Five years ago on Wednesday we moved to Saskatoon. Kaylie was 8, and Liliana 3. Preston was non-existent.
It feels like the move happened forever and ever ago. So, SO much has happened since then, both completely awesome and completely awful. I came here kicking and screaming, not wanting anything to do with the place, but it’s grown on me. I still miss Regina (much to my Saskatoon friends’ dismay because apparently Regina is an awful place), specifically Wascana Lake and the cobblestone downtown where I worked the last six or so months we were there. The former was really pretty and my favourite place to run, and the latter had a bunch of great little shops, and restaurants my coworkers and I ate at almost daily. I just liked it.
I feel, though, like we’re in transition. There’s nowhere else I’d rather live, but at the same time I can’t get settled. When I say there’s nowhere else I’d rather live, I don’t mean I love it here, I just mean I don’t have any place in my mind I see us living. Here, the summers are hot and wonderful, but the winters drain my will to live.
The only thing that keeps me going is the amount of sky that I see, and the fact that that sky is usually clear and blue. Much bluer than the town I grew up in, where winters were slushy and cloudy. I think I function better under the ice-cold blue sky, than the not-so-cold cloudy sky, which isn’t to say I like the cold, just that I love the sky.
I honestly don’t miss the mountains. I do, however, miss living so close to the ocean. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the mountains, but traveling back to BC, going through the mountain ranges, makes me feel a bit claustrophobic. They’re beautiful, obviously, but claustrophobic all the same. I like the ability to see the sun until it hits the horizon, rather than having a mountain block it.
All this to say, we’ve been here five years, and as much as I’m still not in love with the place, we’ve made friends here that are worth staying for.
We’ve had a couple days lately where I haven’t let the kids leave the house. I may have let them greatly surpass their screen time limit. There are over a hundred forest fires burning north of us whose smoke has made it to Saskatoon, making the air quality risk of 10+ (on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest risk). The wildfires are so bad that people are advised to avoid travel on northern highways. There was a video of northern Saskatchewan forest fire by highway showing just how terrifying the highways up there are.
The risk has gone down now, and the weather is a balmy 34°C (93°F). I couldn’t be happier. I know it’s sweltering, but I’ll take +34°C (93°F) over -34°C (-29°F) any day. Also, the heat is good for my garden. Though we’ve had barely any rain since April. I think it’s only rained two or three times, barely a millimetre of rain in total.
The lakes here are further away and not as beautiful as the ones where I grew up, but we’re heading to some of them this summer anyway. We plan to burn our skin crispy-fried and enjoy the not-frozen-over water. I’m going to enjoy the crap out of this summer while it lasts, every single day of it, before the Season-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named returns.
So don’t use the f*** or w***** words in front of me or I’ll smother you with a fire hose.