Bits and Bytes

On visiting family

I’d planned a brief visit home to visit my family in Alberta this week–before I started a full-time contract in the South Bay. I was supposed to have a conference call on Thursday afternoon–but it got pushed to Friday at noon. Worried that I wouldn’t make the bus to the airport if I had to be on the call then drive through lunch-time traffic, I drove from Healdsburg down to Petaluma and set myself up in the public library and called in from there.

Participate on the call. Pack up the computer. Get myself to the airport bus. Get to the airport. Check-in (2 minutes before the cut-off for check-in—and everything is automated). I get to the gate with less than five minutes to spare before we start boarding the plane.

Fly to Calgary. Go through Canadian immigration. Collect my suitcase. Walk through customs. Get through the international gate–and realize I haven’t actually made any plans to meet my aunt and uncle who said they would pick me up. In fact, I don’t even have their cell number.

Call my sister. She says she’ll get Chantel (her daughter, my niece) to text our cousin Cody for his mother’s cell number. Two minutes later, Nat calls me back with Auntie Ann’s cell number. I dial. She answers — AND I HEAR LAUGHTER in the background. LAUGHTER!!! She’s at a party–not in a car, or at the airport picking me up.

“Can’t you find Uncle Bob?” Oh.. Uncle Bob has been elected to leave the party and drive to Calgary and pick me up. Yeah! I tell her I’m waiting — as conspicuously as possible in the MIDDLE of the corridor between the International arrivals and the door.

“Nope. No Uncle Bob.” As I’m talking, I move from the corridor out the door to outside to see if he’s waiting in a car alongside the curb. No Uncle Bob there either. We talk a tiny bit longer, and I ask for Uncle Bob’s cell number. Hang up. Dial.

Turns out, we’d been in the exact same spot for the exact same amount of time…but we’d just missed each other by a few minutes. We finally find each other and get my luggage out to the car and drive up to Red Deer–back to the party.

As we arrive in the door, people have been laughing and talking and having a good time. I come in behind my uncle. One of the guys looks at Uncle Bob. Looks at me. Looks at my Auntie Ann. Looks back at my uncle. “Where did you go? How can you leave the party and come back with a girl? He looks at his wife, “Can I go get one of those?”

Crude, but we all laugh. I’m introduced as the niece from California. We pour ourselves a drink and everybody continues with the party. Quote of the evening: “The only thing I remember about the 50s is I got circumcised and then I couldn’t walk for a year!” From somebody’s husband when we started talking about decades of fashion or something.

Saturday, my aunt and uncle drop me off at my cousin Dianna’s house. She’s got three kids (six and under), works from home, AND SHE STILL FINDS TIME TO MAKE JERKY!!!

Question…How many Canadian breasts in this picture?

How many Canadian breasts in this picture?
My cousin prepping 14 lbs of breast meat from about eight or nine Canadian geese. It's apparently huntin' season. Her husband brought home the breasts…

Ha ha ha. After a cup of tea, I roll up my sleeves and help her prepare the breast for drying.

7 lbs of Canadian Geese breasts
Sliced but not spiced.

….Am sitting in the Calgary Airport right now. Am pretty exhausted. I’ll have to finish this later.

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