Farewell to the Prairies

July 1, 2010


In my excitement about my ROAD TRIP, I completely forgot two notable factors:

a) I have never ridden in a car before for longer than three hours and…

b) …I frigging HATE IT.

I probably would have hated it less had the Jeep not been so comically full of the bits of plastic crap that belong to The Baby. It’s not nice when you’re trying to get comfy and have a nap amidst the noise a frigging Cherokee* makes to find yourself squashed up against a Circus Train, or to find that a wrongly placed paw pressed on any one of its myriad of buttons will begin one of its many different up-tempo Circus Style tunes. Oh, and there’s no off button on it. I’ve been told to ‘Roll up, ROOOOLLLL UUUUPP!’ all the way to Manitoba.  Fun times.

 *”NNNNNRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.’ There aren’t even any gear changes cos it’s an automatic and the road is just one big straight line anyway (Oh, need to clarify; Cherokee as in, Jeep Cherokee, not Cherokee as in, First Nations. I don’t know if the latter like to make a specific noise, but if they do, it’s probably not ‘NNNNRRRRR’ ).

We left The Basement Suite at dawn. It was quite moving, actually, to leave Saskatchewan as the sun was rising. It was the Prairies at its most beautiful. And it got me thinking; this wasn’t a bad year. An odd year, a challenging one, an interesting one, but not a bad one.

I had more time to think about this in the car, as I couldn’t sleep, obviously, and looking out the window got a bit old because on Leg One of ROAD TRIP, it is, just, Prairie. For nine hours.

 I realised that there were quite a few things about the year that warranted a mention, and their own farewell.

The land. It never ends. The sky goes on forever.

The fields upon fields of wheat (could be barley. Could be corn. Could be granola. Don’t know. Am a cat), with rough lines of dirt drawn through them as roads.

The seven months of winter, the brutality that it is and the fact that generations of people have coped with it, year after year after year, and continue to make the Prairie their home.

Goodbye to the Moose, the Buffalo, the Cougars, the Owls, the Eagles, the gophers, the big yappity Hybrid dogs and Volvo Cat (Discovery: Volvo Cat is two cats. They look exactly the same, but there are either two of them or my Dad has been putting something funny in my Iams).

The dust.

The tap water that is so full of salt it actually looks like milk.

Lovely Brian, one of my favourite folk ever, his giant cats and the nice micey toys he brings.

Enthusiastic Teacher, his penchant for gangsta rap and his lovely fiancée who tickled my ears.

The Seagulls, and I hope they realize where they are and bugger off back to Grimsby quite soon.

The sound of snow mobiles and quads, and random neighbours asking my Dad to go hunting, or curling, or ice-skating.

The people who know their own history; who know who their ancestors were, and when they came here, and why.

The Evangelists.

The Basement, with its one, small window and its permanent aroma of cat wee.

 Wayne FM, its love for Men At Work and its claim that you can buy ‘anything you want’ at the Lloyd Mall.

Lovely, lovely Mr Wilson, who reminded me what it is to play.

And with that I breathe a long, feline, introspective sigh. It’s odd how you feel a sense of loyalty to a place only once you’re leaving it.

Officially we are, of course, still on the Prairies, just somewhere else on the Prairies. The Prairies are frigging big. And samey. The place we left looks like this:

The place we arrived in, nine hours later, looks like this:

Uncanny, isn’t it? This place, though, has a Wheat and Beef festival, but that’s in October. I’m sorry I’ll miss that.

Tomorrow, we drive to Ontario. Ontario is where we will be living. Ontario is, however, about the size of Europe. It might be bigger, actually. Don’t know. Anyhoo, it’s a long drive – longer, if you’re stuck next to a musical, plastic circus truck.

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7 Responses to “Farewell to the Prairies”

  1. Hiedi said

    Beautiful… We will miss you sooo much. See you next summer! 🙂

  2. hayley said

    A wheat and beef festival! That’s a burger, then. A burger festival, yum.

    • annablagona said

      I don’t really do burgers. Even if I did, the photo from the tourism brochure just showed lots women with hairnets proudly showing off their beef. I didn’t like it.

  3. deb maclean said

    So you do have some good memories-every time you require a jolt of mostalgia for us, read the book we gave you.

  4. Deer Baby said

    where are you settling zeebling? Are you settling like the Settlers? Have you seen Laura and Mary and Carrie and Pa and Ma? And do you wear a bonnet over your ears? Are you migrating? not that cats migrate. or even hibernate. you could cling to the roofrack – I hear it’s been done all the way to Dover. Did you hear about that tortoise who went missing and his owners found him two years later? He’d gone about a mile. True story.

    I think you would have liked my cat Brosie.

    • annablagona said

      Settling in Southern Ontario. We’ve arrived, but I’m still in recovery from the journey so haven’t settled down to write yet. Five days in a jeep with a bloke who is living off KFC = not fun.

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