Last Thursday I flew in from Vancouver to Winnipeg for my niece’s July 2nd wedding. I grew up in Winnipeg; the city has always been home to me in one sense or another, even after I moved away. When I visited for Christmas holidays, I stayed with my dad at the Sturgeon Creek Retirement Residence. When I was in town last year during July and September, I used his apartment as my home base while he was in hospital.
I’m a city gal. I don’t have a driver’s license; I depend solely on public transit. I had to make a few adjustments when I moved to Vancouver, a bigger city than Winnipeg, but essentially I moved from one city living environment to another. Several years ago my sister moved to one of the small towns outside of the city limits, a 45 minutes drive. This time, I stayed with her and it’s been a whole new experience for me. Now I needed to coordinate rides into the city with other people’s schedules.
My sister’s place is quiet in the heat of a lazy Manitoba summer. We sit out in the gazebo at the end of day, protected from mosquitos by a flickering candle, enjoying a cold beverage, watching the cats be goofy. Last couple of nights there’s been a full moon. She and her husband have taken me on little road trips to other small towns in the area. I told her that I think I have seen more of rural Manitoba in this one trip than I have in the whole time I have spent in this province.
I had a list of things I wanted to do and people I wanted to see in Winnipeg. I was able to see “the sisters” who befriended me while I lived at the retirement residence. They look the same – well and happy, for which I am thankful; they mean a lot to me. Tomorrow I will see my oldest friend before I fly back to Vancouver. That’s about maybe one fifth of what I wanted to do in the city. But that’s okay. It just means that next time I come for a visit, I’ll have to stay longer. In spite of the “drawbacks,” my taste of small town life has definitely been a good experience.