For the first few days after the Folk Festival we were feeling a bit let down. It was cold and grey. We were eating just bread and cheese and fruit and carrots to be super cheap. We weren't really sure what we were going to do with ourselves for the rest of the week. But then we decided to go out for a few meals, and after that we remembered that we had brought the Coleman stove. Once we had some hot meals in our stomachs it made all the difference in our attitudes. I felt like we were feasting on rabbit stew after weeks of elvish bread (did Frodo and Sam ever get to eat that stew? I don't remember).
I'm glad we took the time and stuck around in Regina, because it made for a good last week. I got to go out for coffee by myself a few nights after the boys were asleep, and I slept in a couple of times, too. We both got to wander around and shop in places we wanted to go to. And most importantly we actually had time to just hang out as a family without a lot of other stuff going on.
One of the highlights was our day trip to Moose Jaw. We went to one of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw tours, and it was really cool. There are all these brick and stone tunnels under the old downtown of Moose Jaw which used to be used for bootlegging liquor in the '20s. Because the rail line ran from Chicago up to Moose Jaw, a lot of people beleive it was all connected to Al Capone. They've set up a couple of tours where the tour guides are in character as various people from the 1920's. In the tour we went on there was Fanny, the woman who runs the secret saloon, and George, the goon who is making his own liquor on the side while working for Al Capone. The actors did a good job, and Andrew was only minorly traumatized, so it was all good. There is also a really nice quilt shop in Moose Jaw which I perused and at which I picked up some nice fabrics for my polkadot quilt.
We also got to be in Regina during a Roughriders game, which is quite the experience. Since the CFL is the only major national sport that has a team in Saskatchewan, naitives of the province take their football quite seriously. It was the fourth or so game of the season, and everywhere you went there were Roughrider flags on cars, people wearing their jerseys or just green (in resteraunts, at work, at Starbucks . . . everywhere). At about 3 pm on Saturday you could watch the out of towners pouring in to see the game. Our campground was full that night, and the tent next to ours had a rough riders flag hanging across the entrance to the tent. The other people who were tenting were actually working in Alberta, but they had driven into Regina for the game. Its quite the phenomenon.
This part of the trip was also realy good for Dave and I. We had time to talk about what we want to be different this year and discuss how we are going to make those things happen. I actually had time by myself to think about the last year and think about what we had talked about and process it all.It seems to me that we tend to get in this downward spiral where I don't think Dave cares about things, so I stop trying to keep the house and myself up. But then I know that really he is getting annoyed about the fact that everything is chaotic. But then he doesn't say anything. So I start panicing and get discouraged and frustrated and things get worse. And he gest more annoyed and I know he is annoyed and I get more frustrated and feel overwhelmed and things get worse . . . and I give up. And he gives up. And everything is a disaster.
But I think part of it stems from one of those strange assertions of the feminist movement that sort of sounds like it is empowering, but it really just stupid. I don't know how many times I have heard women say to me (especially women of a certain age) . . .its your body, do what you want to, don't do what makes your husband happy. Wear the clothes you want to wear, it doesn't matter what your husband thinks. Set your own priorities, don't let pleasing your husband be your priority. etc, etc, etc. And I understand where they're coming from. Of course I shouldn't just be a slave to my husband's whims, or a mindless pleaser who does whatever my husband wants. But on the other hand, what is so wrong with doing things that make my husband happy? Isn't that just going to come right back at me and make me happy? A husband who is happy with the way I look and the way I run the house and keep the children in line is going to be more likely to give me positive feedback. He is more likely to want to spend time at home instead of wandering elsewhere. He is more likely to be satisfied with his life in general. So a lot of things that I had given up on doing becuase I would think, "Well, no one really cares what I look like anyway" or "No one ever comes to our house anyway, so it doesn't matter what it looks like" were not true. I care what I look like and Dave cares what I look like and one day my kids will care too. We can all enjoy our life a lot more if the house is organized enough that we can find things right away, so we don't have to have 15 min. of hassle every time we are trying to go somewhere becuase someone's jacket or diaper or shoe is missing. So what I do is actually really important becuase it is improving the quality of life of the people who I care about the most. And while that is not earth shattering, it is worthwhile. And think of how much happier my kids lives will be if they are raised knowing how to organize their lives, so they don't have to spend years figuring it out.
So we basically wandered around the city for a week, and left on Sunday night. We spent Sunday afternoon packing up, and left after supper so the boys would sleep for at least a couple of hours of the trip. The plan worked, the boys slept for two of the three hours of the trip, and we only had to stop to nurse Aaron once. It was definitely the most hassle free of all the drives.
And that was our trip. We the next two days unpacking and doing laundry, and on Wed. Dave went back to work and I started trying to keep things organized.