Last weekend, we were in Saskatoon, visiting my family for my mom’s 60th birthday. We drove up on Thursday night, then drove home Monday night. Not a long trip, but it’s always good to see family.
I’m not from Saskatchewan, and have never lived there. Possibly being the first people ever to do so, my parents moved to Saskatoon 8 years ago from Edmonton (where they lived for two years after spending most of my life in Calgary), and my sister moved with them. I actually did move to Edmonton to live with them for a year (my sister also moved there, prior to that, she and I shared an apartment in Calgary for the year… btw, my sister’s name is Kelly, and she’s three years older than I), but when they announced that they were moving again to Saskatoon (both moves were due to my dad’s job), I decided to move back to Calgary where my friends were and where I’d enjoyed school more (my then-girlfriend had also moved back to Calgary six months earlier as part of a prolonged and painful non-break-up, so that was a factor, even if by then, I had little hope that we were going to reconcile).
For those who don’t know, Saskatoon is the breadbasket part of Canada, mostly consisting of farmland. It has two small cities in Saskatoon and Regina, but their still heavily influenced by the farmer aesthetic of the province. Calgary is the big, scary city to them.
Sadly, this last trip wasn’t as good as visits to my family usually are, partly because it was short, but mostly because my grandma was also visiting. And grandma… is bat-shit crazy. Not in a clinical, sympathetic way, but in an ignorant, self-involved way. She basically annoys everyone, and needs to be the centre of attention at all times. As a result, we didn’t get to spend much that much time with my mom, who spent most of her time entertaining her. Kim even snapped at her near the end of our trip, and Kim doesn’t do that with anyone but me.
The highlight of the trip undoubtedly was Gromit. We took him with us for his first big trip, and everyone loved him a lot (well, not grandma, but who cares?). He was in heaven there, since my parents have air conditioning. He also loved the constant attention he was getting from different people. Him and my dad had lots of fun (we left Gromit with him a couple times to hang out with my sister, and they played and went for walks). He’s a really good traveller too, never complaining while being buckled in the backseat (his harness has a loop that lets us put a seatbelt through it). He mostly napped, but also chewed on a bone filled with rawhide. My dad even arranged it for Gromit to accompany us to dinner at his Country Club, with him hanging out on the balcony outside our private room (I know it sounds like it, but we’re not rich. Dad’s business pays for his membership so he can entertain clients, and his force of personality gets them to do extra things for him). I look forward to bringing Gromit back to Saskatoon sans grandma. It sounds like they miss him.
Here’s a picture of Gromit with his grandparents.