I woke at 5:30 and opened the curtain of my room on the 5th floor of the Plaza Hotel in Kamloops. We’ve stayed here many times. I love its placement in the older part of the city and how from this particular room I can see Highway 5, cars heading to and from the Yellowhead Highway. Sometimes when we stay here, we drive down Highway 5A to Quilchena and Merritt—that’s what we’ll do today—and sometimes we are returning from somewhere. Like Edmonton, the first time we met our granddaughter Kelly in 2014. (When we got the call to say she’d been born, we loaded up presents in our car and raced to hold her, the tiniest girl, and to congratulate her parents.)
This morning I said to John, it makes me wistful to look at the cars heading north on Highway 5 and he replied that we could easily change our plans and go to Edmonton to visit our family there. But I reminded him that they are all heading to Europe later this week on matters of mathematical import. That little girl, now 5, and her brother, 3, will live in Paris and Munich for 5 weeks and then spend a week in Oxford. I made them drawstring bags to take on the flight. When they open them, they’ll discover magnetic games (Snakes and Ladders, Tic Tac Toe, Racing Cars), puzzles, finger puppets, and little pads and coloured pencils. So even if we did drop everything and drive the road I can see from my window, we’d be returning a day or so later. Hardly worth the drive.
So we’ll stick to our plan of meandering down Highway 5A, through the most beautiful grasslands on earth, and stopping to look at lakes, particular pines, like the one in this post for example. and maybe driving to Monck Park where we camped every summer when our children were young. I have in mind an essay and will be taking notes. Some things never change.