12 Days

We will be making a trip home for almost the whole month of December. I looked at the calendar today and realized that there is only 12 days before we leave. I felt a twinge of panic when I realized all of the things that I still need to do. Mainly all centered around getting things ready for the house sitter but also hitting up the Samko and Miko toy and book warehouse. I need to copy the new house keys for the house sitter. Buy cat and fish food or the fish may just become cat food. Get Christmas gifts that I will not be able to buy up North (the Southern Ontario term for anything north of Barrie). Book dog-friendly hotels. Finish the busy bag activities intended to keep a toddler occupied for a 3-4 day road trip. All of this gives me a slight twinge of panic but I know I really just have to get back to my neurotic list making. As long as I write it down, I get it done. It is so satisfying to cross it off as finished.

I really want to get to this list making but I have been spending most of my time day dreaming. Day dreaming about all of the things that I would like to do while up North.

I want to:

– eat at the Hoito twice: once to order Finn pancakes and once to have the clubhouse sandwich with ham with a side of fries and gravy. No fries taste better than wavy cut fries.

– spend a few nights on the rez to share laughs with my family, take a walk at night to smell the woodsmoke in the air, go sliding with the kids, play games with my Aunties and catch up with gossip central.

– eat my birthday meal at the Prospector. My innards (and everyone in near vicinity) will probably want to die later that night but I am having a small cut prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes, beef barley soup and 100 famous buns.

– Spend a night at Grand Portage hotel and casino. Take the kids swimming and hiking around Lake Superior just to take turns leaving them behind in the hotel room so Fuzz and I can gamble our faces off. Just like Granny and I used to do.

– Buy twelve persians (a tasty cinnamon bun treat with strawberry icing) and eat them all myself. Okay, maybe I’ll give one to Whirlwind. Fuzz is on his own.

– Visit Kangas sauna with the kids. They might not want to sit in there for long but I plan to sit there until all my smoggy Toronto skin peels off.

– quote the following movies with my brother: Stand By Me, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Sixteen Candles, and The Jungle Book. We will also probably through a good Men without Hats Safety Dance and Judd Nelson fist pump in there as well.

– In addition to all the other food I mentioned, I also want to eat at: The Nipigon Cafe, Masala Grille, Mongo’s, Arby’s and Applebee’s. We have the last two places here but none close enough to visit frequently.

– get my daughter her status card. My sadly misinformed Polish father-in-law thinks that she is too fair for “them” to give her one. I am assuming by “them” he means AANDC but it could very well be his idea of a noble chief sitting on buffalo robes in a teepee. Oh, he makes me laugh.

– make a few holiday visits: AANDC, Shkoday, Mom’s office to name a few. I hope to also meet up with a few friends from high school.

– have our traditional family board game night on Christmas Eve. I will not be able to imbibe this year but I can eat the treats. I also plan to beat my Mom to the good ole fashioned Homer Simpson floor spin when I win.

Whew! That’s a lot, eh? And I will probably figure out more to do as well. I only visit home once a year so I have to fit all that I can in there.

Now please excuse me while I get back to crossing things off that To Do list.

Baamaapii.

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