Today is Flashback Friday and we're on a road trip that happened right about this time of year. The time of year when weather is iffy and snow can land at any time. But it's clear sailing for now just as it was a few years ago.
Present Day: Got the car gassed up, not at the service station pictured below, I think that was more of a gas museum, and we're off. A journey back in time to small town, Saskatchewan to a little town tucked into the south half of the North American Plains. Fasten your seat belts and we're off spinning back a few years...
Plans change quickly and yesterday was no exception. We'd planned to take Mom to her home town this week but with an eye on the weather. This time of year a warm day can easily precede snow flurries or just cold rain and wind.
|A gas museum? It wasn't open.|
It's a good day - so off we went. A short trip really but it takes a while to get past the city clutter that stretches further every year with new subdivisions and acreages lapping the edges of what were once more distant bedroom communities so it seems like endless civilization. Until - there's always the until, you make that turn off and find yourself on a smaller grid road heading into small town Saskatchewan. And there it is, acres of what remains of golden cropped fields, the occasional house laying well back from the road and circled by a barn and a clutter of outbuildings. A herd of cows, a horse or two and endless fields stringing into the distance.
And just like that we're there. The small town where Mom grew up, she now swears looks nothing like she remembers. Except, wait - there's the old hotel and over there is so and so's house. And, on it goes.
But it has changed. You can see it in the sleek lines of new homes in a bay to the right and construction that's going on at the local school. But for the most part it is still quiet without the continual sweep of traffic that we left how many miles behind.
The cemetery is the first stop All cemeteries have a story or two and this one was rife with them like any other. And having Mom along, she knew a few stories herself. This one had a special area for the nuns as there was a convent in town - we'll go there later. It also had, what I had only heard of as a practice in "the good old days". A practice that reminds us that the old days had a few issues too. When someone committed suicide they weren't buried in the main graveyard as that was consecrated ground. Mom told me the story of the poor man who had been driven to kill himself and how he was buried in a far corner of the cemetery. And sure enough, his grave was still there over fifty years later. In the city I wondered if he would have been moved by now, back to the main area where he belonged. Or maybe in the city, it would never have happened.
So after an encounter or two or three, four, no five - garter snakes, the cemetery was alive with them, we headed to the convent. That had been taken over, in the usual small town fashion, by the post office, a hair salon, judo and dance school and the Mexican restaurant. The restaurant is one that's been drawing people from all around. I'd heard of it before we made this trip and eating there was no disappointment. The restaurant was set up in what had once been the chapel. Mom, never one to stand back and not ask a question, soon had the owner engaged in conversation of how/who and why. Why did she come from Mexico and end up in small-town Saskatchewan? How did she like it? Well, she said it was a culture shock, of course that was a few decades ago and now she was used to it. I'd imagine in the early days - the winter alone would be a shock. And small town life, well I've always said one day I'll try it - short term. It's different from city life like winter differs from summer and spring from fall. I don't suppose you know either until you've lived it.
|Once the convent - now library/restaurant etc.|
Then on to, where else - the town library. There, I discovered the life of a small-town librarian is very different from that of one in the city. Here, she appeared to be master of her domain. Heading a wooden desk in a small room with only a dozen or so shelving units full of books. And after I satisfied her curiosity about the new face in her library, I discovered a few other things; that she knew my Mom and wanted to be a writer. So after giving her a few writing tips I turned her over to Mom.
And after that - we headed for home. We'd had a history lesson, ate authentic Mexican food - and it was fantastic. I'm going back for their weekend special one day soon! All in all it was a short but fun trip.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual trip back into time - have a great Friday!
Book news? - follow me on Bookbub
...a world you never imagined!
Don't miss a thing - Sign up for my newsletter The Walkabout!
|The Dead Sea, a tourist and a whole other story!|