(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)
Well, I have some little things to tell you and then some BIG NEWS that I’ll leave to later in this note!
We are still scuttling across the country at a pretty fast rate and are now in Saskatchewan! I almost didn’t make it out of Ontario because the Lady needed to stop at a rest stop (and not to rest) and while she was busy the Man befriended a most incredible dog (he thought) called a Hungarian Puli. It was about 3 feet (.9 metre) high and covered with thick black/brown dreadlocks that covered his whole body and hung right to the ground. The Man had arranged a trade for ME and actually had the dog in the car when the Lady came, rescued me and dumped the dog! Whew! It was a chilly hour or two after that but sweet sheep that I am, I forgave him, after all he is only a human being.
The continuation of our return trip can be pretty well summed up in a paragraph.
From the remnants of the Canadian Shield with granite and limestone outcroppings, spruce and birch forests down into the flat, flat prairie terrain of Manitoba. Skirting around the northeast corner of Winnipeg to head north through more flat grasslands with fields of golden wheat, electric yellow canola, armies of sunflowers, green alfalfa, combines, balers, swathers and harrowers. Running up the east side of Lake Manitoba, squeezing through The Narrows near Reykjavik (Manitoba, not Iceland) and landing in Ste. Rose du Lac for the night with it’s replica of the Shrine of Lourdes and it’s claim to fame of being the Beef Capital of Manitoba. The next day rolling westward through more farmland but now with hills and groves of birch, poplar and spruce thrown in. Crossing into Saskatchewan near Roblin and on through Yorkton, Foam Lake, Kandahar (Saskatchewan, not Afghanistan), Melfort, Prince Albert, Spiritwood and finally . . . my birthplace Chitek Lake and home of Herman, the Maker of Socks and his Lady of Chitek Lake, Ruth.
It was good we finally arrived somewhere because that Man was getting quite nauseating about his new passion – cows. He kept going on and on about how contented and happy they looked. I can’t see what he sees in them myself. We kept having to slow down and gawk at groups of cud chewing beasts huddling around in small groups in the sweltering, muggy heat. The Man stopped to take ANOTHER picture of a cow and while he was doing that I went over to a group to give them some wise blessèd sheep advice. I told them that in hot weather they should stand at least one metre apart, not almost on top of each other, because it would be a lot cooler that way. They just continued standing there, chewing and burping and chewing with blank looks – I don’t think they’re contented, I think they’re oblivious. A bunch of sweaty, fly covered, prickly, over-heated walking leather suitcases.
We made a very hasty drive to Chitek Lake because the Man made the mistake of letting me hear we were heading that way. Even with a sock in my mouth and being stuffed in the trunk he could hear my baaing with excitement. We arrived yesterday afternoon and THEN IT HAPPENED . . .
The Lady of Chitek Lake knew I was coming so thought it might be nice if I had someone of my own ilk to spend time with while I was here. So . . . she invited Jake to dinner on the night of our arrival.
It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT for the both of us (I’m sure he feels the same way). Jake is a fine looking sheep who has just finished his apprenticeship at Shepherd School. You will notice that he is wearing a sheep sheath that kinda looks like a dress (BUT IT’S NOT!). This is because he has just been sheared and he is feeling a little self-conscious. I must say it makes ME feel a little under dressed but it hasn’t interfered with our relationship and I do still have all of my woollies. We have spent the day together and things are developing quickly. Jake feels he would like to see the West Coast so it has been decided that he will come with us. Naturally, I will stay in the back seat and he will stay in the front seat. We don’t know what the future holds but I did tell him the story of the Man’s grandmother who met her future husband at a party, three days later got engaged, one month later got married and immediately sailed to Costa Rica to live. Jake started twitching a bit when he heard that story so I changed the subject and mentioned how I always wanted a hamster farm but needed someone who could shepherd them – that perked him up.
Tomorrow we’re back on the road though we’re not too sure of our route. The Lady and the Lady of Chitek Lake are out playing bingo tonight so we may be penniless by tomorrow and not going anywhere.
While Jake and I spent time together today the Man and the Lady went kayaking on the lake. It is a very beautiful spot here – lots of forests and small lakes. The community of Chitek Lake is quite small most of the year but the population swells during the summer with lots of cottages and a large campground.
We have been having thunderstorms for the last three or four days, spreading from Saskatchewan through into Manitoba and Ontario. The weather is a little cooler here (apparently there was actually frost a little south of us last night) and we’re glad we missed the sweltering heat that they have been having in Ontario.
Oops . . . Jake seems to be dozing off so I’ll get back to you soon.