December 9th, 2007: It’s a lot warmer today than it has been – only about -13° as I write this, sunny and little wind. We had lots of days of below -20° and complain about the cold. It’s really just that we haven’t had any -40° temperatures yet to compare with.
Coffee row is developing nicely, though it is a bit scattered. Monday morning I walked to Reggie’s and had coffee with Ron and Joyce Weber and some of their friends. Some others that I had seen often are past the stranger stage and are now nodding acquaintances. If I see them sitting at a table with room to spare, I won’t hesitate to join them.
Tuesday morning, I walked to the Co-op and coffeed with a bunch I had met the previous Tuesday. One man, Lorne Rathgeber, is a brother to Herb Rathgeber of Tisdale, who has a cottage at Greenwater. Another was with SaskPower and used to live at Melfort. He knows Marven and Arlene Shields well and we had other mutual acquaintances. Another was with Sask Highways and had done a lot of work in the Kelvington/Porcupine Plain area. In fact, he worked on the roads in Uskatik last time they were done. He knows Metro Boyko well and obviously respects him.
We ran into Flo Healey the other day. She told us a bunch of Wynyard and Foam Lake men met at the Coachman in Market Mall on Wednesday mornings for coffee. So, on Wednesday we picked up Lucille and went to Market Mall. The girls shopped and I joined the group at the Coachman. Bryan Bjarnason was the first I recognised, then Marvin Nicklin introduced himself – I don’t think I had seen him for almost fifty years. I remembered Nick Federko, and was introduced to Ozzie Munson, Thordy Kolbenson and Jim Reed. All had some roots in Foam Lake. Al Cochlan, a close friend from our early Wynyard days, is a regular but wasn’t there that day. I’m going to enjoy that group.
We haven’t made any effort to contact our old Wynyard friends who have moved to Saskatoon, thinking we will get ourselves finished with the tail-end aspects of moving first. Many of them may go south for the winter, too.
I phoned Shirley Miller to see what has been happening at Greenwater, but they had just got home after spending a few days away. They did get a heavy snowfall around the end of November, and must have close to a foot in total. Shirley said there were some snowmobiles parked at The Cove when they went past; with the cold weather of the past couple of weeks, the sloughs and creeks should be getting to the point where they are safe to snowmobile over.
Mel Tkachuk says there is four to six inches of ice on the lake, safe for snowmobiles. Fishing has been excellent, catching pickerel, jack, a few perch and even a ling. He and Vaughn Binkley are the only ones with fishing shacks on the lake, and they have had the whole lake to themselves.
Seems to me the Christmas shopping rush started right after Hallowe’en in Saskatoon. Parking lots at Preston Crossing looked full when we went for brunch about ten this morning and traffic seems heavy any time of day or night. Wal-Mart is open twenty four hours a day until Christmas; I wonder how many shoppers they get in the small hours? And how they manage to staff the store, with employees in short supply. Seems to me to be an ideal situation for shop-lifters.
I hear the McDonalds just down the street from us has had to shut down for parts of the afternoon just so they could open up for the supper rush, then shut down again about eight PM. It’s a chronic problem in the city, especially for the fast food places that hire a lot of kids and don’t pay much.