Saturday, May 9, 2009

Driving to Camp

I love driving on the highway--there are always interesting things to see and driving to the retreat last weekend was no exception. The Red River has been flooded for about a month and is taking its time to recede. At the height of the flood, the main highway, 75, from Winnipeg to the US was 3 meters (over 9 feet) under water and a detour has been created--using the highway to Winkler. Highway 75 is divided, with two lanes of traffic in each direction--because of all the heavy traffic it bears. Highway 3, which is bearing all its own traffic plus the extra US traffic, is undivided with only one lane in each direction and gravel shoulders--dangerous conditions for those who like to speed (and those around them).

The traffic was constant and so, instead of trying to rush and pass people, I decided to follow behind the semi in front of me. Drivers behind me, however, were impatient with the pace—despite the fact that we were going a tad over the speed limit. What really disturbed me was the passenger bus that kept easing out into the lane of oncoming traffic, wanting to pass. When it finally made the attempt, I prayed like crazy.

Something that amazed me was the bridge just past Brunkhild. It is level with the road and the water was lapping both sides of the bridge within a foot of the pavement. I wonder if the road was covered when the water was higher.

The highway turns in Carmen but just before the turn I saw a yard sale. I debated whether or not to stop but at the last minute I decided I would and pulled into a parking lot next door. The sale was the product of about six families of Old Mennonites. These are the people where the women wear long skirts or dresses and keep their heads covered. What sorts of things would they sell?

Top quality shoes, some hardly or never worn, from top brands. I should have spent time hunting through them to find something that would work for me but I didn't. I did buy a large, hand-made blue rug for Mons’ room—the room I want to have a winter/arctic theme when the room is free. It will work well. I bought a framed picture with words about love that I thought very fitting for Tom and me and a small, cubic candle and holder that matches.

The yard sale took time away from my intended lunch at a tea shop in Winkler and didn't leave me time for even a cup of tea. I walked around the store, looked at what they were selling and went back to the car where I sat, doing some preparation for speaking. When I got to camp, I discovered that the place is huge with many buildings and I didn’t have a clue where to find the group I was to be with. Thankfully, the one person I knew had arrived just a minute before me and was getting out of her car. Whew! No hunting needed!

More about the weekend to come.

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