Road Life Ruminations

Road Life Ruminations

Notre Dame de Lourdes! Our first glimpse of a language foreign to our own. What isn’t foreign is the universal language of hospitality. This friendly little French town of 900 people was a welcome stop and refuge from the stifling heat. Their local municipal campground was well shaded, had power for Arty, brand new washroom and shower facilities, and some of the best water around, all for a modest fee of $15.00! Not only that but free wireless internet was available at the air conditioned gas station/convenience store where we could sit at a table and get some work done before we left town. As the locals would come in they would invariably say hi, and one of them even knows the family of a guy we know in Calgary who is from St. Claude. Funny how that happens. We have to say that it was one of our favourite stops!

We’re goin’ to Miami ami! That’s right, if it wasn’t for the lack of ocean, beach and bikinis replaced by vast fields of canola and wheat, the heat could make you believe otherwise in Miami, MB. The charm of this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stopover was a general store that seemed to carry everything we wanted. Yummy Mennonite sausage, soft serve ice cream and singles of beer and coolers are just a few of our indulgences.

So get this! Seven years ago at a company meeting a complete stranger looked at my name badge and remarked, “Funk…good Mennonite name!” Up until that point I had no idea that I came from a Mennonite background, my father not continuing the traditions with us and also a very private person about his life growing up. So 35 years after my aunt from Canada’s Mennonite capital Steinbach, MB had visited us (I was of course just a mere babe then!), here we are rolling into town looking for long lost relatives and missing pieces of my father’s past. We were not disappointed as we got to spend some time with my Aunt Alvera and my two cousins Marilyn and Deb. My aunt also showed us the farm where my dad grew up, the original home no longer there, as well as dropping in on a first cousin of his and chatting for awhile, Neil regaling us with historical facts about the Mennonite culture as well as a few stories about my father. A great reunion of family!

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