14 October 2010

Moose Jaw Minute #9: Connections and a Very Happy Thanksgiving

It's been a busy week, full of old friends and new, seasonal shifts and holidays, cooking and hiking.  For the first time since I arrived in Moose Jaw, I felt a bit like my old self...busy, but content. 

I connected with my friend Amanda and Sarah on a Skype call...trading recipes and updating each other on our lives.  They are part of the feminist posse from Chicago and now that Sarah is in Portland, Oregon and Amanda is in Chicago, it was high time we caught up.  A year ago, my friend (and former roommate) Sarah decided it was time to head west across the States.  She loaded her stuff into a truck and drove herself across the country to land in Portland.  She has become a touchstone on my journey as we share the experience of being in new places with few connections...re-paving our way and finding our places in new communities.  Amanda is one piece of my inspiration to re-prioritize.  A year ago, my good friend opted to choose balance and sanity over our crazy-hectic schedules.  I admire her so much for the work she does and for her approach to life.  Not only do I admire her approach to life, she is also a good part of my inspiration in the kitchen.  Amanda is a fantastic cook and she has shared a couple of recipes with me to try out (note:  I was a microwave and granola bar eater before a few tastes of Amanda's cooking and a read of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver...I am a convert to local food, cooking in the kitchen, and feeding myself right!).  Our conversation was lovely and we'll have to make the Skype conference call happen again soon. 

In addition to Amanda and Sarah, I also had the chance to catch up with my best friends, Katie and Mariah.  We've started a book club of sorts and our first read was Farmer Jane by Temra Costa. You'd think we would have spent the call debating the good and bad of the book.  Not a chance.  We talked about love, birthdays (happy birthday, Mariah!), and dabbled about the various ways to start a family.  Mariah and Katie are phenomenal women and I count myself incredibly lucky to have them in my life.  I met Mariah in undergrad (we got in trouble during a lecture -- we were both Resident Assistants -- and became immediate fast friends) and we have been inseparable since.  Katie and met at one of my first jobs in Chicago...Katie introduced me to the finer points of coffee and has been an inspiration as she worked on her grad degree and continues to excel both personally and professionally.

In addition to catching up with old friends, it was time to meet some new folks as well...at our Canadian Thanksgiving Bonanza!  So, what was Thanksgiving like?  Nothing short of lovely.  There was fantastic food and fantastic company.  On Saturday, we were hosted at a friend's home and walked in toting the Evans family pie and cloned-Bandera cornbread (see previous post).  There was turkey, gravy, stuffing, two kinds of potatoes, two pies, bread, salad, and wine.  I had the opportunity to meet new people and try my hand at the DJ game on Wii.  We ate, drank, and were merry...slipping in and out of our food comas depending on whether or not our stomachs decided if we'd had enough.  The next day, I had work to do as Dave puttered around the house, but we made time to go for a hike through the west side of Wakamow Valley, talking along the way about our careers and debating the topic of cougars (women, not the big cats).  Weird hiking topic you say?  Um, yeah...I agree...


Leftover apples make...

...fantastic Day-After Applesauce!

The Trans-Canada Hiking Trail

Who needs IKEA when you can just go for a hike?  Chair?  Overturned tub from the 1940s?  All yours for the taking!

1 comment:

John Thomas said...

Guess they got rednecks leavin furniture everywhere in Canadia too...