Last weekend, I drove down to the village of Elbow to snap some photos for an upcoming article of mine, and I decided to cruise down to the harbour to check on the status of Lake Diefenbaker.
Now, I know the weather has been pretty unpredictable in the last month and change, but we’ve had more plus-temperature days than minus ones over the last little while, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I saw the lake.
As it turns out, Diefenbaker was still white with a thin (I’m assuming) covering of slushy snow. I was early. Quite early, in fact. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed in this fact. Don’t get me wrong, I knew in the back of my mind that there was probably a good 90% chance the lake was still going to be layered in slush, ice or whatever, but I was still disappointed. One of my favorite soundtracks when it comes to the outdoors in Saskatchewan is the sound of the lapping waves of Lake Diefenbaker. Instead, what I got was a very loud and noticeable silence as the snowy slush kept the sound of the water to itself.
I had wanted the sound of the waves and the moving water as pretty much background noise while I did some serious soul-searching, alone with my thoughts, of which there are certainly plenty these days to rifle over. When I saw the soundless mass of white, it wasn’t long before I got back in my SUV and left town.
I get it, though. It’s too early in Saskatchewan to think about the exceedingly warm weather. Yep, in our province and elsewhere in Canada, April shouldn’t be considered a warm-all-the-time month. Elsewhere in the world, April is considered the month where spring is sprung and everything is greening up. But in our world, April is considered the slow and achy transition period between winter and spring. You get a few days of winter here, you get maybe a week or ten days of warmer, sunnier conditions there. It’s 30 days of giving and getting.
What I’m looking forward to is the arrival of a new month. May arrives this coming Saturday, and with it comes everything from the Victoria Day long weekend to warmer temperatures to businesses switching over to ‘summer mode’. One example – the ice cream parlor in the village of Elbow opens up for the season during the long weekend. Summer = here!
All I know is I’m ready to start hitting the road and making some more good memories. Taking some photos of our great home we call Saskatchewan. Enjoying the simplest of things like a sunset or an evening under the stars. Or perhaps even something as ordinary and mundane as a single, solitary, soul-enriching long drive. Sometimes there just isn’t anything like it. Getting out on the open highway on a warm summer’s day, the radio’s playing something good, and it’s just you and your thoughts. It can be therapy in its own way.
What am I looking forward to in the coming months? Well, I suppose there are a few things that I’m anticipating.
I’m looking forward to returning to Lake Diefenbaker and seeing that big, beautiful body of water for what it’s supposed to be. Shimmering, glistening waves of pure, foamy water of which its sound is nourishing to the soul.
I’m looking forward to enjoying those summer-only activities that we all take part in and perhaps take for granted. A trip to the ice cream parlour. A ball game at the diamonds. A walk across the BOB by Outlook. (that’s Big Orange Bridge to all you non-locals who aren’t “in the know”)
I’m looking forward to marking what would have been, or more what SHOULD have been Mom’s 70th birthday on June 3. I don’t know what we’ll have planned, but it’ll be simple, enjoyable, and a reminder of the great woman that Lynda Ruttle was to us and all who knew her.
I’m looking forward to marking Canada’s 154th birthday on July 1. Last year, around these parts, it just all seemed so wrong not to see the usual hubbub, pomp and circumstance when it comes to celebrating everything Red & White. But that’s what a pandemic will do, it’ll stifle our celebrations. My hope is that won’t be the case this year again. I’ll continue to hold out hope. Besides, if my math is correct, Outlook as a community is loooooong overdue for an epic fireworks display. One way or another, I WILL get my fireworks display!
I’m looking forward to getting out on the open road and capturing life in this province through the eye of my camera. Deer frolicking in the grass. Coyotes sauntering about. If we head a few hours up north, maybe those deer and coyotes turn into elk and wolves. Bears and lynx. Who knows? I just enjoy trying to find out.
I’m looking forward to returning to Candle Lake in more ways than one. A drive around the area to refamiliarize myself. A somber glance at the space along Main Street where the old cabin used to sit. Maybe a hotdog and a Coke from the walk-up corner joint. A swim in the comforting water as a striking sunset starts to commence over the northern boreal forest. To put it in three very simple words that require no more description – my happy place.
I’m looking forward to all of it. The summertime is a happy time, and while my family and I are trying to rediscover happiness again amidst the sudden loss of Mom, it will surely help to see warm weather, green grass and a sunny atmosphere.
I know she would have loved all of it.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.