Monthly Archives: July 2011

Jasper Station

karen at station arts house
This is the Station Art Centre in Rosthern Saskatchewan. It houses a restaurant, art gallery, gift shop and theatre. Staffed by community members its quite a ‘feather in the cap’ of town with a population of only 1,300 people. On our recent visit to Saskatoon our son Joel and his wife Karen took us there for dinner and to see the play/musical Jasper Station by Norm Foster. Joel is a high school teacher at Rosthern Junior College and so once a week or so he goes over to the Station Art Centre for lunch. His first year teaching at the college he sang in the community choir the Station Art Centre sponsors.   The theatre at the Station Art Centre has a year round schedule of concerts and dramas and this summer the two musicals in the line-up are Jasper Station and Heroes. 

joel and marylou on train The Station Art Centre is housed in an abandoned Canadian National Railway train station and they’ve left an old caboose on the track at the back of the station for photo taking. It gives the station an authentic feel. Jasper Station is just the perfect musical to present in a train station theatre because the story takes place in a railway station.  Five people meet there one night and get to know each other as they wait for a train that is late. Each person is at a crossroads in life and the decision to take the train marks a new beginning for them. Quite an appropriate play to attend for two people who are just beginning a new stage in life- as Dave and I are.  Each person in the play was wondering What’s Next? in my life.  There was a minor league hockey player on his way to play for a Canadian National Hockey team, a writer trying to break her first big story, a middle-aged woman leaving her husband, a young girl who had just found out she was pregnant and an absolutely hilariously funny accountant who wanted to become a country western song writer. The music was catchy and lines from the songs were stuck in my head for several days after we saw Jasper Station. The main character, the station master, who played many different roles in the musical- filling in as important people in each character’s life- was a man who regretted not making an important decision in his own life- not ‘seizing the day’ and so he is hoping the people waiting in his station will not make the same mistakes he did. dinner station arts houseBefore the play we enjoyed a great dinner in the Station Art Centre diningroom- braised barbequed beef with mustard glaze, the Station’s special whole grain bread and a leafy salad and fruit crisp all made with locally grown organic  fruits and vegetables. Our waiter was one of Joel’s former students. Our children thought we would enjoy the Station Art Centre experience- a first for us- and they were right!dave and joel station arts house

 


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The Ultimate Experience

ultimate scoreboardCheck out this scoreboard for the game of Ultimate. The frisbee or disc divides the score of the two teams. Team one has two points. Team two has twelve. Shoes that are sideways count for five points each.

joel and karen ultimateMy son Joel and his wife Karen play on an Ultimate team in Saskatoon and they took me to their game last night. Joel has been playing Ultimate for quite a few years. He played for the University of Ottawa team when he was a masters student there. He also played on a men’s team in Saskatoon and I wrote an article called Ultimate- A Social Workout after watching him compete in a tournament in Winnipeg. Playing Ultimate has been a great way for Joel and Karen to make new friends and get exercise. ultimate with andrew and joel Joel introduced his Dad and me to another frisbee sport he enjoys- Disc Golf. His good friend Andrew, who also happens to be his second cousin on the Driedger side, took us to the Saskatoon Disc Golf Course. We are standing beside the ‘hole’ or basket at the 18th hole.  You need to get the disc inside to finish the ‘hole.’ There is a tee box for every hole. Here is Dave teeing off. He looks pretty professional!  dave ultimate saskatoonYou get a healthy workout walking from hole to hole. One hole was at the top of a very high hill. It was a beautiful day and we had a nice leisurely time disc golfing and visiting. andrew joel ultimatePros like Andrew and Joel carry a bag with a whole selection of discs for various distances and wind conditions. They told me as a beginner I could just use the same disc for the whole round so I did. Both Joel and Andrew are teachers and have taught their students how to play disc golf and have set up disc golf courses on their school grounds. We played the course at Diefenbaker Park in Saskatoon.  John Diefenbaker was one of Canada’s primeministers and he came from the province of Saskatchewan so many things there are named after him. joel visits driedgers weddingDiefenbaker Park is also where we hosted a barbeque and picnic for all the guests who had come to Saskatoon from many different places to celebrate Joel and Karen’s wedding five years ago. me and shirley wedding Disc golfing at Diefenbaker Park brought back lovely memories of Joel and Karen’s wedding the September long weekend in 2006 and disc golfing was a new experience for both Dave and me-something we’d never tried before. A great start to a year of trying new things.  What’s next? 

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What Next?

I started teaching in 1974.  I moved to Hong Kong in 2003.  Now I’m back in Canada and I’ve retired from teaching. What’s next? I have promised my husband Dave that for one year I won’t look for employment and we will have a year of what he calls ‘living aimlessly.’  I thought of calling this blog ‘A Year of Living Aimlessly’ but my daughter-in-law Karen, a very wise and discerning young woman discouraged me. She didn’t think my life could ever be aimless. I toyed with calling it ‘A Year of Living Spontaneously’ since I’m the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, make lists and keep to a schedule, and this year I want to be more open to being surprised by life and what might happen when I don’t always plot things out ahead of time.  I want to try lots of new things. It was Dave who suggested What Next? and I liked it immediately.    I don’t know what’s next in my life.  Will I start a new career?  Will I go back to university?   Will we settle into our new condo in Winnipeg and make that our permanent home? Will our six years of extensive travel have become such a way of life for us that we’ll have itchy feet in a few months and be back in the skies winging our way to a new country for a visit?   During our time in Hong Kong I kept an electronic journal to let friends and family know what we were doing. It evolved into a daily blog that was read thousands of times each month and when I did my last post just over a week ago I received many messages from readers asking me when my next blog would start.  

So here it is! I am going to try and feature things in this blog that surprise me in life, things that perhaps I didn’t expect or anticipate, whether they be ideas or events. I want to live this coming year in a ‘what next’ kind of way.

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