Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moments & Memories

One of Paul's goals in life is to feed everyone efficiently at his daughters' wedding receptions.  Every time we go to a wedding he discusses this afterwards.  He doesn't notice the decorations.  He doesn't go on about how nice it was to see old friends again.  He doesn't wonder if the second bridesmaid had a crush on the third groomsman.

No, it's all about how to feed people efficiently.

I don't think Janet's reception was over for an hour before he started in.  "Now, girls, it's ok to have an elegant wedding and when you plan your food, plan something nice, but basically don't give people any choices.  They fed these 130 people very quickly, and it was good food, but they didn't give them any choice of salads, or chips, or dessert."

Emily: "So my idea of a potato bar is a bad idea?"

For some reason Emily is all into planning her wedding and making it as inexpensive as possible.  What if she planted flowers out here in the 1-acre field where we put the sheep?  And if she had the wedding outdoors here she wouldn't have to rent a place.

But: what should she do for restroom facilities?

She and Paul talked about this on the drive from Sioux Lookout to Grove City.  Somehow I had never thought of Emily being that much like her dad but on this trip it struck me that they both love discussing hypotheticals.

I let them talk because I believe in dads discussing life with their daughters.

Although they never touched on the important little detail of who Emily would marry at this frugal wedding of hers.

So apparently Anita from next door said the PortaPotties were a big expense at their son Barney's exquisite creekside wedding last summer.

So, Emily wondered, what if she borrows a few motorhomes instead?  People could use the restrooms and comb their hair and stuff which you can't do in a PortaPot.  But what if the holding tanks start to smell?  And would it work to have people stay in them and help set up beforehand?  But they wouldn't want guests tromping through their living quarters.  Oh dear.

Well, I am sure it will all work out when the time comes.

*      *      *
On Sunday afternoon we looked up our old friends Gary and Chris Quequish who pastored the church in Round Lake two of the three years we lived there.

It was wonderful to catch up with them.  Gary is as crazy/serious as ever and Chris is as laid back.

Gary was full of stories as always, including the time he was on an Air Canada flight to Toronto and lightning hit the wing and broke off the end, causing the guy sitting next to Gary to decide maybe he believes in God after all.

Rhoda Tait, the very respected matriarch of Round Lake, joined us for a while.  I thought she was old when we lived there, 20 years ago, but now she looks exactly the same and is 74 years old.

Far too many of the stories involved a strange wind sweeping the North.  Just in the last few years, there's been a rash of people getting addicted to a prescription painkiller called Oxycontin.

"Oxy's," they call them.

This former student.  A granddaughter of Rhoda's.  That young man.

Oxys take away your pain, both physical and emotional.  They sell for about $40 per pill in pharmacies, but on the northern reserves they go for $500 to $1200 depending on the strength of the pill.

Recently a young girls in Round Lake was caught with 100 Oxy's and $150,000 in cash, said Gary.  No, said Chris, it was close to a million dollars.

Once they're addicted, people think they need one a day. 

The profit margin is so enormous that organized crime is getting involved.  Obviously, there have to be some conspiring doctors and pharmacists involved up to this point.

The fallout and destruction are not to be described or comprehended.

Gary flew in to one reserve I think this past winter.  Just minutes before his plane landed, another plane coming in had crashed and was on fire, with live people still inside.

The baggage had fallen out of the plane as it crashed.  The locals, instead of rescuing the burning passengers, rushed to the boxes and tore through them trying to find Oxys.

Gary and the others ran to the burning plane.  Gary tried to pull out a woman.  Her hair was on fire, he said, and burning hair actually has this noise it makes as it burns.  He grabbed her shirt pocket to try to pull her out, and the shirt gave way and there was a packet of Oxys.  He somehow got her out, but she didn't survive.

Gary is involved in a rehab program where they give people a substitute drug to wean them off of Oxy.  If they're motivated, it works.

*     *    *
Life at my parents' is very quiet yet surprisingly entertaining.

Mom gets a can of Ensure out of the fridge and drinks it.
Jenny: Grandma, what are you drinking?
Grandma: Oh, it's this stuff to make me fat.
Grandpa: So, Jenny, you're interested in --what is it called?-- psychology?
Jenny: Why are you asking that?
Grandpa: Well, you asked Grandma what she was thinking.

*     *     *
 We got to babysit little Justice while Annette was at her grandma's funeral.  Jenny sat in the rocking chair and gave him his bottle, hesitantly, as she had never done this before.

"So you just do it like you're feeding a lamb?"

Well yes, I guess that works.

*     *     *

As always we looked through the fridge for dead food to throw away.  Among other specimens we found a few slices of moldy cheese.

Fred: I can give it to the cats.
Me: Cats eat cheese?
Fred: Yeah.
Matt: Maybe it helps them catch mice.
Fred: Yeah.  They eat the cheese and then they sit by the mouse-hole with baited breath.

Good memories.


  1. the "baited breath" is a hoot!

  2. I agree with comment number one.
    (Is this the brother who tells the story of you getting a black child in nine months time?) :D

  3. yes, it's the same brother. Very much so.