My Backyard Adventure: The Milky Way


Working hard already this morning on my new courses for University, only to discover that my last practicum is only offered during the winter session. The profound sense of disappointment is overwhelming. This will push back my graduation. Not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things but…still!!!

This leaves me with two choices, 1) I can defeat me or 2) I can look at it as a stress reliever and be thankful I won’t have a full schedule.

Meanwhile, I need to think back to my day adventure to relax me. I truly did have the best day with my kidlets. Even the trip home was fantastic.

We reached Edson and decided we needed to eat. Something for the road, so we needed a drive thru. We are NOT McD fans, so we looked for an A&W. I remembered seeing one one the way through the first time. But now it was dark and I was tired so I had my kids ask Siri. Siri is my personal iPhone assistant. She is as aggravating as she is hilarious. I have commanded her to call me Danger Girl and she complies, much to my delight, because no one else will come me Danger Girl without laughing. The conversation went something like this:

Girl: Siri, where is A n W?

Siri: I do not know what that is, shall I search for it?

Girl: Where is A AND W?

Siri: there are several quite far from you.

Girl: I want one close by.

Siri: What does that mean?

Girl: Where is an A AND W CLOSE BY?

Siri: There is one close by.

Girl: Where is it?!

Siri: I do not know Where is it? Shall I search for it?

Finally we figured out where it was….thanks Siri… geeze. But the street signs in Edson are printed red on white. I cannot read red letters. Obviously some sort of colour blindness. That and I never could read yellow chalk on a green board, weird.

We packed our food and got back into the car. Apparently we were starving. Who knew? It wasn’t until the hot fries hit our gullet that we became aware. During our conversation over dinner, it was decided that my phone needed to call me Dark Wing – being named Robyn and all, my boy thought he was hilarious. So now call me Dark Wing. The least cool superhero EVER after Superman.

It was only 5:30 pm but to felt like midnight it was so dark. The stars were brilliant out in the country, something that I had forgotten by living in the city for so long. My son is an amateur astronomer and was thrilled at the sights. We saw Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, and Jupiter right away. It was a little harder for me to search the skies because I was driving, but my kids were able to spot the Milky Way Band and Pleiades Cluster, Taurus and Orion from the car. I knew if Orion was visible then Cassiopeia would be directly behind us. My Grandpa always told me that was God’s initial in the sky – Short for Warren, his name. Obviously my Grandpa thought he was hilarious because his name was Warren too. My boy wanted to stop and look at the stars. I was not too crazy about stopping on the side of the road in the pitch black of night, so I suggested we head towards Seba Beach. It was a summer village that I use to visit frequently in my youth and I knew the stars there were brilliant on the lake. The boy was eager but the girl had watched too many Fringe episodes and was worried about Mole Babies and Observers, not to mention Aliens and Serial Killers. I convinced her that it was perfectly safe and it was a VILLAGE not an episode of the Fringe.

We made the turn off of Highway 16 and headed south. 3 minutes later we turned onto Main Street. I realized I hadn’t been here for 20 years. It had changed slightly, the gas pumps were gone and so was the ice cream shack. But the Hall was still there at the Beach. I parked the car and told the kids about a movie that was filmed here. Bye Bye Blues. I talked about how much I loved that movie and that eased Chatterbox’s fears somewhat. We walked towards the Main Pier only to discover it was gone. It was stacked up on the boat launch. This also surprised me because I remember many a stroll along the main pier at night to look at the stars. Even without the pier in place, the sky was brilliant with stars. The Boy had a nerdgasim. He was excited and was showing his sister Jupiter, various constellations and the Milky way which was a brilliant white against the dark sky. Jupiter from my iPhone

Jupiter with the iPhone

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Then ChatterBox’s thoughts retreated back to death and she asked me if this was where the accident was.

While ChatterBox was training for her lifeguard certification, she asked me what was the most traumatic first aid case I had come across. There was two that stood out. A preschooler had his finger cut off in a door, and the worst one happened here. Two men were driving their skidoos out on the lake at night. They must have been new because they didn’t know about the main pier out on the ice. They both hit the pier at full speed and flew into the air. One man was thrown clear of his machine and landed on the beach. I ran over to discover he was conscious but couldn’t move. I suspected a broken collar-bone was the worst of his injuries. I covered him with my coat and ran to the other guy. He had landed on the pier and the skidoo crushed him and bounced off. He was unresponsive and not breathing. I removed his helmet and my hand felt his skull compress. His head felt like a bag of jello. I knew he was dead. My friend started CPR but I knew it was pointless. I ran to find someone home. Being a summer village, not many people inhabit the village during the winter. I found help and ask they call and ambulance.

My son looked at me in horror and said “you watch someone die?” I replied with  – yes.

We looked out at the sky and now I knew why the pier was no longer in the ice, aside from winter break up, it was just plain old dangerous.

Back into the car and we needed to bring the mood back to fun and light. So the boy played his playlist of sing-a-longs.

There is nothing I love more than spending time with my children. I learn more about their hopes, dreams and bucket lists. I learn more about what makes them laugh and how close they are to each other. I had hoped they would be friends when they got older, but realize they are friends now. I learned lots about them that day.

They learned a lot about me too.


2 thoughts on “My Backyard Adventure: The Milky Way

  1. I’m learning more and more that these moments are bigger than they seem. Getting to know your kids but (often overlooked) letting your kids get a glimpse of you before or outside of Mom is priceless.

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