One of our family traditions is to spend one weekend each summer with Heather's side of the family: her mom and dad, and her brother Michael's family. Normally we hop in the car and drive many many miles (kilometres for the younger readers) to spots like Premier Lake in the Kootenays, Meadow Lake Provincial Park, and various other places, including one year when we rented a houseboat on the Shuswap. This year, they are coming to us.
"Don't feel bad if we have to change our plans for the reunion," offered Heather's mom, Susan, in the early days of our evacuation.
"Absolutely not," we said. "We can't wait to have you join us."
We have always been enamoured with Fort McMurray in the summer time. This year, particularly, has been quite lovely. Long summer nights, combined with warm weather, minimal bugs and a resilient forest has made it idyllic. We can't wait to show off our region, especially to Mike, Kathryn, Julia and Simon. It had been a long time since they were able to visit.
I am looking forward to a couple of different things:
1) Fishing on the Snye - Hopefully the crazy rain we had added some volume to the Clearwater River. The fish will be happy about that. I am looking forward to a family fishing adventure just a couple of blocks from our house.
2) Snye Park - The local amenity that I'm looking forward to sharing the most is Snye Park. It is truly a family oasis in the heart of the community and an incredible improvement from what we had before. There is also a wicked playground for the kids, just a block from the house.
3) Searching for morels - Shortly after we began our evacuation in Calgary, conversation turned toward one of the upsides of forest fires: the emergence of morel mushrooms. It will be nice to get out in the forest and do some searching.
4) Unplanned surprises and adventures - We have not micro-planned this reunion. In other words, we're just going to live in the moment and see where it takes us.