Prince Albert Voice
I’ve been looking at my hands a lot lately, comparing mine to my siblings and my Mother’s hands. For the most part, my siblings have wonderful hands. Long, tapered fingers, beautiful nail beds and great half moons with healthy cuticles. My Mom’s hands are strong and distinguished. She bears scars from surgeries, her palms show where some lumps needed to be removed to prevent her fingers from permanently curling into her palms. Her knuckles are beginning to show signs of arthritis and some of her fingers are going wonky near the top of the fingers, pointing either this way or that. I imagine she must be in pain but she rarely says anything about it. Most often she quietly gets up to go do a task that involves having her hands in hot water or wrapping them around a hot cup of coffee or tea. Her hands can still emphasize a good scolding with a swat or a pinch... but they can also soothe the hurts of a crying grandchild and they can teach anyone a craft or give them confidence with a “thumbs up” and a smile to brighten their day again.
As we drove home after a Monday evening journey past the city limits, I was surprised to see some geese already have a family, hatched and half grown. There were cranes in some fields, migrating snow geese in others and swans rested in at least two of the sloughs we passed. We watched a fox jumping on the ground as he hunted and two coyotes watched us watching them when we stopped to admire them. Perhaps the highlight of the trip was viewing three black bears within a span of about sixty kilometres.
We’d spent about two weeks planning a trip up North as we contemplate a move. When we first went up there was a minor problem with the furnace and the pilot light needed to be restarted. On our second visit the furnace was an issue again but the landlord was able to quickly resolve it after getting the oil to flow through without pulling in excess and causing a rumble whenever the furnace kicked in. This time around it was the toilet giving us issues. At first I did my best to use a plunger, and other googled suggestions, to clear out the problem but soon it was clear, we needed professional help. Monday seemed to be the day to service the new abode so we had people coming in and out all morning. I thought we’d leave at noon but the cranky, overtired cries of the twins told me we would be delayed another couple of hours. By the time they woke up, it was late afternoon and we were without power. It was the third time that weekend we lost electricity. We’d lost it twice during a thunder and lightning storm on Saturday and now, Monday afternoon, it was gone again. We decided it would be temporary so we would wait it out and leave the following morning. I think we were each looking forward to accessing a stable internet service after having been without for the three days prior to the power outage. By nine the following morning, there was still no electricity and we hadn’t had a phone with battery power for over twenty four hours. I prepared to do the bit of house work that needed doing before we left and I suggested a drive around town might give us some insight as to what was happening with the electricity.
My family and I took another drive to points north the other day. Each time we drive this particular road, I’m fascinated by all the change I see, even from one week to the next. Lately we’ve been doing a lot of traveling between La Ronge and Saskatoon. And it’s been really spectacular to see the willows turn red as the leaves prepare to bud and open, and I’ve enjoyed watching the pussy willows in all of the glorious grandeur. I have even found myself fantasizing where I’d plant specific plants after seeing a few greenhouses opening in anticipation of the May long weekend (but I haven’t officially begun to look and buy!) … it finally feels like spring is here despite my having not seen a ruby throated hummingbird just yet.
I’ve always liked watching trains. I enjoy making eye contact with the Engineer and pulling my arm through the air to see he’ll imitate my action and actually blow the whistle of the train. I enjoy counting the cars, engines and caboose. And I like to see the different rail cars as they pass by. Some carry grain, others oil, new vehicles, lumber and other interesting things such as slogans for the province of Saskatchewan, or Manitoba. More recently my fascination with trains has to do with the art people have painted onto them. I know most people just shrug these images off as “graffiti” … however I consider this genre to be an art form as well.