Sweetgrass

Yesterday I went with O to Sweetgrass, Montana, USA.  He had to apply for a work permit, and doing it online would take minimum 45 days.  It was a really nice drive there.  We talked politics, religion, culture.  I told him about various places to see, but he didn’t seem to interested in tourism.  Just the same, it made me want to get out on the highway again and see the countryside.

He has a Class 7 License (learner’s permit), so I let him drive about half-way there and the last 15km on the way back.  I think he needs to work on speed control.  He said he failed his first driving test because he didn’t shoulder-check and didn’t stop directly at the stop line at intersections.  I don’t think he knew about the North American style habit of driving in the left lane and passing in the left.  Pretty good though.  He was surprised I let him drive.  (I let CY practise driving in my car, too, and she didn’t crack it up.)  He drove into his yard with his homestay host mom standing there, watching him.  “You let him drive?” she joked.  We stood & talked for a while.

She’s selling her house.  She says the Realtor wants to knock it down and build again.  What a waste!  There’s already a really nice house there with fibreglass window frames, good insulation, new siding (not plastic or metal, a kind of wood), a big covered front porch, a 97% efficiency furnace, an attached garage, etc.  There’s no way in hell I’d tear down a house like this.  I wonder what she’d want for it.  What an amazing view.  It overlooks the coulee and is at the end of a long cul-de-sac. Really nice place.  O lives in the basement.

Oh, what I was going to say was that we didn’t seem to have any trouble getting through the US side of the border.  The American side officer got us to sit in the building for 15 minutes or so while he checked everything out.  No problems.  On your way.  “You know how to get back to the Canadian side?” he asked.  “Not, really,” I offered.  He explained.  Nice guy.  On the Canadian side, however, the officer was a bit of an obstinate person and acted like a typical border cop you’d see in a movie.  Oh well.  Good thing I brought my passport.  I’d still be waiting in the US!  (Kidding.)

Sask-Man didn’t happen

I didn’t actually get to Saskatchewan or Manitoba.  I went to BC instead.  I heard Father was in hospital again.  He’d had a seizure a few days previous but was home from hospital the same day.  When I got there this time, he was just going in for routine preparation for more radiation on his tumour.  They kept him in for a few days and was still there when I left.

I’d intended to be on my way the next morning but wasn’t able to.  Someone I planned to meet wasn’t available until late in the day, so I didn’t leave Chilliwack until after 5pm.

On my way back home I stopped at Othello Tunnels the first night, Arosa Rance B&B the second, and Pass Creek Campground the third.

It looks like I won’t be making it to Manitoba after all – at least not this time around.

heading to Sask-Man

I think I’m heading East to Saskatchewan and Manitoba tomorrow.  I was going to go today but had a headache and decided to wait.

I’ve kind of finished all I wanted to do to my new server and its web sites, and I have a more-or-less completed list of other things I wanted to accomplish this summer, so there’s no reason not to go.

…Aside from finances.  I quit Flexibility Learning Systems in April since they had no summer hours for me, and evening classes would start in September, the same time my college classes start.  I thought it prudent to spend all my energies in classes at the college rather than juggling Flex and the college.  Sure, Flex was only part-time, but just the same I’d rather focus on the future, not the past.  Nonetheless, this stretches finances.  Limited budget this time.

The car, my little 2012 Kia Soul, continues to run smoothly (knock on wood!) despite replacing the back window again.  Yes, another gravel road, this time near a bridge just outside the Blood Nation here in Southern Alberta.  Hopefully no more rocks rocketing through my windows.

Mom is up and down these days.  I leave with apprehension as she’s more winded and low on energy than ever.  …  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I remember when she was in her first year or so of therapy.  She was extremely tired back then.  Nonetheless, this is six years after, so every month, week, day is a blessing.  I worry about her – will do so while I’m gone East.

This is my new blog, the Ongoing Letter version 4.  You’re welcome to comment or send some kind of feedback if you can figure out how to do it.  It’s using WordPress, an open-source CMS (Content Management System) with PHP, MySQL, and IIS 7.5 all on Windows 7.  Not the newest of technologies, I know, but it’s a step up from version 3 of my blog which ran on Microsoft’s FrontPage Server Extensions.  Woo-hooo!  Yah, I know – like 15 years old at least.  I’m somewhat old-school.  But as the Bellamy Brothers once asked, “Should he hang on to the old, should he grab on to the new?”