Blog entry by D. Nichol - Guest Contributor/Primary Driver
May 20 - 22, 2013: East Selkirk, MB. This time, the same as every other time, it felt good to get back to where I once belonged. Calming. Familiar. ‘Back Home’.
As we pulled into the driveway shortly after 12:00am on May 20, I could see a sign at the road but it was too dark to read at the time. I commented how I was sure it was something for sale by Dad. After a well deserved sleep-in, we looked at the sign the next day and sure enough, for sale was:
2 electric motors, boat motors, a 14 - 16’ boat cover, and a Tassimo Coffee Maker.
It’s funny how Winnipeg’s Craigslist/Kijiji would get tens of thousands of potential buyers a day while the car traffic past our house on an average day is 15 cars. Regardless, you won’t have the opportunity to purchase these items from my Dad unless you happen to drive down Harold Ave.
It was a late spring this year in Manitoba as evidenced by the lack of leaves on the trees, and the weather on the 20th
conducive to much outdoor activity so we spent the day catching up, going for lunch (Alana didn’t like hers and got it for free), puttering around the house, and going for dinner with my Sister and Brother-in-law (and watching the Red Wings game - Win!).
May 21, 2013 was a bittersweet day. Difficult in the sense that it began with an interment for my Mom, but sweet for the fact that I was able to see - and Alana was able to meet for the first time - many aunts, uncles, and cousins that I always ask Dad about but so very rarely connect with directly anymore.
As we had decided to leave Winnipeg a day earlier than anticipated to avoid an extended (12+) our drive on Friday, we met my old friends Tyler and Chasity for dinner that evening as we’d be unable to see them Thursday as originally planned. As dinner was coming to an end the question became what to do next. I would like to thank Chasity for suggesting mini-golf, something that the Lower Mainland is sorely lacking. Congratulations to Tyler for winning, Alana for getting a hole-in-one, and I’ll offer myself congratulations for
getting a hole-in-one on a much more difficult hole on which you must putt through a miniature igloo.
May 22, 2013 arrived and it was time for another tour of East Selkirk - the same tour I give every time we‘re back home. We went to Happy Thought School where I attended K - 9 and we were fortunate enough to be allowed to take ourselves on a tour of the school. It is a little different than when I attended as it is now only K - 4, is now home to the HTS Huskies as opposed to the HTS Hawks, and the classrooms and hallways that were once long, large, and daunting now seem so small. I’m also pretty confident that now, as opposed to before, I would win in a fight against any student in the school.
The East Selkirk Arena where I began my hockey career was the next stop. We got lucky again as while we were taking some pictures, the rink’s operator asked if we would like to see inside as there had been some changes. The canteen that Mom used to run (and that I used to help in and sneak
candies from) is gone in favour of more change rooms and the hall area that used to hold socials and dances is now a heated viewing area. Although the ice is out for the summer, the rink area it is still as cold as a Manitoba winter. The highlight was when I mentioned that I used to play for the East Side Sabres and the gentleman showing us around said that he probably had a few old Sabres jersey’s around. Sure enough a few minutes later I’m wearing a vintage East Side Sabres home jersey. Oh that jersey looked good on me...
The tour was completed with a pizza lunch from Chicken Delight, and after raving about it for days I got the seal of approval - Alana agreed it was amazing. That night a delicious dinner was hosted by two of my oldest and dearest friends, Allan & Melanie. A big thank you to our hosts as well as Richard and Elise (with Elliott) and Andrew and Melissa for taking the time to come to the city and spend a few hours with us.
Tomorrow morning brings with it another day of new scenery and more quality
driving time with my beautiful girlfriend. As I always do when leaving home I reflect back on my visit, and this visit was different. Home has always been the place where my family’s house was, that particular spot on earth, and my family and friends have always been the (amazing) people that were there. It seems odd to me now that I always thought of home and the people as distinct when they truly are one and the same. I realized that the difference this time is that ‘home’ is different. It’s remarkable just how much home was defined by Mom.
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From Hockey Player to Author
My thoughts are still with you and your family. Thank you, as you continue to share your mother's legacy with your words. The pictures are great, but not as great as this quote, "Tomorrow morning brings with it another day of new scenery and more quality driving time with my beautiful girlfriend"
Enjoyed your blog write up. This is the first blog I've read. I'll continue to look for future entries. You heartfelt words about your home and mon echo how I feel. I haven't been to your home yet and I too will always think of it as Doug & Lue's. But hey whay's wrong with that. Keep on with your great adventure and I'll be following you. Aunt Wendy