Why hello there. Long time, no blog. Manitoba has been a whirlwind. Literally. I was afraid my car was going to get blown off the road today. Prairie folk are tougher than I am. Or at least have better driving skills.
So here we go with the abbreviated version of the last couple of days:
I left Regina yesterday morning. On my way out of Saskatchewan I stopped in a little town called Grenfell:
Where I gave a copy of 65_RedRoses to Jayne Lowenberg:
Jayne’s a little camera-shy, but we had a great talk. It turns out that one of her friends has a son with CF. I ended up showing her pictures of Joey, which lead to her asking why the hell didn’t I have babies with him, which lead to discussions about CF and fertility problems. It felt so normal, but would have looked odd from the outside. Long story short, I love it when people are receptive and actually get where I’m coming from.
Soon I was on my last stretch of Saskatchewanian highway:
And arrived in Manitoba shortly thereafter:
I had a nice drive:
Eventually, I made it to a little town called Souris and met Colleen Robbins:
How’s this for weird? Colleen’s brother had liver disease as well. He had a successful liver transplant 20 years ago, but died from complications associated with a second liver transplant three years ago. Hearing that reinforced my desire to finish this trip, even though at this point, I am exhausted. Here’s where things get even weirder: Colleen’s sister worked at Arbutus Ridge at the same time Joey worked there. Small fricking world. Obviously, I was meant to stop in at Robbins Find Foods. Here’s a couple of other pics from my trip to Souris:
I saw that one on the way back. How I keep on missing these things on the first drive by is beyond me.
The last DVD I gave away yesterday was to Sarah Allen in Portage la Prairie:
My meeting with Sarah came along at a time when I really needed it. The last few days have depleted me a lot emotionally. By following the blog, you are able to see the people who have accepted the DVDs, but I’ve also been dealing with some rejection. That stings. Maybe it’s not how people mean it, but it hits so close to home for me that how I end up taking it is that the people who decline don’t care about helping to find a cure for CF, or that last year, 195 Canadians died while waiting for an organ transplant, or that several other Canadians died due to complications associated with a long wait. I can’t wrap my head around how people could not care about Joey, about Eva, about Chad, or about all of the other people I know and don’t know who have either struggled or are still struggling and are in danger of losing their lives. Anyway, when I met Sarah I was at a low and she turned it around for me. Thanks!
Eventually I made it to Winnipeg and passed out. After a somewhat fitful sleep, I got up this morning (okay, early afternoon…I’m not that functional) and went for a walk around the Forks:
I just can’t get enough photos of me posing beside giant metal moose/deer/elk statues. While I once considered it a refreshing change from boring photos of me alone, I now suspect the novelty might be wearing off for my readers.
After my walkabout, I took a drive out to Beausejour, where I met Karen Malby:
Karen also has a connection with CF. I’m starting to think that the frequency with which I am encountering this has less to do with coincidence and more to do with the fact that Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults.
After speaking with Karen, I took a drive to Selkirk, where I met Sara Dilazzaro:
Sara is also camera-shy. But the girl makes a mean latte! Here’s the other highlight from my trip to Selkirk:
I like a town with a sense of humor. Friendly people too. This must be what the license plate is talking about.
After Selkirk, I pressed onto Stonewall, where, ironically, I was not Stonewalled. Some pics from the terrifying, terrifying drive:
Don’t let the beauty of the Prairies fool you. The wind was unbelievable. Apparently, it is not like this all the time. Phew!
Once in Stonewall, I met Brenda Walsh:
Brenda was so sweet and really made me feel at home. She was very easy to talk to and her kindness was much-appreciated. She was even kind enough to take a picture of me beside the 65 Cities Cruzer:
No iron animals! How refreshing!
Down to one DVD to give out to some lucky resident of Winnipeg in the morning. Then it’s off to Northern Ontario! Guess I better turn in for the night.