I went home last weekend. Home, as in my mother’s house. Home, where I’ve spent 25 out of my 50 years. Home, where I was raised up. It’s not really my home anymore but then here doesn’t feel completely like home either. Sorry, I do so ramble on sometimes.
I went because it was Homecoming weekend and we were celebrating my mother’s birthday early since all her children could be there. I went because my baby brother came home, along with his nine year old son, and Mom has little tolerance for normal childhood behaviour anymore. I went because if I didn’t, this nine year old would have spent ninety percent of his time watching TV.
I went just a little bit for me. I did want to see who would come. I did want to visit with my family. I mostly enjoyed myself.
Homecoming is a Saskatchewan tradition. The first provincial Homecoming was in 1971: I don’t remember why. The last major one was in 2005 to celebrate the province’s 100th anniversary. Since the first one, every small town tries to put on a Homecoming once every 5 years.
This is because most of us don’t stay in the small rural towns much past High School graduation – they are few jobs and farming, in my opinion, is a fool’s love. Yes, I have nephews who farm – I worry for them.
I’m close enough that going Home doesn’t feel like a major undertaking. I’m at my Moms for most major holidays and at least once in the summer. Most people still know me by name and me them. I think the only one who would be surprised if I moved back is me.
I’ll admit to a love/hate relationship with rural living. I miss the quiet, the routine, and getting together with my extended family but I don’t miss the boredom, the familiarity and the lack of work.
So, last weekend. Well, that’s a story or two. My brother & his son stayed with me Thursday night and since I had Friday off we were heading back home by 9am. We had to take a different route because of all the rain we’ve had this year our normal highway was flooded over (for the first time ever in my memory).
We stopped in a small city near Home to hit a bank machine and get a few items that we wouldn’t be able to get in that small rural town we grew up in. This is where I got bruised. 😦
My brother went to the bank machine and the nephew & I headed across the street to the bakery. I stepped off the curb, my right ankle twisted under me and I fell, landing hard on my left knee and right palm. Thankfully, I didn’t twist the ankle and could get back up. I’m still having trouble using my right hand. I need to learn how to be ambidextrous.
The nephew remained remarkably calm and we carried on Home. The nephew is an only child (kind of – he’s the child of my brother’s second marriage and his siblings are all in their twenties, so they’ve never lived together). We spent a lot of the weekend together, my nephew & I, as we explored Home and I showed him places his daddy used to go to. Being an only child he is well versed in keeping himself amused, as evidenced by the following pictures.
This is what he created, in-between floats, as we watched the parade. It’s a butterfly cage. At one point, there was a moth in there but I was not quick enough with the camera.
Here’s a close-up, sans moth, before it was demolished and the building materials put back onto the road. This was something he did on his own. I was pleased that the circle was not left on the sidewalk as the sidewalk was well used that day and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone (else) to trip.
Since it was Homecoming weekend our local King & Queen were two of the older residents of town. Below is a picture of them after the parade, holding court.
This is what I looked like Saturday evening after attending the morning’s parade and the afternoon children’s activities. I really should remember to wear a hat when I spend that much time outdoors in the sun. However, in my defense, with all the rain we’ve had it’s hard to remember what summer sun feels like.
Next week, I will present a more nostalgic point-of-view of Homecoming. I leave you today with a picture that pinpoints the epitome of where I come from.