We decided to stay home from the cottage this past weekend. Part of me hates 'wasting' a perfectly good weekend in the city, especially during the summer, but sometimes that's the way life goes. So instead my darling husband surprised me with a couple of days trips to local towns.
On Saturday he took me north of the city up to Lake Winnipeg. I've lived here ten years and we have never taken the drive to see this 'ocean' on the Prairies. We drove up to Gimli, a small Icelandic fishing village, and our first stop was the Crown Royal factory. For years he has told me how every drop of Crown Royal is made right here in Manitoba and while the plant is fairly non-descript the sign does say "global supply".
After that he took me to the harbourfront and we walked the pier. It was easy to imagine I was in a seaside town in a more tropical clime. Sailboats filled the marina and dotted the skyline on a lake so vast the opposite shoreline could not be seen. Having been landlocked in the Midwest for the past 20-odd years, it was a refreshing reminder of days spent by sea. After our stroll we hopped back in the car and meandered our way home, stopping along the way so I could see all the little towns along the way.
Sunday morning we headed out, debating where we might go. I'm never sure if Jim has a plan all along or if he just drives aimlessly until an idea strikes. We ended up driving west out of the city on the number one highway until we got to Portage la Prairie. A sleepy farming community that looks straight out of the 1970's. We stopped and bought some vegetables and took the dogs for a walk before our return trip. We decided to wander our way back, soaking in the sunshine of an August afternoon, the prairies were in all their glory. No matter what country road we turned down the corn was tall and the canola was lush and green, but best of all the wheat fields had turned into amber waves of grain.
It's hard to describe the beauty of those fields; they stretch out as far as the eye can see, glowing with goodness. The unbelievable flatness of the land and overwhelming expanse of sky never fails to thrill me. After ten years of prairie living, I still imagine I am Laura Ingalls peering out the back of a covered wagon not knowing what lay before me, but ready to face it. I am so happy to live here and have the opportunity to feel the vastness and see the sky as a great blue dome over my head.
We had such a lovely weekend together. Life has been a bit stressful lately and these day trips were a long overdue treat, made sweeter because of the company. No matter what gets thrown at us, we always face it together.