June found us in Edmonton. Mostly. Juanita went home to Meadow Lake for a couple of days most weeks. I worked all month near Fort Saskatchewan. Six days a week. Ten-hour days except for a week and a half of thirteen-hour days. The money quickly adds up when you are working thirteens. The tired piles on as well, especially when you add an hour and a half daily commute. I was grateful for the money and more grateful to go back to tens.
June 1 -3
Work, eat, sleep, repeat for me this week, especially working 13 hours most days and commuting over 80 minutes a day (it varied with traffic, never less than 80).
Son-in-law Nick and I belong to the same pipe trades union. Him, because he works with pipes. Me, because I work with instrumentation. Once upon a time most industrial measurement and control devices worked on compressed air carried in small pipes. The union local’s family picnic was scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd, in a park next to the Edmonton Zoo. He reserved tickets for himself and Rebekah and the kids. I reserved tickets for Juanita and me. Nick and I were working Saturday on a turnaround, so Rebekah and Juanita took the kids. They said most of the attendees were Mom’s and kids.
A good time was had by all. There were bouncy castles, hot dogs, hamburgers and everything that goes with them. Everyone got a ticket for the zoo including Nick and me. We’ll save those for a day when we can all go. After the picnic Rebekah and most of the kids went to Ezekial’s ball practice. Juanita and Eliana had a quiet afternoon together, reading.
June 4 - 11
Sunday, Rebekah and Nick and the kids went to a nearby Brethren church to be close to some team picture taking sessions for the kids’ ball teams. Juanita and I attended the breaking of bread service with them. We then went for lunch at Denny’s for a lowish carb lunch, especially by Denny’s standards.
We filled the afternoon with various activities: Shopping for bag lunch fixings; Lurking around new car models on a couple of dealer lots mostly avoiding sales people; Driving to the end of 50th street where the street hits the river at a boat launching ramp and walking across the foot bridge into the neighbourhood on the other side of the Saskatchewan River. We stopped for a muffin before walking back to our parked car. I managed to get in my 10,000 steps for today. Not as many as a work day, but over the goal.
Monday was going to be a long day for me. I planned a quiet evening and an early bedtime.
Monday, Rebekah supervised a homeschooler track meet. Juanita minded the two youngest kids during the meet. The older ones need little minding.
Juanita travelled back to Meadow Lake to attend an end of year function at grandson, Kohen’s school.
June 12 - 30 (long week ;) )
The best unrealistic intentions seldom happen. I did not keep a contemporaneous weekly log of what happened when. So, here comes a forensic account of the month based on the photos in our cameras and the events that stood out in memory.
The towns east of Edmonton participate in a program to promote visitors to the towns and their businesses https://goeastofedmonton.com/ The program includes sticker books to fill with stickers collected at the sites. One day Rebekah, Juanita and the kids visited several of the towns and filled their sticker books. They drove through Fort Saskatchewan hoping to pet the sheep in the park, but the sheep were in their alternate pasture. They had to content themselves with driving past the pasture and observing the sheep from a distance. The river road took them past the location of the turnaround where Nick and I were working. They didn’t see us. I challenge any suggestion of a resemblance to sheep in appearance. “Bah”, to that idea! Probably will refrain from any introspection about obedience to certain mindless rules that one can encounter on an industrial site. Not this one of course.
On weekends (pause for laughter). Let’s rephrase. On some Sundays, Juanita and I cruised a few car lots. We minimized any actual contact with live salesmen. If you can’t figure out why, go to a car lot and admire the new models.
Some days when working only ten hours a day I needed to supplement the steps from work with steps after work. Sometimes that was to the ball park to watch the grandkids. Sometimes it was to a distant ice cream parlor. Occasionally, when not too many steps were needed there is perfectly located Indian restaurant. They had a name for it which I forget but it is basically mango ice cream on a stick. On rainy Sundays we walked out the steps at malls. Southgate is a little too small to get enough steps in without several circuits. West Edmonton mall is a different matter, but a long way from where we were staying.
One Sunday morning I traumatized Zeke by tagging along on his driving lesson. Ostensibly I was the person in charge in the passenger seat, but habituation dies hard, and the exercise was largely controlled by imperatives from Dad in the back seat.
One Sunday we all went to a massive Chinese Buffet. So many choices. It registered noticeably the next day on my generally descending weight graph. It was an ascendant experience.
On Father’s Day I received a couple of treasured greeting cards with internal treasure of some gift cards. After church we joined Rebekah, Nick and family at a Memphis Blues BBQ. For most of the time the owner was without helpers. It took a while for the food to show up but was worth the wait.
We had been looking for a trip. Juanita found good airfare to Igazu Falls. I was not keen on spending ten days in one town in the jungle for ten days. Checking out Gate 1 Travel, the tour company of our China trip we found a package that included Rio, Buenos and the Falls from both sides. We booked it for late August. This turnaround should be down and the next one not started.
Towards the end of the month, we attended granddaughter, Eliana’s, baptism. Definitely the highlight of the month.