Today we headed to Maple Creek for a deanery chapter meeting for my husband and his colleagues in this part of our diocese. What a wonderful chance to get out of town just for a day....only a few hours round trip drive, no overnight suitcases to pack, no hotels to book, travelling both directions in the daylight.....a really great little day.
While my husband was at his meetings I decided to go exploring in the local shops and grocery stores neatly packed together on the 2 block long main street shopping district. For such a teeny town with minimal retail it was a delightful experience. I was able to meander through 2 small grocery stores, a hardware, a discount retail, 2 gift shops, 2 pharmacies, a kitchen knickknack store, a packed out clothing store and a home decor store that is to die for. I understand the owner of the home decor store is putting the store up for sale as the local population doesn't shop there......guess they don't believe in paying a bit more for great quality furniture and cabinets, which is really a shame. I would love to go back there and refurnish my entire house. If I owned this rectory as my own that is exactly what I would do. The furniture in this store was tasteful and beautiful but a ton of funky fun in some cases as well.
I ate lunch at a lovely restaurant that did not serve Chinese food, unlike the other restaurants downtown.....a very tasty quesdilla with chicken, cheese and bacon (and I didn't have to go searching for the filling for a change!) and a home made salsa, yam fries that I did not have to pay extra for when I substituted them for potato fries and non-sweetened iced tea. YES! For dessert I wandered down to the cappuccino bar for a maple spice steamer and a fresh melty chocolate chip cookie. Yum! The cooky was small but so delicious and rich another one would have spoiled the experience.
I spent over 3 hours looking through the stores in that small strip of downtown and had the best time. What fun! It is bitterly cold today so the downtown was deserted and I had most of the store aisles to myself. I did make a few small purchases, including another lovely bamboo cutting board to replace one of the old plastic ones I have been bleaching and reusing for too many years. I also found a replacement pair of pot holders for a raggedy old pair I should have thrown out years ago. The new ones are denim and sewn up to look like a pair of jeans with a bright red tee shirt. I will enjoy giggling every time I use them. Found a handful of grocery items considerably cheaper than they are here at home so got those as well. Found a cute blouse on sale in a nice red colour that will go with a couple of my scarves.
I arrived back at the meeting venue to collect my husband just as they were about to begin their final payer time so got in on that before we came home. He had a wonderful day as well and we are very happy we drove down there together.
Coming home was a bit more interesting than the morning drive. The first 3 hours were okay but for the final hour we were driving through a near white out as the winds picked up out of the east and blew all the snow from the fields across the road at about windshield height. Drifts were forming along the narrow shoulder beside us and I had to trade with Dell for driving for the last 20 minutes. I started drifting over toward the centre line and couldn't seem to force my eyes to look farther ahead and watch the shoulder line instead. Snow blindness is not a safe state for driving, so my husband took over and we arrived home safely.
As I watch the darkness setting in and the snow coming down, as I listen to the howling winds, my focus is starting to come off the joy of the day and refocus on the shovelling out of sidewalks and back alley we are going to have to do in the morning so my husband can get to our other town for a day of meetings and prayers for Day of Christian Unity. Guess we will be "up 'n' at 'em" early to clear a path for him to get the car out to the street and for the meter changer to get to the meter and into the house from both front and back doors.
Eeeee, winter.......I am all ready tired and we haven't started tomorrow's shovelling yet!