way for Mr. Lina and I to leave his family on shore.
  • Visiting.  Everyone wanted to see what was going on with the 'hoe and 'cat, so lots of people drop by for a beer or tea and then we'd return the visit giving them a reason to put their shovel/rake/whatever down and rest a bit.  Adding to this, the government seems to tell different people different things, sending assessors to some but not others, assessors for land, assessors for property, water stewardship people, provincial government adjusters, most travelling from other provinces only to see 2 properties and leave, it goes on and on.  Visits always involve comparing notes on the latest meeting or conversation or process and then shaking their heads on the whole process.  The people using the heavy machinery also joined us for meals so we'd hear what was going on in Waterhen or Winnipegosis.  The back hoe driver was such a sweetheart.  In his mid 60's or so, I've never heard someone talk about their wife so much.  You'd think Mabel was on the porch with us reminding him not to have seconds.
  • Family visiting.  Mr. Lina has a few family members who are sick and you just never know when the last visit will be.  His uncle has been fighting bowel cancer a few years now.  He was too tired from chemo when we arrived in Winnipeg to see him but he was up for a short visit on our way back.  His great aunt and uncle are also facing health challenges.  Mr. Lina's maternal grandfather died a few months before he was born, this uncle is more like a grandfather to him.  He is on dialysis 3 times a week, his wife has a brain tumour that is causing short term memory loss.  You just don't know, any of them could hang on for another 5 years, but it's good to see them when we can and have a happy memory to hold onto.  When we were in Winnipeg, I spent a lot of time just listening to his grandmother talk.  She will be 89 this fall, so stubborn and pretty much deaf.  It's frustrating for those who spend a lot of time with her but I miss my grandparents and love to just sit with her for a while and let her talk.
  • Enjoying the view.  This got better as the dike was torn down and the moat filled in.  They sure get pretty sunsets with a long twilight.


  1. I am glad you got to have a vacation at all. I have been watching the news, sounds bad there. Oh hell, it's been bad everywhere with floods this year. We even had flooding close to where I am, and then sometime in August we will be on water restrictions. Can't win.

    Good to have you back.

    1. The weather sure has had extremes it seems. As you say, flooding in some areas, drought will certainly happen later this summer... Toronto just seems to get hotter and hotter.

      I like being home, a full closet, my own bed... not so keen on getting back to work. ;)

  2. I'm glad you got a bit of vacation even if there was sandbagging involved! The weather is way extreme everywhere this year. I was just telling the Hubs at 8 am that it was already muggy here and he said, "Welcome to summer," and I said, "But we haven't had a summer like THIS in years!" Your in-laws sound like my family, where they live out in the country and everybody visits all the time to commiserate about the weather, their health, and the vagaries of local government. Good times!

    I do love a bit of crochet; was just thinking I should take it up again because it's the perfect pastime for TV watching -- but it's so dang hot, I'm not sure I can stand having the yarn on my lap (and I just realized as I typed this that I have a hot laptop on my lap....duh).

    1. Past years in MB, my in laws start complaining about non-existant humidity and it makes me snicker. But this summer, it felt like home, it really was humid and over 30C. Very strange.

      I've had that lap heat thing, wondering why I'm suddenly overheading and realizing it's the computer. Oops.

      What about a smaller project for summer? I am starting to see what you mean with this baby blanket, it's not big but it does fill my lap now.


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