I am sad. Much of my hometown is burning to the ground. But now that I have eaten a box of oreo cookies, I feel ready to share some favourite SL memories.
If I could blog the smell of being in the middle of the boreal forest, where the trees come up to the edge of the highway and go on as far as you can see. That is a good clean smell. The air is fresher there than anywhere I have ever been, (although now it is probably hard to breathe right now with all the acrid smoke.) Breathing felt better there. Also, I can't blog the sound (although if I looked hard enough, the internets might offer up a sound byte) of the poplar trees in the breeze as I am falling asleep. Only to be crowded out by the frogs and crickets in the yard. They also made a sound before it started to rain. Really, they did. And there are so many stars to see. It gets so dark, I swear you can see them all. SO Bright, so many. And it gets dark there. Actual, pitch dark. Like it never gets in the city. I love those things. They are what make me me.
Quadding through the forest with my friend. Once we stopped in a hay field and climbed up some of the bales. Although I had to do this on the sly because Dad forbid ATV fun because he was so familiar with the injuries they can cause. (but at the time as a mad teenager I just thought he was the fun police.) Snowmobiling was also fun, (and also banned,) especially at the old golf course, or towing us up the tobogganing hill - it was a steep long walk otherwise! There would usually be a bonfire at the bottom, and huge innertubes salvaged from industrial equipment to slide down on. Much safer than the red toboggan, right Betina?
Cruising main street. For hours. (sometimes resulting in complaints to your parents because the muffler on the car was not working!) Stopping at Sev for slurpees and meeting up with people there, because that is where you went to find out what was going on. Everyone showed up sooner or later. Then eventually finding your way to the arena to watch the Wolves play hockey. Holdie's mom was the biggest hockey fan in town! Getting to play keyboard for the hockey band a few times was a blast.
The REX theatre! Did it burn down? It would be irreplaceable. Another box of oreos may have to be sacrificed. Would they rebuild it the same way? With the shag on the walls, the sticky floors, the mismatched seats, and old benches from the highschool up in front? With the best orange slushies know to mankind? Where someone always announced what movie was playing "next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8"? the "upstairs" where many sorts of unapproved behaviour went on? (I never sat there!!). The old cash register the guy in the booth had? Only $5.50 to get a ticket.
Skiing at grizzly ridge. (although that has been gone for a while now.) Kevin's attempt to teach me moguls. Come to think of it, his attempt to teach me how to drive ended up just as badly! Driving adventures in the winter. meeting the ditch many times on the Mitsue road, and getting the neighbour to tow us out.
The beach. So many beach memories. In the winter that time laying in the snow in the dark watching the Northern Lights dance around the lake. Words cannot even describe how that feels. That was my favourite. My next favourite is bringing my own kids there. My mom being the only one brave enough to go all the way under before the water warms up (not until August!). Swimming all the way out to the raft and diving off of it. Riding bikes to the beach. Running there as part of Mr. C's torturous phys ed. class.
Jumping into the river from the bridge. One particular time, hey Michelle? Then having to sit through math class wet and stinky. The time Randy was getting pulled into the weir on the biology class field trip. That place where the road stops where the river joins in to the lake. Parking there and watching all of the big birds. Laying in the sad close to the airport runway and watching the water bombers fill up. (but for somebbody else's fire, far away.)
$1.99 breakfasts at Acropolois. The Beachway cafe and it's jukebox. Driving around in Nick's mini-jeep with the top down. That time, with the frog. Or was it a toad?
The demo derby!
The moose. That time when we were driving up to the cemetary, and there was the biggest moose we had ever seen and we sat there for half an hour before it decided to move. In hunting season driving through a neighbourhood and seeing a deer draining in every garage. (doors open of course, to show off!) The bear traps by the creek. The time the elk were brought in to help with overpopulation in the Jasper townsite and they all (the elk) found their way to 7-11.
Those are a few of my favourite Slave Lake things. Writing one makes me think of another after another. At 17 years old I could not think of anything better than getting far far away from there, but I think that was just the 17 year old who wanted to be on her own, away from parents... Every time I have gone back I start to think, if only I could stay for a while longer. Breathe the clean northern air, hear the poplars, listen to the waves crashing. And see one more movie at the Rex. Just for the sake of being there.