On a Bumpy Ride

13 Aug

Last week Luc and I spent our lazy vacation days hanging around in Wolseley, Luc’s hometown in Saskatchewan.

Because I’m Canadian and it’s what we do, I will now make my obligatory comments on the weather. Although it was slightly too humid (mostly for the sake of my frizz-prone hair), the heat was a welcomed change from Vancouver’s devastating wet spell. It was sunny every day and warm every evening. The friendly late-night temps led to underdressing when going outdoors, and the underdressing led to tens of bug bites. The mosquitos were unrelenting on my flip-flopped feet. And they somehow got up my pant legs. Crafty buggers.

The only two poor weather days were on our arrival and on our departure. And not just poor, spectacularly poor. We arrived by plane late on a Friday night—but much later than anticipated. As the plane descended on the Regina airport, it hit the most raucous turbulence I’ve ever endured. The kind where you feel like you just dropped ten floors in an elevator. The kind that makes you glad you finished that diet coke on your table tray. The kind that makes you look at your husband through squinted eyes and say, “This is it, Luc. This is how we die.” (Oh, melodramatic me.) As the plane rumbled farther down through stormy skies, I opened my eyes long enough to notice something more disturbing than the turbulence: lots and lots of lightning.

I only caught the tail-end of the show on video as the plane eased to the left, circling the airport below. Because yes, we had actually been circling the airport for about 15 minutes because it was not safe to land. Around the time the turbulence ended and I clued into our continuous, circular flight path, the pilot came on the speaker, beginning with in inaudible moan/greeting, as pilots do. “Uhhhhyeaaahhhhhiiiii, ladiesandgentlemen, yerpilotheeere . . . uhhhhh, you may have noticed we’ve been circling the airport for a while now. Pretty ugly storm out there, we’re talking to the tower and it’s not safe to land right now, sooooo . . . uhhhh, we’re gonna keep on circling here for a bit longer, see if we can’t wait this out, and, uhhhhhh, hopefully we have some extra gas to keep us goin’ here.” Cue nervous laughter throughout the cabin.

Ten minutes later the pilot returned to the loudspeaker to inform us that, yes, we were indeed running out of gas and would have to land in Saskatoon to refuel, and bypass storm-ridden Regina. So onward we flew to Saskatoon, where we landed, refueled, and took to the skies once again. By the time Luc and I landed in Regina and drove to Wolseley it was about 3:30 am. All of the power was out in every single town save two on our one-hour drive home. Turns out it was quite the storm. As we rolled into the driveway of Luc’s parents’ house, we noticed something in the field across the way. Something flaming. Lightning had struck a bail of hay.

After all the excitement on Friday, the rest of the week was quite peaceful. Until the last day’s crushing hail and rainstorm.

As Luc said in the video, “Welcome to Saskatchewan.”


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