Take a Little Trip, Take a Little Trip, Take a Little Trip With Me

On March 31st, I travelled to Saskatoon to start the first leg of my trip to Manitoba with my parents to take care of my nephews, a two-year-old and a ten-month-old, while my brother and sister-in-law went on a short trip together.

This is what I look like in a jiggly, blurry, and quite accidental bus selfie on the way to Saskatoon.

Drew, one of my old crew with whom I had lunch in Saskatoon, wears good t-shirts.

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This is an insomniac's contemplation of her bedside table at her mother-in-law's at 3 a.m. I like to take my sleeplessness on the road with me.

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Geof, an ex-boyfriend and dear friend of nearly 21 years (!), and I had coffee. This should happen more often.

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This was my general view for over eight hours from the back seat of my parents' car while we drove from Saskatchewan to Arborg, Manitoba.

Sometimes spring in Manitoba looks like this.

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This is  a doctored, bird's-eye view of my brother and his family, because I promised not to post "creepy pictures of [his] kids on the internet".

This is Bernie, my brother's stupid cat who miraculously photographs at half his fatness and won't reveal his secrets. Bastard.

This is me really not being into mornings.

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This is a piece of art I made that hangs on my older nephew's bedroom wall.

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This is me in my nephew's room, and that is Red the Fish inside his pineapple.

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My parents and I took a short day trip to Gimli, Manitoba. This is the grimness of an early spring field en route.

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I pretended to menace my father from the back seat with a knife I bought at Tergesen's General Store. I think removing the plastic wrap might have made it more effective.

There was tons of snow in Gimli. See my tiny parents back there? That snow behind them is actually one-and-a-half times there height. It was hard to shoot with a sense of scale, but trust me that the boats were big, the snow was big, and my parents are average-sized.

This the giant Viking statue in Gimli, which is a town proud of its Icelandic heritage. I was sitting on his mighty toe when I took this shot.

When I climbed down off the Viking statue, I took another route out to the car that looked like it had shallower snow. In spring, though, when melt has set in but the snow is still high, sometimes the snow retains most of its bulk while losing all its solidity beneath the surface, so, when I stepped down where there were older footprints only a couple of inches deep, I ended up punching through up to the middle of my thigh. When I tried to take another step, I toppled over. When I tried to put my hand down to push myself upright, my arm simply shot straight down like my leg had done without finding the ground, and I couldn't get up. 

No matter which way I pushed, I only became further entrenched in snow that had to be over three feet deep on top of a fine, clay muck below. This stuff was like quicksand. 

I had two choices: I could work my way down until I hit mud and crawl/fight my way out, or I could try to get a fast roll going that would keep me topside. I picked a third option and screamed for help.

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" I yelled, but large snowbanks kept me hidden from the view of the road where my parents waited in the car and effectively blocked my calls.

No one could hear or see me, so I lay there for a moment looking up into the sky, asked for the strength of Thor, and flung myself with as much force as I could sideways to get a fast roll going out the road. I managed to stay on top of the snow, but it was pretty humbling having to roll my way across a field because I couldn't stand up on my own, and by the time I got back into the car I was soaking wet.

"What happened to you?" my father asked.

"The snow tried to eat me alive," I answered. "I had to roll out."

"Ah, you got into some quicksnow. Don't get any mud in the car," he said.

We're pretty hardcore.

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This is Lake Winnipeg in early April. It's less like a lake and more like ice. After my experience at the Viking, I stayed well away from the edge.

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And then I came home after eight days of travel to Saskatoon, Arborg, Gimli, and then back to Regina, and these creatures were very happy to see me again.

The End.