Scratchings in the Dirt

Hey, Uncle Joe!

I know what you’re thinking.  Another update so soon?  What the heck is going on?  Well, I heard through the grapevine (that’s the Schan grapevine, which really should be patented for it’s speed and efficiency) that my great-uncle Joe, who is “great” in more ways than one, is hungry for news from the family.  Uncle Joe is my Grandpa Schan’s youngest brother, and sounds just like Grandpa did when he talks.  I love it.  So this one’s for you, Uncle Joe!

Huge flakes of snow have been slowly and gently falling since yesterday morning, covering the yard with a white fluffy blanket.  It’s very pretty.  Prettier than the brown drabness that we could see before that.  I like winter.  And I like living with the different seasons.  We are never in danger of being bored with the weather, that’s for sure.  All that sunshine and warm temperatures is for the birds.  (Actually, I wake every morning to the chirping of sparrows in the apple tree outside our bedroom window.  They are chirping because they are hungry and there are no more frozen apples on the tree.  And probably because they are cold.)

My vacationing siblings have returned from Colombia safe and sound.  Lisa has some wonderful pictures of the scenery, and Copper!, on Facebook.  Jason looks like he got some sun!  Terri just looks great, as usual.  The internet really is a good tool for keeping in touch.

Clem’s sister, Chris, is headed south to their casa in Mexico.  She is trading the hockey rink for a beach.  I don’t think she appreciates the seasons as much as I do.  Go figure.

Rob’s wife, Amber, is at the Banff Centre for the Arts on a four-month work-study program, and is loving every minute of it.  What a great opportunity for her, mingling with artists of all genres and making oodles of connections.   Rob gets to stay in Saskatoon and enjoy the winter and his long, long driveway.  He’s been asked to sit on a committee for the 2010 World Junior Hockey tournament in Saskatoon.  But don’t bother calling him –  I have already spoken for all the good tickets.  And he owes me.  He really does.  Did I ever tell you about the time our family was headed to Dana to visit Dad’s sister, Ginny, and her family?  Rob, or Robbie, as he was known then, was not feeling well and was sitting on my knee in the back seat.  (Seatbelts were somewhat optional then, as evidenced by the enormous number of station wagons with children flying around in the back).   Anyway, just east of Saskatoon, Robbie puked all over me.  As it was late, and everyone was tired and grumpy, Mom thought it would just be best to wait until we got to Dana to do anything about Rob.  Did I mention that she was sitting in the front, away from the mess and smell?  So to make a long story short, sort of, he owes me. The tickets are mine.  Hands off.

The kids are home for what used to be called “Reading Week”, but I’m guessing that even way back then that was somewhat of a misnomer.  Around here, it’s more of a “Laying on the Couch Watching TV Week”, or “Staying up all Night and Sleeping all Day Week”.   I seem to be typing faster and faster, so think I’ll move on now, before my blood pressure spikes.

We watched the Atoms play some pretty good hockey last week.  They played Unity in the first round of league playoffs, and handled them easily.  Derek decided he wanted some points, and showed himself to be an impressive goal scorer.  He got one ripper from the blue line right in the top corner.  One of the fans was heard to say that Atom players aren’t supposed to be able to get goals like that.  Derek did a couple of his Larry Robinson impressions as well, and even managed to get the puck in the net after the end-to-end rush.  (He often loses it, so it’s a big celebration when it works!)  He’s working on his “dangling”, a relatively new hockey term for keeping the puck on your stick as you make your way through a gaggle of players.  Or something like that.  The next big game for the Atoms is on Friday when the North Battleford AA team comes to town for the rematch.  I hear that Grandpa might even be driving home to attend that one!

Grandpa might then be interested in a two hour drive north to Paradise Hill on Saturday for the second game in round two of Midget provincials.  I know I’m going.  I may have to drink “Happy Coffee” at that one, though, as game one in Kerrobert was mighty intense.  Our boys managed a 4 -3 win, but it wasn’t pretty.  I think they thought it would be a cake-walk, after the success with Maidstone, but they were mistaken.  The boys don’t seem to know how to play a close game!! They will have their work cut out for them with the other team on home ice.  Adam is nursing a sore wrist and knee after a weird hit, but seems to be on the mend.  If he would get out of bed, I could tell you for sure.  The ref took a dislike to Stephen early in the game, so the coach told him to stop hitting.  Stephen doesn’t play well when he can’t body check, so we’re really hoping the ref up there likes him!

We are trying to fit in a day in Saskatoon this week, but hockey practices, library shifts, and grain trucks keep getting in the way.  What a life!

I am getting more excited, and a little scared, about my big trip to Tanzania.  We have a meeting at the end of this month to meet the group and talk about the trip, and I am looking forward to that.  In the meantime, I am reading everything I can about the country and it’s people, and scouring maps to see where I will be going.  We leave on the 16th of April, which will be here before I know it!  

So that’s about it for news from the Schraefel farm.  I haven’t mastered the new camera or the new software Clem got for pictures, but when I do, I’ll be able to add a few pictures.  Until then, you’ll just have to use your imagination!!

Thanks for checking in!