Friday, July 26, 2013

Open skies

We've been warmly received here in Regina, Saskatchewan. Brian's sister Kate & fam (Mervin, Darien & Chase) have been amazing hosts and Otis lovers. Chase (our youngest nephew, at 14) let us take over his room and is living downstairs while we're here. Darien (newly driving, at 16) has been happy to chauffeur and let us drive his car while O is a passenger. They all take turns hanging out with Otis - and today we even got to go grocery shopping without him. Just me and Brian. It was like a date! It's been so great.

We left the Van Folk Fest early on Sunday afternoon because Thelonious, our most gorgeous cat, was not doing well. Before we left for Hornby we had taken Thelo to the vet to figure out what was ailing him and found out that he'd experienced kidney damage. Maybe from a toxin, antifreeze or lilies, maybe not. After spending 3 nights in the cat hospital on 24 hour IV, our friends Lornna & Adam, who own The Cattery, picked Thelo up. They cared for Thelo with love and exceptional attention - from the subcutaneous drip to daily checkin phone calls. I wish this story went differently, but Thelo just didn't get better. We came home on Sunday night to pick him up and spend a last night together. He purred and slept at our heads. Thelonious was 4 years old - we hoped that he'd be teaching Otis what serving a cat is really all about - he was part of making Victoria 'home' for me - he was Brian's silent partner. We really love that guy. It was so hard to say goodbye.
Brian & Thelonious loving it up in 2012
In some ways, it's been a gift to leave home and continue our summer travels. We have a lot to look forward to, and we can process our loss without constant reminders.

So. Despite this, we are enjoying ourselves and have been basking in the glow of being surrounded by community and family - through the Folk Fest to the Queen's City: Regina. Saskatchewan's tagline is 'The Land of the Living Skies' and our first night here proved it. Sitting around the patio table outside, we watched a long grey cloudline creep into our perfectly evening-blue sky. Kate supposed that the rain that was sure to fall would miss us, in what sounds like a typical isolated rainshower/thunderstorm kind of way. The wind stilled and the lowest clouds scudded by diagonally, just touching the center of my sightline. And then the wind picked up and the first drops fell. 30 seconds later we were running inside, dodging big, fat drops. 15 minutes later it was over and we were watching the anvil shaped cloud pass us by.
The view from the Flamont's front step

Today we head for the Grasslands National Park. It's colder than usual around here, so I'm so grateful we spent the extra $20 to check our duffel bag of cold/wet weather clothes. Kate has lent us their camping gear and her car, and we're stoked to explore the south west corner of Sask. It really is flat here. I can't wait to hit the open road, baby!

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