The day before I left Longview, Nona, Lance and I sat down with bins of jewelry, dishes and crystal. These were items that Jody had bequeathed to the family. Especially hard were my dear wife’s necklaces, bracelets and rings. We all gulped and sighed in our sadness, but also smiled to see Jody’s love of bling, of funky shapes and colours. That’s my wife. I love you, Jodiette.
Yesterday morning, I hugged all six of my family members and told them that I loved them, starting with Ember outside in the yard. The doggie was bouncing around, her nose to the wind, but then came over and sat beside me for a short petting. We’re friends.
Jaxon, Jagger and Jace had located in my car, which was a trick since it’s so full of stuff. It looked like I was going to have to take them all home with me. Finally to have kids. Jace’s hug was very long and sweet. The boys sat on the lawn and said silly things as I backed Scarlet out of the driveway. Then they raced after me on the street as we left Highwood Drive. Such sadness on the leaving but I will be with them all again.
It would be a 9-hour drive to my friends Henry and Louise in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Around lunch time (How convenient!) I rolled into Eleanor and Cam’s place east of Lethbridge. They’re Jody’s aunt and cousin. I sat on their deck a month ago and enjoyed a Mike’s Pink Hard Lemonade. A few days ago, I had talked to Cam on the phone and discreetly requested another one of those cool coolers. And Cam came through for me. Plus I got to have a delicious home-cooked meal of chicken and corn-on-the-cob. Gosh, I’ve been treated royally on this trip.
The three of us sure laughed a lot. Cam started talking about my alleged Buddhist powers. Apparently I can levitate and travel vast distances in no time at all. News to me. In ten days, I’m taking the Greyhound to Massachusetts. But I went with it, my ego floating high on the possibilities of specialness. Except the Buddha would say just be ordinary and realize that within each of us resides the extraordinary.
Eleanor told us that she’d seen the Dalai Lama interviewed on TV:
Q: How is it, sir, that you’ve gained so much knowledge about leading a life?
A: It’s all bullshit! (Giggling and bouncing up and down)
To which the three of us collapsed in spasms of mirth.
The road was long but I like driving. Near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, I drove by a pond whose surface was partially encrusted with white. And the shoreline was often piled with white. My mind said “salt” but truly I don’t know. Driving by that spot was like much of my life: Normal … Normal … Normal … What the heck is that? … Normal … Normal …
It was about an hour-and-a-half from Moose Jaw to Weyburn. Two lane road. Dark. Tired. Semi-trailers approaching. I was some scared but also felt a strange confidence. I know that Jodiette is always with me. “I shelter you, Bruce. I protect you.” Thank you, my dear.
I got lost in Weyburn but actually that’s one thing I really enjoy in life. It often means that I get to talk to new people but last night I meanderingly figured it out myself.
Henry plied me with rum drinks and Louise with little cheese and spinach ooverdoovers as we talked about everything and nothing. Henry brought out a small bottle of liqueur, in the shape of a naked woman. I was encouraged to rub all the appropriate body parts (knees, elbows …) but naturally I demurred. But I sure like the feel of smooth glass! I wasn’t drunk but I was certainly well lubricated. Henry and I sang “Home On The Range” and I favoured my friends with animal sounds, especially the rooster and chicken. Oh my, we tittered and gorped.
Henry and Louise are such fine people. They love each other quadruple oodles and laugh together easily. It’s another home for me.
Two extremely long days to home. Tonight I’m in a motel in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – a 12-hour drive from here, plus an hour for the time zone change. Sounds like a midnight arrival. Oh well. More fun. I’ll see you tomorrow morning