Sometimes we arm ourselves with so much information about something we overwhelm ourselves and miss the big picture. Take for example travelling abroad. You research places to go, the history of the area, learn a few words, even read reviews of places that others have gone and have an opinion on. You have your brain swarming with info, so much so you’re looking and expecting to see certain things and overlook other smaller, perhaps more interesting stuff. Like the guy walking along side of the road with an ice fishing bucket or the country cafe for sale for a low low price of $35,000 Canadian dollars…. Fully equipped.
I actually started thinking about it, wondering if I could survive life in South Central Saskatchewan someplace east of Moose Jaw. Your life would be that cafe, which let me add, comes fully furnished with kitchen goods, tables and chairs, and a kick ass apartment quarter in the back. You’d live, work, and play right there. Life would be that cafe, in a tiny forgotten town along the Soo railway in Canada.
Canada, the land of Maple leaves, syrup, and that good Canadian beer. Canada, especially Saskatchewan, just seems a bit more exciting, you know, knowing that this damn climate could kill a person if you’re not careful. This all translates to a big, exciting situation. You drive off the side of the road in winter, you could die. You run out of gas out between Jasper and, well, anywhere, you’ll get eaten by bears before you actually walk as far as a gas station. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the sheer vastness is impressive, the sheer vacancy of people is amazing, the fact that I’m going to be crossing back into the US in less than fifteen minutes is depressing.
There isn’t really anything in particular I can point to that makes Canada that much more special, except the fact they really seem to care, but at the same time, they don’t care. I loved the fact I was sitting in a mechanics shop in North Battleford minding my own business when a young gentleman came in, bundled up, ready to pick up his vehicle. By the looks of the only other car in the garage besides Morris the Truck was a dirty blue Subaru of sorts up on a lift. The conversation went something like:
“eh, What’dya finds wrong with er? ”
” well, after I gotter up on da lift and ran da scanner it showed a screwy circuit on the speedo ”
” oh, wow. ”
” I can get ya one in about a week from one of da salvage yards out neer Saskatoon.”
“what about a new one from da dealer? ”
” that’d be expensive, ya know, it doesn’t make sense. Just wait til I can get ya a used one. Want me to have Donna give you a ride? ”
” nah, that’s alright. I’ll just hike. ”
” okay then, keep your stick on the ice ”
I about fell out of my chair trying to keep from laughing. My mind jumped to all sorts of sticks and ice situations, the most amusing of the bunch was a pine branch stick thing sticking out of a slushy ice drink on a beach. Needless to say the saying went way over my head, so much so I needed to investigate what that meant.
Hockey. It’s a hockey reference, how dissappointing. Hockey. Pretty much summed up along the lines of:
No matter how badly you’re getting beaten, how hard you’ve been fighting, how tough the competition is, or even the importance of the game, always be prepared to make that next whack at the puck. Life might get you down and frustrated at the fact you’re not on top at that moment doesn’t mean that you can’t be back on top again. Keep that hockey stick down and ready for action.
And I suppose that’s a great concept, no matter what you’re doing in life, be it playing Olympic hockey or getting your car looked at by the local auto repair Centre. The outcome for the other guy could have been drastically worse, somehow. Life can be drastically worse for all of us somehow, and sometimes I think we forget about the big picture, we forget that all we have to do is keep on keeping on.
I’m still trying to get over the fact that the US is near, but you know what, I’m going to keep my stick on the ice. There’s not much more I can do, crying won’t get me anywhere. Besides, it would look super suspicious for a passenger get to be bawling her eyes out while trying to cross the border.