When home is just another stop along the way – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

My dad lent me his car to do some running around and I was pleased to see that I had not forgotten how to drive, even in subzero temperatures with icy streets. The city itself had not changed a whole lot with the exception of a few new roads and stores.

I began making my rounds to visit old friends who all seemed to have big events like marriages, babies, broken bones, and careers changes to tell me about. I recited the answers to the inquisitions and began to feel like a bit of a specimen. Going through the normality’s of life with all the haircuts and teeth cleanings (squeaky clean thanks to Stacy! how cool is it to have a friend who is a hygienist?) is keeping me in a state of constant wonderment. These are the things that are novel to me now.

People who I had thought had forgotten all about me telling me they have been keeping track of me through the TravelPod. You know, I guess I took it for granted how many people missed me. It feels nice to be missed.

I am still in awe of how bright and big and clean and big (did I say that already…I meant HUGE) the stores are. I guess I am used to the little shanty shacks on the side of the road and mom & pops grocers. All the choice is seriously overwhelming. I sat there staring at the wall of batteries for a record twenty minutes trying to decide.

Tim Hortons toffee coffee and Tim Bits (donut holes) checking out the travel section at Chapters, I felt pretty cool when my eyes swept the section and I realized I have been to so many of these places. Not like the last time I was here, when all of that was still unknown territory. I also got ahold of all my CDs and have recorded a bunch of my favorite music onto minidisks for the next leg.

My dad lent me his cell phone and thats another bizarre habit to get ahold of. I just sit there looking around absently when the thing starts beeping, all the while thinking about how someone is missing a call. Duh.

A happy thing about being here in winter is that there are no bugs. None. I havent` seen even one. And that, even tho I have grown tolerant of the little buggers (sorry, had to be said), is happy. Not to have to sleep under a mosquito net or worry about them starting a family in your ear or some other warm crevice.

Oh, I lied. I did see one “Bug”…MY CAT! For the first 20 minutes she made a point to ignore me, as if to teach me a lesson or something. But then all of a sudden, she walked over an plopped down on my lap and that was that. It was just like old times. I thanked her for sending me all her friends over the world to keep me in kitty cuddles. She glanced up at me with a non-chalant “hey, no problem man” look on her fuzzy little face. I was forgiven for now but just wait until she notices I am off again. I wonder how the cats will be in South America?

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