Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time away from the Reservation!

I took off a few days of vacation time last week and made my way into the Canadian wilderness to visit my sister-in-law, Doris Zyganiak and her husband Alex. She has laid a guilt trip on us to come visit her and she’s right since the last time we were there, eight years have passed and she has made numerous trips here. But first of all, I went into fear mode, and then I had nightmares, waking up in a cold sweat dreaming that my garden/flowers would be overrun with weeds and my yard would look like a jungle upon my return. It took me three days just to get over those thoughts and nightmares, to say nothing about the guilt of not doing my daily work routine, but that lazy inner self emerged and I was alright for the remaining days.

We arrived in Buffalo, New York where my sister-in-law picked us up and we made a stop for food at a little dive. I read a local paper that said Creedance Clearwater Revival was playing a free concert in a local park on the following Tuesday. Damn life got harder for CC Revival after the break-up with John Fogerty. Some divorces are gruesome. After this, we crossed the border. I fully expected to get shook down and be treated badly. I fully expected to get our bags to be checked out good, after all we are Indians and they might think we were smuggling contraband cigarettes into the country, but we were waved on through. Damn, I was surprised because when I fly I get semi-fondled every time because I had a knee replacement that sets off all the bells and whistles and a guy in a cheap blue suit is thinking "terrorist" and sees me as a chance for some kind of fame.  But, the simple gesture of being waved through the check-point made me feel better about mankind.

We did the tourist thing and looked at the Falls and took pictures. Many of the houses had clothes lines, whereas in the USA that is kinda rare. Later in Toronto, we did the bus tour thing and it was interesting to see the people, hear the commentary about different areas of the city and its landmarks. The bus took us by the Indian Center there and a couple of effeminate types waved at us in a dainty kind of way and although the song “I’m in love” by Wilson Pickett played in the background, I remained focused and acted like they weren’t there - what could I do? We later took a boat ride and seen the Toronto skyline in the distance and oh, we didn’t get sea-sick. If the opportunity ever presents itself again, I will take the bus tour of a city to learn more about its origins. You never know it might be an educational experience.

I played a round of golf the next day on a local course, a beautiful course with a lot of water and trees lining the fairways – a tough, tough course. I had bad shots at times, a rusty guy since I hadn’t played in 15 months but excuses come dime a dozen. My irons were fair and my short game was horrible, which is usually the case in long lay-offs from golf. I hit the sand pile twice and got out both times in one shot. I practiced that at my home 20, so it paid off on this day. Let me tell you, no matter how bad my game was, I enjoyed the day. After it was all said and done, I was tired from playing and after filling my belly, I went to bed fairly early, but now I’m ready to play our course.

On most “vacations” the days go by fast, but I don’t think it was that way this time. I enjoyed seeing the area, playing golf, played the slots to no avail and got to hear my grandson talk about the fish he caught on a boat trip on Three Mile Island. I have the pictures of him holding a 5 pound bass hanging in my workshop - a place where I ponder the mysteries of life and do occasional woodworking.  Seeing him happy like that is what they mean by the term “priceless.” I enjoyed staying at my sister-in-laws house by the water, getting up early and watching the morning sun hit the bay, eating the fine meals provided and the time off. And God was willing and the da creek didn’t rise, so we made it home. It was a helluva ride!

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