Saturday, June 2, 2012


We left Africa on Tuesday and arrived Wednesday in Winnipeg to our beloved Honeybunn at the airport. Carly was part of our orientation and it was so good to spend a bit of time with her and her dad...who seriously resembles Tom Hanks! Our time together was short but I know that having spent time with Carly in Africa means that our lives are going to be intertwined for a long, long time. We spent a night with Jason's sister, Kim, and family in MacGregor. After the shock of seeing our dog's significant weight gain, we just couldn't drive! Just kidding...she is a little chunkier but I have to think that there is a comparison to African dogs in our minds as well that may be contributing to the image of our svelte Lab turning into a barrel bellied girl. Kim tried to convince us that Charlie is an emotional eater and that that is the reason for her gain. We also had to wait in MacGregor for our luggage to catch up to us. We'd last seen it in Washington, D.C., so we knew that it had hit North America but all bets were off as to when it would find its way to Winnipeg. While I was on the phone Thursday morning with United Airlines, being told that the luggage was in the airport in Winnipeg ready for us to come get it, the luggage apparently miraculously appeared at the local hardware store in small town MacGregor by bus. So, the owner of the hardware store, Herb, called his wife at home to get my sister in law's home number so he could let us know. Thanks for saving us the hour and a bit drive to the airport, Herb, only to find that it was already in MacGregor. So, we packed up and headed to the lake where Jason's parents live. We had a couple relaxing, beautiful days by the lake. Charlie swam, I waded, we ran, we walked, we huffed and puffed up and down the fields together. I loved having my sidekick back, particularly in a place where I can run through fields with no fear of spitting snakes, baboon spiders or crocodiles in the marshes. The most fearful animal I ran into was a muskrat and he made his way stealthily around us. We went to the Killarney bull riding rodeo with Monique and family and experienced the best of small town rodeo culture complete with rodeo clown and ringside seats, close enough to get snotted on by flailing bulls. We drove home this morning with our Charlie and a few new to us pieces of goalie equipment from my nephew, Mitch. Nothing like a dog and some smelly hockey gear to get you back in touch with your Canadian roots. Throw in a Tim Horton's in Moosimin and I was ready to sing the national anthem the rest of the way home. We're now watching the Stanley Cup finals, eating pizza and feeling like maybe we never really left. There's much to unpack, not the least of which are the boxes of stuff we packed in anticipation of selling our home for the adventure. There will be many stories to come. For now, picture us here, trying to get our heads around the amount of clothing in our closets, food in our pantry and water coming from the tap. We're revelling in the riches that we've taken so for granted. A roof over our head, rooms to sleep in, a door that locks and no real reason to lock it.

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