At last we have a postal address. My first ever P.O. Box address! Of course no-one has the address yet so it’s not that exciting because there won’t be any mail.
Since we bought postcards in Winnipeg last weekend and have now sent them it would be interesting to see how long it takes for them to reach their destinations. Even sending and receiving mail in Ontario could be temperamental; sometimes taking days and at other times weeks. However with our current internet situation snail-mail may actually prove to be a more certain and efficient form of communication than emails!
Although Ashern itself is not much to write home about, the local people are great. The fact that people seem to know who we are as the newbies before we know who they are is still a little difficult to get used to and I’m sure that being the subject of small-town gossiping could be difficult to handle (not that we have any intention of doing anything to draw attention to ourselves) but it is refreshing to see that people still have a sense of community and aren’t too busy to smile and wave or to say good-morning as they pass. Today this became particularly clear as several people really showed off the true colours of their friendliness and goodwill.
After a day of milling about in school, briefly volunteering to help out in a French class, drawing around Kindergarten kids hands, and an RCMP check (in the hope that I will soon be able to work in schools) we had an evening of mixed fortunes. Thanks to Kurby’s kindness in allowing us to use her internet to reconnect with the world we were in good spirits. Unfortunately on the long drive home we were fooled by Ford into thinking that we had more than enough petrol to make it to the house and back again before re-fuelling would be necessary. Almost at Steep Rock we decided it best to make a U-turn and head back for petrol. So, with a fuel gauge flashing 0km until Empty we staggered into Moosehorn, literally rolling up to the pumps.
We couldn’t believe our good luck; the car had made it! That was until we realised that the petrol station was closed (around 6.15pm) and the pay at pump was by CO-OP membership cards only. Considering how many kilometres there are between petrol stations along Highway 6 this seems crazy! In the end a couple of local guys helped us out, using one of their CO-OP numbers for us to access fuel… and suggesting that we should try the Moosehorn Hotel for food (an idea we had already).
The final and most overwhelming show of kindness came as we had our dinner paid for by one of mum’s colleagues as a welcoming gesture to Ashern. So today proved entirely that the local people are lovely and made it a little more difficult for me to be wishing that I was in France.