Posts Tagged ‘Saskatchewan’

The Twelve Days ’til Christmas

December 13, 2008

Yes, it’s true.  Today is the day my true love gave me a partridge in a pear tree.  It reminds me of living in Northern Alberta and seeing plump prairie chickens running in the snow.  Long ago my husband tasted this festive bird at some feast on his reserve in Northern Quebec.  The fondly remembered mouth-watering taste prompted Rick to throw the car in park, grab the 2 foot long ice scraper and jump from the vehicle in pursuit of din-din.  Like I was going to pluck and cook the thing.  Gaahh…

prairie-chick

It happened yet again in Ministikwin Lake, Saskatchewan, but the second occurrence consisted of three Indians in hot pursuit of the flavor-filled bird.  Rick, his mom and his brother Terry all spotted the white and brown spotted bird, who had simultaneously spotted all of us… with at least 5 or 6 of our children adding to the noise and color in the silent white landscape of a Saskatchewan winter.  Rocks were thrown.  A sneaky sneak-around-the-back plan was enacted.  Much yelling and waving of arms occurred.  All was captured on video tape for posterity as the Native Canadian Indians were outsmarted by a bird.

I still haven’t tasted prairie chicken, but I have heartwarming memories of them in winter, brought on by the partridge in the pear tree.

?#15 from My Sister’s Jar – Ministikwin Lake

August 18, 2008

OK, I realize this blog is called My Sister’s Jar… and I haven’t pulled a question from the jar in three months.  Either I had to go in WordPress and figure out how to change the name of the blog OR open the jar and get with the program.  Even though I’m reading the book Do Hard Things, I chose the easy route this morning.

Tell about a time you accepted change and how it impacted your life.

It was the Christmas season of 2004 and my sister’s family had arrived from Washington to spend three weeks in Phoenix with the rest of our extended family.  They only come every other year, so we were all looking forward to games and food and fun, especially the nine grandkids.  About a week before Christmas, my dear husband told me that he had a Boxing Day surprise for me.  (That is a Canadian holiday on Dec. 26th.)  Anticipation and glee filled my heart, as I LOVE surprises.  Not knowing makes my mind go WILD with wonder and it simply causes life to be extra exciting.  That was all blown to bits when he told me that my surprise was a family road trip to Ministikwin Lake, Saskatchewan…. an 1890 mile ONE-WAY trip straight north from Phoenix to Canada’s frozen tundra.  Rick’s parents rented a teeny log-cabin on the frozen-solid lake and his brother’s family was also going.  Now, Crosby family get togethers are filled with fun, laughter and frivolity, but keep in mind it was December…. AND MY SISTER’S FAMILY WAS VISITING.

I’d like to report that I smiled and said, “Sure, honey!” but it didn’t go down that smoothly between us.  In fact there were several lively discussion behind closed doors.  With tears in my eyes, I found my carefully prepared Christmas list in Rick’s wallet.  I crossed out everything on the list, wrote PARKA in big letters and handed it back to him.   (This was the ‘accepting change’ part of the story.)

Anyway, we drove for three days through rain and sleet and even snow to a 700 square foot cabin where 13 of us stayed for a week.  It was cozy, to say the absolute least.  Did I mention that it was MINUS FIFTY DEGREES? An “arena” was cleared on the lake and the men and kids were captivated with hockey the entire week.  I did a puzzle.  Pictured below are five cousins from three families and Jennie, my sister-in-law, the black scary-looking-bank-robberish one from www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com   NEW BAGS up TODAY!

There are about 27 blogs that will eventually be written from our time on Ministikwin Lake (a claustrophobic attack at 3 am, the Canadian candy bar taste test, the faiwwies, THE trek to the remains of the EP club, the missing tooth, the frozen blanket stuck to the wall, the tip jar, the garage sale on top bunk #2, just to name a few), but onto the second part of the question: how did it impact my life?  Well, we’re still married.  The forced trek north did go down in the family history books as “the maddest I’ve ever been” but, like I said, we’re still happily married.  Sometimes you just have to give in and do what you DON’T want to do to keep the peace. It’s like my momma used to say, “Do something you don’t want to do every day.  It makes you a better person.”

This is Aus right before frostbite set in.  His face was frozen like this.  (kidding)  The moral of the story is “when life hands you snow, make snowballs with rocks in them and annihilate your opponent.” (It really does make you feel better.)  Great family memories were made… and I have a really nice parka out of the deal.