Monday, May 25, 2009


One evening last week, M and I drove to Whitecourt for supper. It had been a particularly frustrating day at work, and felt like a Friday even though it was the middle of the week. We perused the fast-food joints lined up along the highway, and shook our heads at the McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Mary Brown's, KFC, and A&W. We scrunched up our noses at Boston Pizza, having frequented it too often, and finally turned into town and took a shot at a brand new Korean-Japanese restaurant. We had miso soup, juicy fried dumplings, fresh sushi, and bibimbab (a Korean rice dish with veggies and egg). Then, as if that wasn't enough, we went for raspberry-truffle blizzards at Dairy Queen before driving back to Fox Creek, with the evening sun streaming in through the front windshield and blinding our full satiated selves.
This past weekend, the plan was to stay home. No Edmonton, no Jasper for us. Our savings had dwindled because of the multitudes of hotel stays we'd racked up since moving here. However, by late morning on Saturday, both of us were going stir-crazy. It was hard to glance out at the open blue sky with nary a cloud in sight and to realize that we had nowhere to go. We ended up driving to Grande Prairie to get an oil-change for the car, to roam around the shopping mall, and to eat Japanese food once more.
There are just three more weeks of classes with the senior high students, and then they will have their final exams. The junior high classes run till the end of June. Regardless, time is running out, charging ahead, speeding up from its lazy saunter through the winter and early spring. I've begun asking myself if I'll miss Fox Creek once I'm gone. I don't think I've gotten to know the town and its quirks yet; I have yet to have a favourite haunt here. I don't know the little trails through the woods. In fact, I could still get lost when I'm on foot, since the streets seem circular in this town. I have yet to sort out the "avenues" from the "streets." Whoever designed the street names here was probably set on confusing visitors and temporary residents such as me. There's "3rd Street," "3rd Avenue," "3A Street," and "3rd Avenue NW." I may be exaggerating, but I am seriously confounded.

One thing that I do notice here, more than anywhere else, is the trills of the birds. There are species that I've never heard before, and I absolutely love trying to distinguish them from each other. In the evenings, when my day's work is done and the balcony door is wide open, the sounds of the feathered creatures meld together into the most fascinating symphony. Some places harken visual memories; for other places, it might be scents. For Fox Creek, perhaps what will stay with me years down the line is the auditory feast.

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