Where you hang your heart…
At the end of a long day of driving I pull up in front of my little grey Val Marie house. There have been many miles on the tires in the last week. Good miles. I’ve been on a road trip through the province of Alberta, visiting my past, thinking about my future, re-connecting with friends. Sometimes part of transiting through change requires just taking a break from transition. That’s what I’ve been doing.
Day one: the farmhouse home of Elizabeth Kirschenman, one of my former Grasslands Gallery’s former artists, and her husband Brian, near Hilda, Alberta, about an hour north of Medicine Hat, right near the Alberta/Sask border. They were beautiful hosts.
Day two: lunch in Sedgewick, Alberta, the town where my grandparents lived in the 1950s and 1969s after they left their farm. Then on to Edmonton, Alberta. A haircut in a very groovy salon, dinner on my own at the bar of a lovely restaurant on Edmonton’s gallery row, an Airbnb room.
I grew up in Edmonton. Its map is printed in my head. Amazing how good it felt to be back.
Day three: still Edmonton. A nice hotel on Whyte Avenue. Shopping in bookstores and cool boutiques, lunch with artists Marlena Wyman and Michael Cascanette at their house in the Parkallen neighbourhood, gallery visits in the afternoon, then an evening of laughter and honesty with consultants and naturalists Karin Smith-Fargey and Pat Fargey. Karin and Pat lived in Val Marie for two decades and raised their family here, and we lost them to Parks Canada government cutbacks in 2012.
Day four and five: Banff National Park with old friends J. Jill Robinson and Steven Ross Smith, both writers, and Ruth Smith, Steve’s mom. All friends for decades. Hours of talk, sights to see, and the accommodating you can do when you love people that much.
Day six: an acreage near Strathmore, for a Marchand family reunion-ette with three cousins and some of their children and even some grandchildren. Marchands do not reunite, so this was an Occasion. Family stories for hours. It was a great thing to do.
Day 7: Home.
It was all great to do. So much past, so much present, so many good folks. Then so good to be back. Back to my small house, and to the studio inside. Home is where the studio is. I feel ready for whatever it gives me.
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