Let me say it is great to be home. When you live overseas and travel home, you receive the gift of realizing all over again, that we live in a wonderful country. I wish that it weren't so easy for me, for most of us, to have this kind of fresh love and appreciation fade into something that is very normal, expected, and taken for granted. So what does a traveler notice as she steps back onto Canadian soil?
As a lifelong prairie girl coming from a year in a squishy skyscraper stacked city, I cannot understate the pure goodness of space and sky. One of my favorite things is looking out the window onto the perfect patchwork fields as I fly into the Regina airport. The pent up air starts seeping out, just looking at the open space! And then breathing in the fresh air, what a treat for the lungs! I can breathe again for the first time in 11 months. When I woke up the first day, I heard a strange sound coming from outside. It wasn't seven billion cars zipping down the road 32 floors below me. It was birds. I'm not really a huge bird lover, but did they ever sound lovely. Birds, and quiet. My, is it ever quiet here. The auto-pilot driving experience from Regina to Calgary is one of my favorites. When else do you get to drive through "The Friendly City", the city "Where Life Makes Sense" and "The Gas City"?!
As refreshing as it is to return to Canadian scenery (did I mention sunsets?! They don't really look the same when covered by a layer of smog), of course it is the return to the people you love most that is the best part of home. I've had a great kickstart to my summer of seeing friends and family. My sister came to Regina to hang out for the week and we found ourselves frequenting friend's homes, and, the tennis courts. Yes! It was awesome to be with Autumn, Andrew, Mom and Dad for a couple days. I have missed them so much. We spent time in Kennedy visiting my nearly 70 years married grandparents, driving Grandpa's scooter to town (and pushing it back), playing crokinole (and losing), and also seeing three cousins. It was great. Back in Regina I was glad to stop in on a ball game and connect with my old teammates. It's always so good to be at the diamonds again, though it makes me itch to get out there.
Now I sit in Heather's living room, up too early on a Sunday morning, hoping that Federer will bring home the Wimbledon title. It's wonderful to be in Calgary with the single goal of being with family. I must say that my littlest niece, Mareesa, has an overwhelming load of cuteness. I don't even know what to do with myself, she's off the charts! A week will not be enough, but I'll enjoy every minute! You can be assured that pictures will follow. Of course it is so, so good to see each one of my nieces and nephews. It's amazing how they grow and change in a year.
I will stay here for the week and wrap things up with a camp-out next weekend with some of my best friends from Regina. Then it's on to the next stop- Yellowknife. A fine place to be in the middle of summer. There's a little nephew I have yet to squish, and another I've been waiting to play with! Plus, my parents and A & A are there, too. So I'm looking forward to that. Anyway, that's all for this morning. I thought I'd better check in on the other side of the journey. Go Roger...