March 15, 2009 at 9:13 pm (Memoir) (, , , , )

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You say you are back in the area where you grew up. If you have family members there, perhaps they can include you in some of their circles?

A comment on my last post leads to this post (go read the comments, if you want, & come back). The prominent part of the comment is posted above. I feel the need to explain why this action isn’t feasible in my life. To do this, I need to explain small towns in Saskatchewan and a bit about how I was raised.

If you look at the map, to your left, you will notice a lot of place names. My province has two major cities, many medium cities and hundred of small towns and villages. I’d give you population numbers but I don’t have them. Most of the smaller centres are not on this map; where I grew up is one not included here.

Let’s just say the city I live in now (a major one) has more than 200,000 inhabitants and the small town I grew up in has about 1,000. Right now, I am about two hours, by car, away from family. I choose to not own a car. This is the bane of my mother’s existence. There are many reasons I don’t own a car and I will eventually blog about that! I am considered quite odd for not coveting this essential symbol of the North American car obsessed culture. This is just one of my eccentricities.

In the winter, I go home for the major holidays, usually by bus. Winter, this year, started around the beginning of October and is not over yet. It has not been this cold for fifteen years. Brrr.

Members of my family came into the city about once during that same time period. My mom was just in for a doctor’s appointment and my sister stayed overnight after she attended a concert. I took the day my mom came in as a vacation day and drove them around and I barely saw my sister. She got to my place around one a.m. the night she was in and left by seven…so there was no time to socialize. We both had to work that day.

That’s part of the problem. Why my family comes into the city, I mean. They have busier lives them me (husbands, children, hobbies, sports etc). They come into the city for quick day trips packed with planned activities.

I go home to visit them and hang out at their houses (I have an apartment) and involve myself in their tasks (cooking, cleaning, walking the dog). Their friends are where they are. As stated, in last week’s post, I’m trying to widen my circle of acquaintances. It’s not feasible for them to include me in their circles anymore than they are.

I do have a few nieces and nephews in the city. I don’t feel I have the right to just insinuate myself in their lives. They would, I think, feel spied upon. Yes, I know, part of the problem is that I have trouble asking others for favours. Not just asking family; asking anyone. I’ve been managing on my own for 90% of my life. It’s a hard habit to break.

It doesn’t help that the car culture has changed so much over time. I’ve never owned a car. As a teenager, I didn’t need one. My peers and I stayed close to home. Most of us only came into the city for appointments and school sponsored trips. My nieces and nephews, on the other hand, think nothing of hoping into a vehicle and coming into the city to party and meet friends.

Look at the map again. Most of these places are just an hour or two apart. In Montreal, I thought nothing of hoping on the Metro and traveling two hours to visit a friend. Here two hours alone on the highways and back roads of Saskatchewan can feel like an eternity. An eternity that I need a vehicle to access in the first place.

An eternity, especially in the cold, dark of a winter evening which can start anytime after four p.m. So, instead of venturing out I choose to stay home where it is warm. It doesn’t help that the bus system is crap and I’m too cheap to spend money on a taxi. Seeing the problem yet?

Yes, it’s me. I’m cranky and cold and tired of winter and way too set in my ways. And, I suspect, I’m not the only one feeling that way as Saskatchewan comes to the end of (another) long, bitter, cold winter.

I like all the seasons. Honest, I do πŸ™‚



  1. halloween spirit said,

    Yes, as much as I complain about winter in my part of the country, I wouldn’t trade it for a Saskatchewan winter πŸ™‚

    Perhaps the warmer weather (whenever it arrives) will provide more opportunuties to socialize closer to home.

  2. solitaryspinster said,

    Thanks halloween spirit. Today it feels like Spring could be here but there are rumors of snow for tomorrow. Think warm thoughts for me. LOL.

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