In writing this letter I realized how much weight I put on my parent's authority in the form of the excuse note over the years. Granted, this one was for an imaginary Teacher Jane, and a fictitious ballet class, demanded from Edie due to a real-live scraped knee, but as I was writing it it dawned on me that all of those excuse notes that I made mom or dad write and sign over the years were kind of like fake money, a bit of a currency only exchangeable between teachers and parents and meaningless outside of that group...This never ever crossed my mind in those days, oh the innocence of youth. I believed in the excuse note.
|This is the only ballet happening around here...|
|Which usually turns into this...|
A few weeks ago we took a work/family trip up to the South Saskatchewan River Delta, to the community of Cumberland House, which is tucked in on this side of the Saskatchewan Manitoba border. We spent one night in Nipawin on the way up, it being our first long car trip with the girls. Lots of Little House on the Prairie audio books helped immensely. Nipawin is...nice...The second day we arrived in Cumberland House and took an hour and a half boat-ride up the river to a location roughly 30 miles south of the E.B. Campbell dam, a dam commissioned in 1963 effectively creating Tobin Lake and altering water levels downstream of the dam ever since. We stayed with a couple (Solomon and Renee Carrier) who live on the river in a camp with no electricity, travel by boat, ski or dogsled, and have raised their children there. He is formerly a professional canoe racer and she is a school teacher who home-schooled her own children first. They are very interesting and remarkable people. They have lived on the river since the 80's and because of their reliance on the land, have witnessed different stages of impact that are likely dam-influenced. They were hosting a group of grade 8 and 9 school kids from Cumberland House on the tail end of a 2 week-long canoe trip. These kids were great, and Edie was in great awe of the teenage girls from the get-go. Tim and two of his colleagues ran workshops on water science, history and sociological issues with the kids for 1/2 a day, after which we headed back to Cumberland House by boat. In all, it was a good and pretty easy first camping trip for us. We're looking forward to more to come.
|Prank calls in Nipawin. What else is there to do?|
|Upsidedown baby in Nipawin. See above caption.|
|Very eager fisher|
|Edie and Merle take in the river|
|This camp, complete with teenagers was a perfect babysitter for Edie. I forgot that I was even taking care of her for the most part. Check her out on the slope.|
|No running water or electricity means outhouses!|
|In her element.|
|Merle tells some stories on the riverbank.|
|Some pre-race training.|
|Complete with support crew.|
|Tas and Edie with their game faces on.|
|On the home stretch...Tears ours again.|
My race on the other hand was pretty low-key. My friend Lori, a former nationally-ranked gymnast, triathlete and now a mom of 2, took the swim and bike, and she pulled through like a champ. I took over for the run, ran half of my distance, missed the turn-around and accidentally crossed the finish-line where they took my time-chip immediately. We still had the best time for our category, and would have even if I had finished at my pace, but technically it was a big DQ weekend for me. I hope to vindicate myself in the next few races I've got scheduled for the summer. Lori still wants to race with me, so that's a bonus. Apparently a pitfall of being a racing mom is that when I'm on my game, I'm still not really on my game like I used to be...bringing my children to my race is probably not of benefit to my game either.
Early in the spring Edie and I built a birdhouse out of scrap wood that we had acquired. It wasn't pretty, it resembles Ned Kelly's head gear, and we didn't think that there could be a bird desperate enough to use our birdhouse, but it turns out that there was/is. The now family, does not let us very near, and thus their species has not yet been identified. We're pretty happy with our new neighbors though.
|Pride of ownership evident.|
We've got some big trips coming up, the major ones being a 2 week foray into the Rockies at Kananaskis in about a week, and then the girls and I will be home for 3 weeks in August while Tim heads down under to take on more fieldwork for his many ongoing projects. Pretty fun stuff. We get back and Edie starts pre-school...yikes. Time is flying.
|Edie and buddy Tasman at the zoo.|
|Aurelia and Lori (racing mom), at the zoo.|
|Edie and Nadia, under the tree in our front yard.|
|Ceeley puts in some library time.|