Fall or Winter?

 

Fall or Winter?

Fall or Winter?

I drove from Marquette, Michigan to Sault Saint Marie, Ontario today, to meet a friend I have not seen in years.  We had an amazing visit and we picked up as if it had only been a week since we had last seen each other.  I was reminded again how wealthy I am because I have such good friends.  This friend is the ultimate conversationalist and incredibly creative and intelligent.  I love her panache, her way with words and her willingness to ask the difficult questions of life.

As I drove, (through a snowstorm on unfamiliar roads I might add)  I observed the unfamiliar landscape and tried to find a place for it in my own experience.  Isn’t it funny how no matter where we travel or move to  we inevitably compare it to what we already know.   I suppose that is how we bring meaning to new experiences.

 

snowy roads

    snowy roads

image

Whenever I am away from home, (wherever that may be) I try to imagine what it would be like to live there.  Today, with the wind blowing off Lake Superior and the snow falling I thought about what I would like if I were to live here.  I think I would enjoy the snow for a short time but it would get old real fast.  I quickly dispersed of that train of thought and created an adventure story in my head.  I was an adventurer, willing to risk driving in the slushy snow through unfamiliar territory to see a friend.  I had a chuckle as I passed through a hamlet claiming ‘moose capital of the world’ as its claim to fame.  ‘Hey, I have been to the moose capital of the world,” I imagined myself saying as I told of my adventure upon my return back to the coast.

In this area I found out that the marking of the year is done in ways unfamiliar to me.  For example when I stopped at a gas station this morning to use the bathroom and ask if I was still heading in the right direction.  The friendly woman behind the counter answered that I was on the right track.  Then I asked if this snow was normal this early in the year she said “oh yes but then you can bet on opening day it will be a beautiful sunny day.

” Opening day? The opening day of what I thought to myself. Let’s see….opening of winter season, the local cross country trails, a new store?  I got brave and asked what she mean by opening day and discovered she meant opening day for deer hunting .  Ha Ha like that means anything to me.  The day she was referring to is  November 15th. She could just as easily told me that it was not unusual for it to snow but it would quite likely get nice again before November. Ah well, all part of the adventure story.

 'our temporary home'

‘our temporary home’

All this snow and talk of winter and the snowy conditions made me think of myself cozied up by the fire knitting.  As I made the long drive back to Marquette I realized things seemed more familiar to me and I felt like I was heading home to  Marquette.  We don’t have a fire and I don’t live there but the thought of the cozy little house I have rented for a couple of weeks with my son there waiting for me and my knitting and books and crafts strewn around ready for me to pick up was comforting.

It really is amazing how adaptable we are when we allow ourselves to be.  Time to pick up my knitting.

must start knitting

must start knitting

Cook, Create. Walk

 image

What does one do when visiting their university student son?  Well, in my case ,since I am a long way from home and away from anywhere or anyone familiar besides him I Cook, Create and Walk.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving for us.  A week late but the day we chose to celebrate because we were able to be together all day without going to the rink or the university.  My son and I started in the morining by making ‘the pies.’  That meant  I made the pastry and then he helped me mix the ingredients for the filling.  Once the pies were in the oven it was vegetable peeling time for him and stuffing making for me.  We worked together in the small kitchen quite nicely and I enjoyed the familiar banter that we fall back into when we are together.

With the potatoes and yams peeled, the stuffing mixed up and the squash cut and seeded it was onto the business of getting the stuffing into the turkey.  It was most amusing teaching my son how to stuff a turkey.  He was fixated on figuring out which end was the head and which was, well, you know….. the other end. We disagreed on which was which and finally to prove his point he took the wings and spread them to show me how the turkey would fly and which end was which.  Turns out I roast the turkey on its back which I hadn’t really thought about much so he was in fact correct about the ends.  Very amusing exercise in turkey anatomy.

image

With the pies out, the turkey in and the veggies prepped we had time to head out on a ‘find some furniture and paint for the room’ expedition. This was a continuation of the previous day and we pretty much struck out again.  We had some options in mind if nothing else worked out but nothing ideal.  We did manage to get the paint and supplies so we were ready to at least get the room painted.  By ‘the room’ I mean his bedroom in the apartment he is sharing with two other students  At the moment it consists of a matress and boxspring on the floor and his belongings scattered willy nilly on the floor and in the closet.

Upon our return from the unsuccesful expedition we began cooking the vegetables and by 6:30pm were enjoying a glass of wine, some Miles Davis music and I was knitting an alpaca toque for him  At 7:00pm my son’s roommates joined us and we sat down to our Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was a gathering of the nations so to speak, as one of the boys was from St. Louis, USA and the other was from Sweden and us being from Canada. We shared our stories of traditions and  food but mostly just relaxed in the calm and comfort  which the boys are sorely missing.  As a student and NCAA Div. 1 Hockey player, relaxation and the comforts of home are something longed for often and experienced infrequently.  The evening gave us all an opportunity to reflect and truly be thankful for our  respective, supportive families and the comfort of familiarity

.image

With the cooking out of the way, I got up this morning and was able to finish the toque I  started yesterday.  My son and I had a coffee and some breakfast and then it was off to deliver him to his classes at the university.

image

I returned home, strapped on my runners and warm vest and headed out to explore the area on foot.  I spent almost two hours walking the neighborhoods and looking at the old houses as well as perusing the shops in town.  A chilly northwind was blowing and I overheard  the locals chatting about the threat of snow tonight.  Geesh,  we are not ready for that.

I explored some of the old shops and of course had to stop by my favorite locavore haunt, the food co-op.  It is so nice to see that there is a local food movement and that not all  Yuppers want to shop at Walmart for their groceries.  A pet peeve of mine that I will elaborate on another time.  I also discovered a yarn shop, a library, (something I always look for in a new town) in addition to some very unique art galleries and shops. Add to that a very cool iron ore dock that is unfamiliar for me and a local brew pub rightly named, The Ore Dock Brew Pub.  I hope to try it out one while I am here.

We completed our mission after my son’s classes and hit up a store that we thought was a big box building suppy store.  It turns out it was but it also had some “assemble yourself” furniture and so after the painting is complete we will arm ourselves with a screwdriver and tackle the; some assembly required project.;  I suspect we will have to do it in sessions and perhaps not in the same room as we have both been known to have a rather short fuse when it comes to figuring out these things.  Remember my method of “just let me try it?”  My son subscribes to the same method so it could get interesting.  We will have to throw in a few Red Green lines and keep it light.  Wish me luck.

Cook, Thanksgiving dinner.  Create, a knitted alpaca toque and felted acorns for table decor.  Walk, exploring a new town and landscape.