Early Snow Couldn't Kill My Trip to My Hometown, Not When There Were Mashed Potatoes On the Line
I went to Saskatoon for Thanksgiving. I lived there for over 20 years, and I hadn't been back since I went there to hang out with Susan and Sarah in August, so I missed it. I had this idea that I would drive up through the gorgeous fall weather we usually have at this time of year, and then I was going to spend hours walking along the riverbank photographing every last thing that crossed my path. It's one of my favourite things to do in fall.
And then I woke up the day I was going to do the three-hour drive north, and BAM. We had an unseasonable dump of snow, and I had to postpone leaving for a day.
I honestly believed the snow would be gone by the next day, because the first snow usually only lasts a few hours and then doesn't return until Halloween, but nope. Nature stayed mean, and I ended up weeping in the car for a bit after I took the above photo.
It's a thing I do during fall in Saskatchewan. I take a car trip alone to Saskatoon, and I take an extra 1.5 hours to get there, because I have to stop all over the place so I can hold it all in my chest, and then I wander around Saskatoon so I can hold Saskatoon all in my chest, too. I had even gotten my hands on a 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium to drive for a few days (shown lower down in this post), so I had this whole dream trip planned in my head like I could schedule the weather. My dream trips never include big snow dumps with lots of wind and unseasonably low temperatures.
So, that's why there was the weeping and the pouting in the car. The weather upset my one and only egg basket.
But then I remembered that I was going to see old friends and my parents and parents-in-law, and I decided that people should trump my deep emotional investment in pastoral, pre-winter prairie scenes.
Saskatoon's indoor places were lovely despite its cold and windy outdoor places. I got in some visits with my dearest old friends Starcat and Drew and Mary. I had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, grandmother, and their friends, and I stayed over at my parents-in-law's.
I tried to be thankful for the most part, because it was Thanksgiving, and I was, but I still complained bitterly about the stupid cold and wore a scarf indoors for dramatic effect, because this is my way. DON'T CHALLENGE MY WAY.
The highlight of the trip was, strangely, watching the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. My parents and I disagree on almost everything political, but Trump is so nuts that we got to sit on the couch and agree on politics for once. The politics may have been ridiculous and American, but they brought this Canadian family closer together.
The drive back on Monday was harrowing, but not in the way that indicates a factual kind of harrowing. There was an increasing amount of snow and blowing snow along with some frozen patches on the way home, but as long as a person didn't let the blowing snow hypnotize them into the ditch, the driving was fine. It was only truly harrowing for me, because I have immense bouts with death anxiety and an active imagination. I spent the entire drive imagining what the grainy crash photo would like in the next day's paper and hoping Aidan would be able to find love again but also have the good sense to move, because no new bitch is going to live in my house.
The good thing was that, even though my fear was riding side saddle, I knew I was set up pretty well to arrive home safely, because I've driven Ford Fusions a number of times now, and they're my favourite so far of the Ford cars.
I'm no mechanic, so I can't get into the nitty gritty details with you, but here's what I liked about my experience with the 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium:
- Its ride is smooth and quiet.
- The audio is wonderful. I can listen to podcasts even on the highway. If you listen to podcasts, you know that the sound can easily be drowned out by highway noise, but not in this car.
- The rain-sensing windshield wipers sense rain. I'm the loon in traffic with wild wipers on a clear day, because I am bad at wipers, but these rain-sensing ones adjust to amount of precipitation and save me from being that loon.
- It has a driver's seat that adjusts properly. As a car renter/borrower rather than an owner, I spend a lot of time in a lot of different cars, and almost none of them seem built to have driver's seats that will adjust to both the right height and distance from the pedals without also making the steering wheel somehow obnoxious. The Fusion gets this right.
- According to my parents, the back seat is comfortable. They own their own Ford Fusion, though, so they're a bit biased.
- Information about the media I played was duplicated on the display in front the steering wheel, so I wasn't distracted from the road. I'm the kind of person who needs to know song titles.
- The trunk held a huge amount of groceries. We threw $150 of food in there and barely filled a third of it.
- It's a good size. It's not an SUV, but it's not a compact, so it fits in parking lots but has enough room inside to stretch out and enjoy the ride.
The thing I wasn't crazy about was the switch from the stick shifter to the radial shifter in the center console in the 2017 model. I like to feel more command behind the wheel, and that dial felt like a volume control knob. It's the sensory difference between LET'S DRIVE and oh, let's see, that D setting looks good. It's not a deal-breaker, though. I like the rest of the car enough that I'm willing to deal with dialling it to drive.
Also, this car let me drive with a fair amount of confidence in stupid Saskatchewan weather despite my anxiety, and it got me home safe and sound.
Over Thanksgiving, I did get to hug every great human I spent time with, and I know some pretty great humans. I also got to eat sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and dressing with gravy on everything, and I did it twice within two hours. (It's my personal belief that this should happen every day, but I hate cooking, so it's not up to me. This is how we know life isn't built to be fair.)
The weekend didn't end up being the pastoral photowalk through Saskatchewan that I hoped it would be, and Saskatoon pelted me with wind and snow, but love abounded, and I am immensely glad that I made the trip, snow be damned.
While Ford Canada did loan a 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Explorer to me to test drive for a few days, I have not received any monetary compensation for this blog post or any associated social media mentions.