Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner June 2, 2022
I really wasn’t trying to escape the great storm of May 21. It just worked out that way. My neighbours have had to go in and toss milk and meat.
As so many have done, I felt a great need to see family members after isolation for more than two years. Grandchildren in Edmonton and Victoria beckoned.
So I asked around. What is your experience of flying domestically? Answers varied. For most, it was short hops, full planes, fully masked, on time. For a few, some delays at big airports and long lines at security.
I decided to go for it: a week in each city. I even avoided the fuss which broke out at ordinarily sleepy Victoria Airport where, on May 25, business was halted for 10 hours because an “incendiary device” was found in the airport, and a bomb squad had to come from Vancouver by ferry.
For me, the travel included some firsts. Checking in online 24 hours or fewer before flight time, even paying for a checked bag with one’s credit card. You can print out your boarding pass at home.
That’s all amazing to me.
Next day at the airport, there were machines where you can scan this boarding pass and baggage tags come spewing out. Clever people avoid using any paper at all and keep this info on their phones. But in my world, phones are best attached to walls.
Friend Mary Anne Irwin gave me a pouch on a string to hang around my neck, and instructed me to put only passport, ticket, baggage receipt and a credit card there “Nothing else!” she said. I had a carry-on and a backpack, but the real crown jewel was a large red suitcase full of bubble wrap and a precious art piece, a sculpture in stone of four refugee figures bought at ZimArt Gallery on Rice Lake. It was destined for a son in Edmonton as a gift from his friend, Linda McMullen.
Whenever I land somewhere, turbulence follows. No, not in the flying. But here, there was the Oilers versus Calgary Flames hockey series. Fans were in high excitement. But car flags cost $31, so I didn’t succumb.
Mayors Jyoti Gondek and Amarjeet Sohi were right into it, promising to have their councils wear the opposition sweaters next meeting. For this eastern Canadian with an outdated impression that Alberta is backward, even racist, just noticing the last names of these elected officials proves otherwise. That gives pleasure.
The second event and one my political friends are wrongly crediting to me, was the resignation of premier Jason Kenney two days after I arrived.
Peterborough folks will be glad to hear I had a “sleepover” at Rosana and Sil Salvaterra’s home in Edmonton. Sil continues some court work for Peterborough, and Rosana is helping Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s medical officer of health.
They are well, spending time with three small grandchildren and looking into electric bikes as they explore the beautiful setting of Edmonton along the North Saskatchewan River.
Even the Pope visits Edmonton on July 26 before going to Inuvik.
More family awaited me in British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, where soccer is king. They informed me of Peterborough’s newly formed Electric City Football Club, and the exciting fact that 1,500 fans had turned out for its first game. Come from away, and learn about one’s own hometown.
I also called on Carol Love, national rowing coach, at work with the senior women’s eight on Lake Quamichan near Maple Bay, as they head to world championships and ultimately the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
My reading, beside LRT maps, was entitled, “Tom Symons: A Canadian Life.” What a man we had among us: an historian, patriot, globalist and visionary, who went on to start or strengthen Canadian studies, Indigenous relations, Northern research, United World Colleges, and last but not least, the Peterborough Police Services Board.
A fitting read, for a trip that left me newly impressed with this country and grateful to be a citizen.
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or from >Amazon<