The Greenwater Report for January 26, 2009

Saskatoon , Monday, January 26, 2009

January 25th, 2009: A bright, sunny day; our trees aren’t moving, but I notice the smoke from the condos across Berini is flattening out as soon as it gets out of the chimney. It got down to -29° for the past few nights, and not much warmer during the day. What a change after that mild spell, but we got toughened up during the cold three weeks over the holidays.

It has been windy, too – I hear some horror stories about people driving in from the east on #11 and #16 highways, battling ground drift and finger drifts. One sees a lot of marks where cars have hit the ditches. The streets in Saskatoon are terribly icy; when it was warmer the city spread some gravel around at intersections, but once it got cold again the gravel just blew away. Fifth Avenue downtown hasn’t been scraped and is badly rutted with ice. The odd place where the ice has broken away leaves a deep pothole, so traffic is down to about ten clicks or less.

It was standing room only in the Civic Centre at Wynyard last Monday, proving what a popular person Francie (Petersen) Blyth was. It was a lovely service, and included (from CD) a solo sung by Francie; apparently she had requested that it be played at her funeral.

We got a chance to visit with Francie’s husband, Wayne Blyth, and also with her mother and all her siblings. I’ll swear Millie doesn’t look any older than she did when we left Wynyard, twenty nine years ago. By the way, Millie was originally a Kelvington girl – Sam Hall was her father. She has a cottage at Greenwater Park and we used to run into her and Bill Dunlop most summers.

We hung around for almost two hours after the service, visiting with old and new friends. What wonderful events funerals are – I believe more and more people consider them a celebration of the deceased’s life, rather than a time to mourn. God knows Francie’s life touched an awful lot of people.

Marg came up from Spy Hill Friday night, so we took her shopping. Afterwards, we picked up Lucille and went out to the Casino for a couple of hours. I got a royal flush on the poker machines so bought everyone supper out there. I used to hate casinos; now we limit our time there to an hour or two and usually have a meal, which is always good, and I rather enjoy it. I look for the poker machines – the other slots are a mystery to me. I used to enjoy table Blackjack, but at the Casino, the minimum bet is three to five dollars. I play the quarter machines, one quarter at a time.

We are in the midst of renovations, putting a shower in the en suite bathroom, and adding a bathroom in the basement. It took three months to get our contractor moving and now there is someone here every day. I just gave them a code to get in the door and we don’t worry about hanging around waiting for them. It has seemed to progress very slowly, but I suspect it will all come together suddenly one of these days. In the meantime, we are a one-bathroom house, a bit of a nuisance when we have company.

We still go to breakfast every Saturday morning with our Sunseeker group. Many members have gone south for the winter; others normally do, but not this year for one reason or another. Still, it is unusual to have less than twenty turn out for the breakfasts. The most common topic of conversation is of people’s impatience to get their RVs ready to go camping. It is May before anything happens, four months away, yet to hear them talk you would think it was next week. (Which reminds me – next time it turns warm, I should go over and start our motor home and let it run to charge up the batteries.)

We feel the same. We have a lot of short trips planned this summer, five or six of them with the Sunseekers. My sister, Cathy, fell and broke her wrist a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t know if it will be strong enough for her to drive her motor home for any distance. As a result, we are not planning a long trip. Cathy was taking her dog, Freckles, for a walk. Freckles took off to investigate something; the leash was too long, and when Freckles hit the end of the leash, Cathy did a face plant in the road. No black eyes and broken glasses though, and so far they don’t think she needs surgery on her wrist.

Doreen & Jerry Crawford

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