Monday, January 28, 2008

Love Where You're At

Regina is a great little city in the southern half of Saskatchewan. A place where when people from other countries and continents ask you where you're from, you mostly just say Canada. Truthfully, now remember I'm speaking in global terms, most people world-wide know where Canada is - we took geography for heaven's sakes! But mention Saskatchewan and you get a blank stare. It's a revelation to not get a blank stare!

Most of the world knows there is a Vancouver, Canada and of course there is a Toronto, they might even get a Montreal but Saskatchewan. In all my travels I've lost track of the blank stares, there have been so many. I try - I haven't given up on saying Saskatchewan and waiting hopefully. But you know at the oddest moments it does happen - the cab driver in Hong Kong who knew exactly where Regina was, the man walking down the sidewalk in Marrakesh, Morocco who just decided to strike up a conversation with the obvious foreigners and kept up the questions, forcing us to narrow the field of where we came from until he had to reveal that his brother was currently in Moose Jaw (40 miles from Regina).

Yes there are the exceptions, amazing, intriguing people you meet across the globe. But mostly, people at a certain distance from Saskatchewan have no idea where it is. We are a vague land mass somewhere in Canada if we register at all. But even though we're sparsely populated, just under a million people, we are part of the bread basket of the country with hidden treasures of minerals and ores that the rest of the country is just beginning to wake up to. Saskatchewan might just be Canada's hidden gem. But for now it still sleeps with a hiccup every now and then a small shout that is noticed, noted by the media and forgotten for the moment as we begin to slowly wake up - more on that later.

On to Regina, the capital. A small prairie city, under 200,000 people. Minimal pollution and wide open prairie. It's a little chilly from about mid October until the end of March. But we still bundle up and go for walks, cross-country ski and in the case of my neighbour, walk everywhere across town - rain, snow, sleet. And there's lots of snow but no ski hills. On the upside, kids make due, sledding down hills that those of us with more hill knowledge would call ditches. The Caraganas sleep through the winter hibernation, the prairie grass is silent. The prairies rests under a blanket of snow. There's a stark beauty in a white covered world.

When there's a wind in winter -40 celius with the wind chill is not unusual. Left your block heater unplugged, well your car might not start in the morning. Googling the term block heater - not sure we want to talk to you - climate envy warning...alerting now! Seriously, welcome to our world - it's not so bad - just different.

The Canadian prairies - mid winter,
where even the dogs may wear boots - it ain't for sissies!

Enjoy and love where you're at - it might be all you ever have!


1 comment:

Teresa said...

I LOVE the doggie booties!!!