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Third farm on the left.

I don’t know if it’s the people, the history, the stories Dan tells or the beauty of it all, but I can count myself as a lover of the Prairies, and Saskatchewan in particular.  We just returned from my 4th visit since Dan and I started dating and I love it more every time I’m there.  The scenery that some people call ‘flat and boring’ is anything but that to me (more photos from our visit here).

The heart of our latest visit was Dan’s cousin Melanie’s wedding, but we spent most of our time at the family ‘cabin’ (translation for those not from the Prairies – the family cottage) on Clearwater Lake.  I hesitate to try to give a history of this little piece of land because I’m not sure it could do it justice.  The cousins have so many memories from childhoods spent there, many of which I heard about while sitting on the deck, beer in hand, in full relaxation mode.  There’s just nothing like being at a cottage/cabin.  And one that your husband spent time at as a child is that much more special.

This trip felt all about traditions for us.  Traditions of the past carried over to the present.  One example is the ol’ turkey tub.  This square metal tub was used to bathe Dan’s aunts as kids, Dan, his siblings and cousins and now, Jaia, Dan’s daughter.  A generational bathtub.  Adorable.  Jaia loved having her bath out on the deck.  She did not love Jen’s dog, Benny, trying to join her in the tub.  (I think he was after the rubber ducky).

Melanie and Darcy’s wedding was smack-dab in the middle of our visit.  It took place on Darcy’s family’s farm in a town called Beechy.  From where we were staying at Clearwater, the directions included getting to the main road and then turning at the the third farm on the left…some 25 or 26kms away.  And that’s what I absolutely adore about that province.  You can breathe.  You can’t feel crowded or claustrophobic when there are only 3 houses in 26 kms.  And there’s no getting lost or missing a turn.

Above all though, my favourite part of the trip was seeing Jaia play with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (and for us to spend time with them too).  We so rarely get to that part of the world – our last trip out west was in August 2007 – and I find it heartbreaking that Jaia will grow up so far away from her family – both Dan’s side and mine, who also live too far away.

It really makes me wish we could go back to the old days when family wasn’t sprinkled all over the country or all over the world, where cousins grow up knowing each other and when Sunday dinner together with parents didn’t involve an airplane ride.  I miss family.  All of them.  And time spent with them makes me miss them even more.  I wish we all lived closer to each other.  I wish it wasn’t only weddings or funerals that brought us together.  I wish you didn’t have to watch jaia grow up by reading our blog or getting photos in the mail.  I wish we could just pop by.  I wish we could take trips together rather than to see each other.

I know we all do our best to make the best of the miles that stand between us…I just wish we didn’t have to.

July 11, 2008 - 3:33 pm

Auntie Jen - such a nice post shan! i may be super tired but i almost shed a tear… it does suck being so far away 🙁 i guess that’ s why we make the best of the times we are all together… last week was so much fun, and these pictures are proof of it <3

auntie jenny

July 14, 2008 - 8:44 pm

Dan - Distance is our reality, so we need to make every visit with family count. Your post shows we did this time!

Thanks for summing it up so well in words and pictures.

July 15, 2008 - 10:32 am

EAP - As a Prairie Boy, I can only guess that you probably think the prairies are beautiful because you didn’t actually have to grow up staring at those flat and boring (and mosquito infested) sights day in and day out for years on end. Nice place to visit (well, only if you have family and friends) but I don’t want to live there.


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