Post # 13
Days to departure from Western Canada = 4
…continued from Post #12
Monday night/Tuesday morning, Oct. 25/26
Heading down the home stretch before my departure from Saskatoon, my primary accomplishment – as it had been throughout the moving process, it now seems in retrospect—was to whittle down the list of things I hoped to do until I got to the list of things I was actually able to do. (The list-making went on in my head as I worked: there was no time to make actual lists. :))
My goal with what remained after I had shifted most of my belongings to storage was to separate the wheat from the chaff. I had hoped to sort out what I didn’t need from what I did, throwing out such things as bottles of dried old nailpolish, leftover skeins of wool, account files that Revenue Canada no longer required me to keep, etc, etc. But sorting takes time and after the several family crises and moments of joy and farewell visits that had consumed my attention over the previous week or so, I simply didn’t have enough of it to do all that needed to be done.
As a result, the sorting I managed to do mainly consisted of trying to separate the things I’d need while I was in Alberta for two weeks and a bit, before the final move to Toronto, from the things I wouldn’t need until I got to Toronto. Even this attempt was only partially successful. Despite working on Monday evening until 2 or 3 a.m. and a resumption of activity at 6 a.m., by the time my apartment manager came to do the damage inspection at 9:00, I was throwing everything into boxes and suitcases willy-nilly. Since the manager stayed around to see if she could help until I left, I was distracted, and at the end I just filled and taped, filled and taped until everything was packed. Half of those boxes went unlabeled.
Finally at about 9:45 a.m., I told Maureen (the apartment manager) that I was either going to miss my plane and clean the oven and the fridge, or I was going to leave those things undone and she could deduct the costs of cleaning the two appliances from my damage deposit. She seemed to understand completely. She even looked a bit worried at what I still had to do before I caught the plane, and kindly offered to take the equipment from SakTel back to the store for me. I am eternally grateful for that, because I never would have made it if I’d had to go to the SaskTel store on top of everything else.
As it was, I still very nearly didn’t make it.
Ultimately I loaded fifteen boxes and suitcases, the vacuum cleaner and various odds and ends into the rented car—filling nearly every single square inch of space to the point where I could see very little road behind me because of all the luggage jammed against both rear windows and nearly up to to the interior roof light. My seat was so close to the steering wheel–allowing a suitcase to be jammed between the back of the front seat and the front of the back seat–that I could barely move my feet around enough to hit the gas and brake.
My first stop after leaving the apartment (forever, although I didn’t have time to absorb that information then) was the Greyhound station, where I addressed thirteen of the boxes and bags to myself in Edmonton, handed over $145, and breathed my first real sigh of relief.
The next stop was the storage unit in Saskatoon, where I left the vacuum cleaner, the pail (I brought the damp and dirty rags with me to Edmonton to wash) and a couple of boxes of things I’d neglected to send with the movers.
Next I drove to a gas station and filled up the rented car with gas. Then I drove the car to the airport, handed the keys to the staff at the Enterprise desk, took my suitcases to the WestJet counter, and picked up a boarding pass. I got myself and my backpack through security (fortunately, unlike on one previous trip, I’d remembered to pack the box cutter somewhere besides in my carry-on luggage), and walked up the stairs to the appointed gate–where my plane had already started boarding. I walked directly onto the plane, and sat down in my seat. For the next hour I simply marveled at the fact that I was on the plane.
I am looking forward to a similar time for reflection after I board the plane for Toronto on Saturday: I have barely had time to think about being a non-Saskatchewanian since I left that province two weeks ago, much less to consider that my adventure in Toronto is about to begin in earnest.
But it is!
Don’t weep for me, rolling prairies.