The Heart of the Golden South. Day 1

On Sunday we flew in a plane.

I think it’s been about 8-9 years since I’ve been on a plane. Less than a year before 9/11, I went to New York and stood between the twin towers. But I used to work at the airport, and in that time the edict was you were supposed to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight time.

Deanna, on the other hand, has flown several times in the past two years and she told me that we should be at the airport an hour before our flight.

So naturally we spent a lot of time rushing here and there and waiting in lines that were longer than Deanna expected. They took my dollar-store screwdriver set which I bought so that I could fix my glasses when the lens falls out, as it does from time to time. Deanna was outraged that I was holding up the show.

But we got on the plane and were lucky enough to catch the episode of “Rogue Nature” that featured the humboldt squid (also known as ‘jumbo squid’ and commonly misnamed as the giant squid). The trip was two hours and we landed in Regina where we met with Deanna’s mom, sister, brother and family and had what we would call lunch and what Saskatchewanites call dinner (they call dinner supper) at Earl’s. It was surprisingly good and the awful music wasn’t very loud. This is contrary to all my previous experiences of Earl’s in Abbotsford and Vancouver.

Deanna’s family are mostly Christian and all breeders. This makes me love Deanna more because she is neither of these things. But her sibling’s kids are the closest thing I have to nieces and nephews since my brother Merrick and I are cut from the same cloth, which is to say from a highly dysfunctional family which instilled in us at a very young age an undeniable urge to avoid having kids.

After ‘dinner’, Deanna’s niece wisely bailed from the truck with her parents because they have just had another baby which makes, as babies do, an ungodly racket. So on the hour-plus-long van ride to Assiniboia we took on the 5-year old girl in the back seat and discussed the merits of Candyland vs Ice Cream World. We picked up KFC in Moosejaw and tried unsuccessfully to get the chewing gum off the kid’s neck.

We drove to ‘the farm’ outside of Assiniboia and said hi to Deanna’s grandfather who was ‘swathing’ the fields of wheat with his combine. We caught some grasshoppers and Jack showed me how to get the grains out of the wheat sheaf. And then he couldn’t get his antique combine started up again and there was some awkwardness.

Off we went to hole up at Grandma’s house where I mostly watched people watch the baby drool on everything for several hours. Oh, and there was the football game to watch so that was exciting. But eventually I had staked out a place long enough that I gained access to the remote control and I was able to enjoy more shows in the Discovery Network or TLC or something, about grizzly bears and Mythbusters.

We drove in the old folks car to the old folks home where we are renting a room for $15/night ($5 more if you use their towels and sheets). Seriously. And they don’t have a DVD player in the room – but they DO have a VHS. Too bad I didn’t bring any.

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