Home Again

A piece of chocolate moose cake

I’m back from my visit to California and have a few observations.

Every time I heard a dog bark, I expected to hear a response from our dogs, but they weren’t with me. This was particularly strange for me given how little I’ve been away from them in the past couple of years.

I went for some power walks and jogs and my quadriceps were so tight, even after spending a lot of time stretching. Saskatchewan is pretty flat (there’s a joke about how you can see your dog running away for several days), while where my parents live is not. Before my next visit, I’m going to need to do a lot more hill work on the treadmill.

Other than my parents, I saw nobody that I knew. My parents still live in the house I grew up in, but I moved to Canada almost 25 years ago. My brother died of cancer 8 1/2 years ago. Neighbours have mostly either moved or died. My good friend Jennifer, who’s been on the podcast twice, moved to Oregon in the past few years and my friend Karen who was living not all that far from my parents recently sold her house and is travelling across the country by herself in a camper (she’s always loved to travel).

On previous visits, I’ve walked up to the high school and ran on the track like I did before I moved to Canada. This time I discovered a locked gates preventing anyone from getting to the track, which wraps around the football field. My dad said there’d been some vandalism. So it’s the vandals fault that my quads were screaming at me.

Despite my screaming quads, I loved getting out for my workouts. At home I’ve been doing cycling and treadmill workouts using the Peloton app the past few weeks and really enjoying out. Without my home gym while visiting my parents I tried the outdoor workouts on the app and I continue to be happy that I signed up.

Think ahead for what to do if something goes wrong as it may help to keep your anxiety in check. My flight from Calgary to Saskatoon was cancelled because of a big storm in Saskatchewan. I was rebooked for a flight the next day, but A) I really wanted to be home with my family and B) I didn’t want to have to sleep in the airport. I called my wife and she, the amazing woman that she is, booked me into a hotel at the airport. Once in Calgary, she made sure we connected often through FaceTime while the airline spent four hours trying to find my bag. I thankfully have an amazing wife, the sense to take an extra day worth of my medication with me (anxiety with a missed dose of my meds may not have been pretty), and the wisdom to order a piece of chocolate cake to eat in bed that night once things were all settled.

Finally, as much as I enjoyed visiting with my parents and enjoying the beautiful weather, it’s good to (finally) be home with my wife, our daughter, and our barking dogs

Featured image taken by me, Heather M. Ross and carries a CC-BY license.


  1. Mike Diakuw says:

    Welcome home… from home?

    I live much closer to where I grew up (150km to P.A.) and it still feels like it’s a million miles away. I think it must be because of the time rather than the distance. In addition to the obvious changes that time brings—like the elementary school that was adjacent to my house being torn down—I’m just so different from the person that I was when I lived there.

    Anyway, I’m sorry that you couldn’t get on the track to run. I’m sure that was an important touchstone for you. I felt such a void the last two years not being able to run in the Arts Tower on campus. I’ve been doing that for 25 years now. It’s just a stupid staircase and yet, it hurt my heart not being there.

    Humans be strange creatures.

    • Heather says:


      I think there are a lot of traditions / touchstones that we’ve had to give up or at least suspend during the pandemic. Every year I got one of those personalized Christmas Tree Ornaments, with three polar bears or penguins or dogs, etc., with out names and the year on it. The store that sold them in the mall closed a couple of years ago. At the time, I planned ahead for 2020 thinking I could get one at the Sundog Craft Fair after that. Alas, there was no Sundog in 2020, nor will there be one this year.

      I know that the stairs are different. That was a daily habit for you and important part of your routine (and I can probably find one of those ornaments online). I’m hoping that you can return to your jaunts up the tower soon.

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