Yesterday was a load of fun for me! A friend took me about an hour northeast of Regina, just south of Abernethy SK, to the Motherwell Homestead for a grand day outdoors.
Motherwell Homestead is a National Historic Site, named after Saskatchewan's first provincial minister of agriculture and first federal agriculture minister under Mackenzie King, William Richard Motherwell. The site is about 3.6 hectares in size and features the restored, historic, Lanark Place: a stone house named after Motherwell's home in Ontario. There is all manner of 1907 farming practise machinery, out buildings, a barn etc. I stayed out of the gift shop, lucky for my husband, hahaha.
The reason my friend and I drove out there was for the annual outdoor concert put on by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and o my, we had a grand time.
We were there early enough to be parked in a stubble field only about a city block and a half from the entrance gate. It was easy to haul our picnic hampers and chairs and sun umbrellas to the huge grassy area in front of the main stage and get set up for a fabulous afternoon of good music.
I have to say the event was extremely well organized!! As we drove down a short gravel road to the parking entrance we were met by staff who collected our ticket money (only $15! Amazing!!) and showed us exactly where to enter the parking area. Once in there we were met again by excellent parking staff who had every spot organized and made it very clear where everyone was to park. Off to a good start!!
We arrived in plenty of time to meet up with my friend's family and set up our seating and lunch area with them. All the shady spots under the trees were taken all ready and we were just as happy as we all preferred to sit away from spiders and other bugs and field dust dropping out of the trees during the concert, hahaha. Running across other church friends in the crowd made it even more fun.
We toured the barn, watched the old threshing machine in action and wandered past the food booths that featured some of the best burgers I have eyed in some time, piles of french fries, potato chips 'n' vinegar, fried chicken, cotton candy, slushies, ice cream products of all kinds and stalls featuring 3 kinds of craft beer. We passed on everything and enjoyed our own lunches from home while we visited.
The pre-concert entertainment included a number of staff dressed in period costumes talking about life at the turn of the last century and a rousing set of songs by Saskatoon's Rosie and the Riveters...not my kind of singing, but great for warming up a most eclectic crowd of folk at an outdoor venue.
At 2pm the RSO began their performance. It was just perfect for outdoors and for a large audience composed of people with differing, varied musical tastes. After the loud and proud singing of O Canada the programme was as follows:
--Verdi's La Forza del Destino: Overture
--Brahms' Hungarian Dances No. 5 &6
--Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Op. 68, F Major: First Movement
--Fritz Kreisler's Caprice Vienoise
--John Willliams' Raiders of the Lost Ark: March
Following an intermission that was far shorter than the lineups for the porta-potties we were treated to:
--Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture
--Aaron Copland's Rodeo: Hoe Down
--Bizet's Toreador's Song (Suite N0. 2) and Dance Boheme (Suite No. 2)
--Williams' Star Wars: Imperial March
-- Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture (complete with cannons!)
The encore was a short version of the "Can-Can", which met with thunderous applause.
The sound system worked so very well and the sound techs did a bangup job. The music was loud enough to prevent people with bad manners near us who talked incessantly from being annoying, but not so loud we were all blasted into outerspace.
In the 5 hours we were there I saw 2 mosquitoes, one wasp and a handful of small black flies....a near miracle in SK in August!!
I garnered a most marvellous dark tan in the v formed by the neck of my teeshirt, but unfortunately the tan on my face is a true farmer's tan as the brim of my sun hat kept the sun off my face above my nose and left the bottom half of my face exposed. hahaha So grateful I don't burn easily! My hands are even darker with tan than they were before I went out there so that is nice. My tan should last well into the autumn....although hopefully the tan on only the bottom half of my face will fade far faster!!
As we were driving out of the parking area we were met by the same incredibly well organized staff who directed us off the property quickly and efficiently.
I got home in time to eat a late dinner before I passed out from hunger and then did what little I could to assist my husband as he packed up the last of his gear and the food for the canoe trip. I was so tired I was in bed and asleep by 9:30pm and when we had to get up at 5am today I was ready to face it! My husband didn't get to bed until 11pm, but his short sleep was a good one and the sheer excitement of getting away with his buddies on this trip will carry him through the day just fine. The miracle is that the driver arrived on time this morning and, although the stopover in Moose Jaw to collect the other canoeists involved a wonderful home made egg and toast breakfast, they still got away in good time from there. I got an email from "the road" an hour ago confirming they are well on their way to pick up the canoes at the rental shop in Missinipe late this afternoon.
It was nice for me to be able to go to McDonalds for tea with the rest of the congregation after church. Usually by the time my husband is done his work and is able to leave the church building, coffee hour there is over. Unfortunately for the staff at the restaurant, there were some serious problems going on with their newly installed computer pre-order system. So, a lot of people gave up trying to order that way and the lineup at the order counter was 3 deep. People who did manage to use the computer system to order were kept waiting for at least 20 minutes until their orders were ready and then another mix up had most of them getting the wrong orders. It was chaos. In the meantime, those who patiently stood in line at the order counter were waiting between 30 and 45 minutes to get so much as a cup of coffee. What a mess!! We decided we are all very grateful that starting next Sunday the basement of our own building will be able to be used for coffee hour once again. haha We sure had a good time though making jokes about the terrible service and giggling about the situation like a bunch of pre-teens.
After a cool, cloudy morning the sun is out and we should reach a high of about +26C...a perfect temperature! I hope and pray the guys have such good weather when they are in the canoes.
I made no plans this week for myself as I couldn't seem to get my act together, but as usual I won't be alone that much. I am just waiting to hear about a dinner date with a friend one night and another day just got booked with a visiting Moose Jaw friend. I suspect it will be a week when I am to "roll with the punches" day to day.
Since the car isn't in sufficiently trustworthy shape for me to drive to Calgary to see my parents this week, I will keep in close touch by phone.
Aaaaahhhhh...some time away from ministry and work stresses before my husband returns to resume the nutsy-cuckoo schedule that is September every year.
And I have to admit that since my husband had no compunction about spending more money on this canoe trip this month, I felt it only right that I should go to my favourite clothing store and purchase a black and white dress/jacket combo I have had my eye on for some time...snicker....
Happy winter wardrobe to me!!!