Tag results for: Canada

Carcross. Welcome magazine, a publication by Yukon First Nations Culture & Tourism in my seat pocket on the Air North plane to Dawson City, was where I first I heard of this town. “Carcross,” I wrote and underlined in my journal: “Four sacred mountains, migrating swans, Emerald Lake.” (Translation: Magellan, we should go there.)

A few days later at Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre in Dawson City, our guide Sammy told us about children from his First Nation being taken away in the early 1900s to the residential school in Carcross. Obviously at that time, the town wasn’t named for a car crossing. Early stampeders to the Klondike called it “Caribou Crossing” after the herds that migrated the narrows, but soon after the name was abbreviated to Carcross. After meeting two of its residents, Shane Wally and Dominic Smith-Johns, we realized Carcross is on track to international name recognition—and if its name changes again, it’ll likely be whatever the words are for “Bike Crossing” in the Tagish language.

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It was Ruth Ann’s idea for our annual holiday. “I want to go to Dawson City,” she said, quite firmly.

We settled on meeting there on June 7 and staying four nights. A few days after we reserved our Air North flights, Magellan said he was going to drive up, meet me on June 11 and then he and I were going to drive up to Tuktoyaktak. The elders shall have their way—and I’m grateful to them both.

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Cherry blossoms in Japan

More than three decades ago when we lived in Calgary, Magellan and I thought we’d go to Japan in the spring for the sakura (桜), the Japanese word for cherry blossoms derived from saku , which means to bloom. I even studied Japanese in anticipation. For some reason that I don’t recall, we didn’t go. How foolish we were to even think we had to travel that far for hanami—viewing cherry blossoms—you only need to go as far west as Vancouver, which now has its own Sakura Festival every April. Since April is also National Poetry Month, we’ve curated a collection of our favourite sakura haikus, adding Spice’s own attempt as well.

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After too much wine at dinner last February just before Valentine’s Day, Magellan said to Ginger, “I’ll drive your stuff to Saskatoon.”

“Dad wasn’t serious was he?” Lynn asked on the walk home. “There’s no way,” I replied. “Driving a big rental truck through the mountains at this time of year would be ludicrous. Plus there are border issues. He’d have to drive down to Seattle first to pick up all Ginger’s stuff. I’ll talk him out of it.”

Eighteen days later Magellan was behind the wheels of a thirty-four-foot U-Haul truck attached to a sixteen-foot U-Haul trailer—a fifty-foot rig! And I was riding shotgun.

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“I’m stranded here,” my mother said when I called her one evening last week.

An eye infection in her good eye has left mom totally blind, in a sea of darkness in her room at Birchview Home.

It made me think of Pesuta. She’s been stranded for ninety years, since 1928, the year mom was born.

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