It’s a long way around North America, and that’s a fact. It seems like we’ve been driving for MONTHS. Oh. Wait. We HAVE been driving for months! But we’ve completed the circle now, and have returned to the beautiful west coast, where Cathy and John live when they’re not on tour. Our last two gigs were great, as was the drive.
The Minnesota Quilters show was fantastic. What great quilts, and what exciting weather! The weathermen were predicting tornadoes while we were there, but happily nothing happened near us. I was all ready for a ride, though! In Australia, we call dust devils “Whirly Whirlies”, but that’s not nearly as strong as the twisters in Minnesota. Many funnel clouds were sighted in the state during this storm, and some did some damage. We had a nice view out our hotel window of a rainbow during the storm.
Cathy taught a couple of classes at the show, and they sang at the banquet. The rest of the time, Cathy got to do some shopping and “schmoozing”. If the car was full before, it was bulging at the seams when we left St. Cloud!
One really nice thing that happened during the show. When Cathy arrived to teach her “Mock Mola Applique” class on Friday morning, there was a queen-sized package of black batting waiting for her! The Hobbs dealer in the vendors’ mall had heard that her students needed black batting for the class, and so he sent up a whole batt for their use. What generosity! Everyone was very grateful.
We left St. Cloud and drove north, back to Canada. On our way, I was delighted to meet the famous Paul Bunyan, who was greeting everyone driving by near Brainerd (because he’s a brainy kinda bloke). He was taking a rest from his travails in the woodcutting field, and we sat with him for a while..
With one more gig to do in Drumheller, but two weeks between, we stopped with friends and family on our way west. I got to meet Cathy’s cousins in Fort Frances, friends in Winnipeg, and John’s daughter, s-i-l and granddaughter in Edmonton. As we drove across the Prairies, I couldn’t believe how like some parts of Australia it was, without the gum trees, though 😦 I got very homesick. In the meantime, Cathy was counting how many sleeps were left before she got home. I guess she was feeling homesick too.
In Saskatchewan there were huge thunderstorms and some funnel clouds. The Trans Canada highway to the south had been washed out by flooding, and there were still cities and towns flooded from all the rain they’ve been getting. It was green, everywhere. Amazing. And the sky was SOOOO BIG! The Saskatchewan licence plates on the cars say “Land of Living Skies”. I don’t know about the living part, but I could see a LOT of sky!
Northern Alberta has a lot of Ukranian culture, and C&J wanted me to see some of it. The great “Pysanka” (Ukranian easter egg) in Vegreville was nowhere to be found – obviously a very large bird is sitting on it somewhere, hoping that it will hatch. But we did get to Mundare AB, where there is the largest Ukranian sausage in the world. It looked good enough to eat! (except I still prefer grass).
It was fun to spend a week with Olivia in Edmonton. We had water fights, and played on swings and had card games and drew some pictures. Olivia has just finished grade three. She is into soccer (so am I!) and her friends. We had fun.
Our last performance on this very long and wonderful tour was in Drumheller Alberta. This is the Land of the Dinosaurs, home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and there are dinosaurs everywhere.
While Cathy and John were up on stage, I got to play with all the dinosaurs around town. They were a great bunch! The concert was outside on the main street of Drumheller, where they had hung all kinds of quilts. It was hosted by the Bit’s and Pieces Quilt Shop. Everyone in there was pumped with the second annual outdoor quilt show events! We were proud to be a part of it. I loved the way they hung the quilts on a rope, suspended by two tractors. Only in Drumheller!
We left Drumheller right after the gig – everyone understood that C&J were very interested in getting home! As for me, I’m not sure. After all, it’s been a great trip, and I’ve seen things that I never thought I would. It’s my first and last time around North America. While I am looking forward to meeting Margaret in England (who is waiting to meet me and show me around there), it’ll be sad to say goodbye to Cathy and John and all my admirers.
We are in Victoria now, where it all started four months ago. Cathy’s garden has become a jungle, and I’m exploring to see if I can find the strawberries and the apple tree. If I keep hiding out here in the weeds, maybe they won’t be able to find me? C&J are working hard, emptying the car, doing laundry, reading 4 months of mail, restocking the larder. One of these days, Cathy is going to start writing songs again in preparation for the CD she’s recording a month from now. She’d better get started!!!
And, I reckon it’s time for me to pack my bags and get ready for the big flight across the Atlantic to see my new home. Cathy says she’s going to put all my travelogues into a book for Margaret, so she knows what I’ve been doing since I came into being. She says Margaret will want to know everything about me. I might have to do some editing on that book – I don’t want her to know ALL my secrets!
cheers for now, mate!