16 April 2011

Moose Jaw Minute #36: A dose of Moose Jaw with a side of Chicago

It is spring in Moose Jaw and with that, Mother Nature is having a field day!  Over the past week and a half, the snow has melted, the ice on the lakes and rivers have cracked, and as a result, our little town is flooding.  Last week, as the ice popped and ripped apart, it caused a huge blockage in the river through Wakamow Valley which runs straight through the center of town.  HUGE slabs of ice were pushed up and out of the river, onto paths and over roads, into yards and over walking trails.  The rivers swelled and my running path was consumed by the rushing water while folks in the valley began sand-bagging to keep their homes dry.  The first time the waters receded (yes, I said first), the entire town seemed to come out to witness what happened.  Wakamow was filled with people climbing over the not-so-small islands of ice that came to rest in the valley and on the roads.  Pictures were taken and fingers pointed to the massive frozen blocks that reveled layers of ice and snow on that sunny afternoon.  It was fun to be out and about that day, feeling like the community was coming together to witness something special.

That was last Saturday...the next day I was once again off to Chicago for work.  I flew from a chilly Moose Jaw and landed in a Chicago that was basking in the warmth of an early spring day.  The temps had risen into the 80s and I took the opportunity to take the El downtown and walk around the city...soaking in the sun, catching glimpses of the architecture in the sunlight, and enjoying the energy that a warm day brings to the concrete jungle.  It was a great start to a week that included catching up with friends, productive meetings, and lakeside runs -- one of the things I miss most about being in the city.

I ran with my close friend Christin watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan as we caught up on life and love.  I shared an awesome meal with my friend Kerry who had visited Chicago's Green City Market and picked up goods to make homemade chickpea crepes, sauteed kale, and heirloom oranges for dessert.  I got to spend quality time with Sarah, who was kind enough to put me up for the week in her comfy/homey apartment.  We chilled out and shared stories and laughed.  My best friend Katie and I had the chance to try out a place I have been wanting to go to called Green Zebra and it did not disappoint.  We walked away feeling sated -- not only because of the amazing food, but also due to the conversation and good company. I had a great lunch with my friend, Mark at the sushi place around the corner from where I work.  Matilda's bar did not leave my friends and I hanging on Thursday night as Emily, Dorrie, Sarah and I huddled around the corner fire (the week started warm and turned chilly) to swap stories and celebrate our recent success in work and life.  

I returned last night and as we flew over the province, it was clear that more had melted and the water was rising.  As Dave and I drove home from Regina, I could make out lakes that used to be fields and saw trees wading branch-deep in pools.  Nearing Moose Jaw, you could see that the water level was inching dangerously close to the roads.  My running path is now completely underwater and the location where we had our winter picnic not too long ago is now part of the river.  There are sandbags to be seen everywhere and the local government is letting everyone know that things might get a bit more damp with the rivers expected to rise at least two more feet!  Dave and I are going to drive around a bit tomorrow to catch more photos, but I am including some below from last weekend along with some pics from my trip.

I hope you all had an amazing week -- stay dry, embrace spring, and I'll post some more once we get out and about!

Dave on the ice

You can see all of the ice and how it was pushed up onto the far shore

Dumpster on ice!

Park is flooded...much worse now.

Me and Kerry

Sunrise on Lake Michigan


Dorrie and I sharing a good laugh

Emily and I cozy by the fire

Sarah and I...she is the hostess with the mostest!

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