"Maricha! Where have you been?"
It’s Monday the 8th July, 2019 and will be the very first time I open my laptop to scroll down to Word to take up my keyboard once again and write. It’s been a while. I hope my words don’t let me down after all these months. I opened this scribbling written while in Canada and thought it a rather good place to start.
Sometime in May, 2019 I wrote the following after many followers asked me where I'd been.
Not a difficult riddle to decipher I’m sure. I am rather out there with my comings and goings aren’t I? I’m in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Yes! it rhymes with many things I know. Apparently it is the land of living skies too. It certainly is the land with no landmarks, it is flat. My mission? To witness the birth of my granddaughter. Isla. To visit with my children and their spouses and to play with my grandsons.
My father says “family and fish go off after four days” which does come to mind every time I am a house guest. It is a revolving mantra and my nerves are shot whenever I move into someone’s guest bedroom. No matter how welcoming or hospitable people are. I would hate to overstay my welcome.
Fortunately I have four children so I reckon if I stay with them for the four days I can do sixteen days quite comfortably, this time I have to do my reckoning differently so I’ve figured in the grandboys and grandbaby too, which gives me another 12 days. I’m here for 6 weeks though. I am not an additionist so have left all the planning to my daughter. She’s responsible for me. It’s far too confusing.
While its autumn in South Africa it’s spring here. The temperatures vary slightly, our (South Africa) coldest temperatures are on a par with Regina’s warmest days. Which is really confusing. It’s cold. When I chat to Butch and ask about the weather he’s quick to tell me how cold it is, how he’s swaddled in flannel and knitted blankets, while I, and on the other hand have to brave my “spring” wardrobe. I was instructed to pack “what you’d wear for Autumn Mum!” Very funny.
Regina at this time of the year is bleak. The last of the snow has melted and the landscape is brown. Not a blade of green anywhere. Dead wood everywhere. When the snow melts the earth becomes quite muddy before it hardens and cracks. I think much of the Prairies are quite marshy and porous but while there’s mud it splashes up against walls with abandon.
Spring cleaning originated in places like this I only realise now. Much spring cleaning has to take place now. Gardens are replanted, lawns are aerated, wooden balustrades, staircases, shingles and sidings have to be renovated, oiled and painted. When the earth is covered in its beautiful blanket of snow one is inclined to forget to pick up all manner of things which make an unwelcome and unpleasant sight when the snow melts. These unpleasantries have to be dealt with. Should any renovations be made this is the time to do so.
When summer arrives there will be Canada green lawns, and trees will sprout new lime green leaves. Canada Day, next weekend, is the official opening to Spring they say! I hope the weather obeys orders. This is when everyone opens up their holiday homes dotted around the many lakes. Those large motorhomes with the extensions are revved up and taken out of moth balls to be positioned for the summer. Deck chairs are put out and a gas barbecue is lit up for hamburger patties. Colourful scarves and new season wardrobes are being tested on nice days.
On a lovely sunny day the children run outside to play with sprinklers, ride their scate boards. I can't blame them after months of being cooped up indoors it is necessary to stretch those limbs. Get a tan and generally feel fresh air on your skin. The littlies never waste a second and braved it, trousers rolled up, into the icy cold lake which is still melting their little bare feet blood red and I'm sure very painful.
A few keen golfers have braved conditions (I forgot it’s never inclement on a golf course) and taken out their clubs for a few holes, cricket bats are oiled and pads have been strapped up for practise. The first games are arranged. I hope these teams made up of mostly Pakistani players will put leather to willow and score more wins than our boys have at the Cricket World cup in England.
With warm boots, padded jackets and beanies I admire and contemplate this landscape my children call home.
The weeks pass quickly and soon I’m back in Worcester. My journey was far too emotional to jot down in a few minutes so I’ll continue my story with a series of blogs. Today, in 1978, I got married. So many memories come flooding back. Although I wonder where the time has gone I do know much water has flowed under the bridge. I have thousands of photographs to click through, edit and store. This is how we relive and recount our memories.
I include some photographs as an illustration of the weather conditions, not all the photographs were taken in Regina, rather where I'd been.