Goose break is over and it was time for Andy to head north. What about me? Our break coincided with my mother’s hip replacement surgery and I wanted to stay behind for as long as she needed me. She adamantly insisted she was absolutely fine. She left rehab early against her doctor’s and physiotherapist’s recommendations.
“I want to be in my own home, by the river, in the house I’ve always lived in. That’s where I feel best,” she told them. In the short time I was there, she graduated from walker to cane to walking unassisted.
It was decided: My brother, Chris, would drive north with Andy. Chris had some time off and looked forward to the drive and seeing our new home. I would stay behind to be with my mother. The next weekend, the two men would drive back to Montreal, and then Andy and I would head back north.
Chris was busy despite Murray’s Lodge being in the process of relocating to Elder’s Point and A.D.E.L.S. being closed due to renovation.
But my brother had a great time anyways. He spent a day at Chibougamau and made business contacts in the auto service industry, test drove my Subaru, walked around town, delighted in photographing the trilingual signs (with French considered a third language here), visited Andy and his students at the shop, had dinner with a colleague to enjoy fresh fish, and ate pan-fried moose steaks.
“How do you like it?” I asked eagerly when he called from Mistissini.
“I can’t get over the garbage. Everywhere, in the little streams, on the sides of the road. Garbage, garbage and garbage!” **
I was disappointed, I had hoped to hear that he was having a great time, if at least an interesting one.
Before he hung up, he said “I’ll be back soon, maybe in a few weeks. I absolutely love it up there!”
** Just a note: The band council hires townspeople for cleanup. Alongside the major roads, cleanup crews are busy and huge black garbage bags line the sides of the roads, awaiting pickup. He’ll be surprized when he comes back!