Scarlet was calling to me yesterday morning: “Fix me. Fix me please.” And who am I to resist the urgings of a red Toyota Corolla? A few weeks ago, I hit a curb in Vancouver. As well as an oil change, my car needed a wheel alignment. So off I went to High River Toyota, with the sparkling Rockies behind. Fresh snow on the mountains.
After dropping off my four-wheeled wonder at the dealership, I followed the rep’s directions towards Smitty’s, with breakfast on my mind. I kept walking along the highway … McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, A&W, but no Smitty’s. I stood at an intersection, spinning around inside and out. A woman stopped, rolled down her window and said “Can I help you?” And so the location of the breakie locale was revealed. It was behind a hotel that I had walked by. On my return trip, I did visual research. I’m usually good at spotting landmarks but I missed the Smitty’s sign. I discovered that it was only visible for a distance of 40 metres along the sidewalk. How strange. I felt there was a life lesson here but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I know … go to Tim’s for breakfast!
As I munched on my lettuce and tofu, the Calgary Sun magically appeared before me, somehow open to the sports section. Seven pages of football … and I don’t even like all those huge men hitting each other. But I got to read about Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old Canadian golfer who won her first LPGA tournament last week. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with her. Or would I? She’s pretty, hits the ball 280 yards, and is a nice person. She smiles. I’m all for those upward bendings of the mouth.
After bugging my waitress sufficiently, I lined up at the cash. Ahead of me was another fellow who likes playing with servers. And the woman receiving his money clearly was enjoying the moment as well. We got talking. He’s 94 and still driving. Oh, I want to be like him when I grow up! He offered me a ride back to Toyota but I wanted to walk. I suggested to him, however, that if he sees me on the highway, he should come close and nudge me with his right front fender. He decided not to.
As I pointed Scarlet westward, the full glory of fresh snow on the Rockies lay before me. Words just don’t do it. A few days ago, Lance took us to a high point on a foothills road, one that gave us an enormous vista of this good earth. I sallied forth to find the spot. With Scarlet leading the way, happy with her straight wheel, we arrived. Photos were good but standing there in silence was better. Just because happiness comes from within is no reason not to revel in nature’s glory. And glorious it was.
Back home again, I got to spend some time with Ember on my lap. She stilled and sunk into my legs. Oh my. If only we human beings would touch like this. Sometimes we do. I stroked Ember’s head and back. I scratched her ears. I enjoyed her company. There was nothing to add. Being with a touch of doing.
Today, we family of seven are launching ourselves towards Waterton Lakes National Park for four days of exploring. Waterton is where I became a person. I worked at the Prince of Wales Hotel there in 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975 and 1976. I became friends with fellow employees who came from nearly all the provinces. Waterton is home. The PW is tied for my favourite building in the world, alongside my home in Union, Ontario. And we get to go there. We get to climb Bear’s Hump, a shoulder of Mount Crandall. Fifty-six years ago, I climbed that trail on my hands and knees. I’m going to try feet this time.
I don’t think I’ll have any Internet in Waterton, so there won’t be a peep from me till Thursday. I’m going to write a post each day in Microsoft Word and send them all on Thursday evening. I’ll miss you.
It’s time to get high on mountains.