But first, I got to spend time with one of my oldest friends, Kelly Strain, on her farm near North Battleford. Kell, I told you you'd never see these photos on Facebook (I don't do Facebook), but I never said anything about my blog. :)
Then to the SWG (Saskatchewan Writers Guild) AGM, in Saskatoon, featuring poet Don McKay (whom I sat beside at dinner, but was to afeared to speak to about anything that really mattered, like poetry).
Sweet homecoming at the AGM. And no shortage of hugs. Or smiles.
(Let it be said: Saskatchewan, you are missed.)
Gerry, Art, Brenda, and two more Brendas, Carla, Dianne, Pam and Mansel, Geoff and Barbara, Barb, Lloyd, Rod, Betsy, Dave and another Dave, Bruce, Beth, Myrna (visiting from AB) and Myrna who sails, Byrna, Ellen, Bernice, Bob, Bernadette, Shelley, Alison, Louise, and I am missing so many names here, dang it, but this, this is my tribe.
After a night with stellar friend Mark Krasko (of the cruise), I was off to see the parents in Watrous, where Mom treated me and her best friend, Judie, to a Chinese Tea Ceremony. She'd attended one at the new Chinese Tea Shop on Main Street in Watrous (!), and did her prairie best to emulate it for us.
It was fun ... too many years since I was at a tea party.
Then ... back to the woods ... the clearing ... and Middle Lake.
Again, the kindness of friends overwhelms me. Eileen Kaun hosted and fed me and came on the road to Annaheim and St. Brieux, taking on the Grandmother Bones role (from The Bone Talker), which she does so well.
I got to spend time with the Heideckers (Lyal, Michell and family) ... Elaine ... Marie ... Ruth ... Gerry ... Shirley ... and send HUGE bouquets of gratitude to my friends who came out to my reading at the Reid- Thompson Public Library, in Humboldt, including the aforementioned Eileen, Marie (and her grand-daughter), Frank and Millie, Cheryl and Shelby, Shirley, Bernice, and Carrie. Rose Ward at the library is a faithful supporter of local writers and writing: the world needs more Rose Wards.
Brief how-do-you dos to Roger and the coffee rowers. But there's never enough time.
Below, at North Park Wilson School, Saskatoon. My children attended this school a little lifetime ago, and it was in this very room where I launched the first edition of Riding Planet Earth in 1997.
The first draft of this realistic, Saskatoon-set novel was written with the grade 6/7 class at this school -- my son, Logan, was one of the participants. The novel is about to go into a 4th printing (my daughter is designing the new cover as I write this). It's a family affair.
And closer. Same group.
Below: Eileen and I with students at St. Brieux School (St. Brieux, SK).
Below: the quilt made by St. Brieux students. (Pieces from their own lives ... just like the story).