It was the talk of Rose Street, as we picked our way from the Cornwall Centre back to the car, through the slush and the sand. A worker with a wheelbarrow was making his way from doorway to doorway, tossing handfuls of sand for the safety of us shoppers, and he said that rainbow must be a sign of blessing. "Somebody up there is watching over us."
I could take it as an omen, too, but I didn't mention that. We exchanged Christmas greetings and went on our ways.
It was a strange and difficult day, spent bracing my eyes open after several days of insufficient sleep, gripping the wheel through nearly as many hours driving as not, and several of those on wet ice. It rained through most of the drive into the city (in spite of a forecast that had said only "becoming cloudy"), and then just as we neared Regina the clouds lifted in the west. The sun came out and gave us the big bright rainbow, showing double as we sat waiting at a light at Winnipeg Street, and still visible between the towering walls of glass and steel when we parked on Rose.
We were only a few minutes in the mall, walking as if summoned to one store where each of us (Ruth and I) picked out one small item. I dropped off the kids for a few days of visiting with their cousins, ran one more little errand for Ruth, and got some fast food for the road back home. My big day of shopping in the city. I debated staying the night at some relative's place, but my home was beckoning with the promise of a couple of days of peace, all to myself. Foolish, perhaps, to press on; but the trip home was actually easier, perhaps because I wasn't worried about the safety of the kids. The other drivers seemed to leave me alone a little better, too: I think I averaged 70 km/h most of the way, and most seemed content to just follow.
I stopped to refill at the Co-op, my Geo Metro dwarfed by the big silver 4x4 that pulled up on the other side of the pumps. There was a moment when I stepped inside, that I just stood on the doormat, looking around at the familiar aisles and marvelling that I was safely home. Mike B. asked if I slid all the way down that hill. I rolled my eyes and told him I'd been into Regina and back. He watched my total come up on the till, and asked when I filled up. "Before I left," I replied.
"Before you left Regina?"
"No, before I left here."
"Twenty-four bucks to go to Regina and back?! I can't go to Weyburn for twenty-four bucks!"
Of course, the 70 km/h average speed made some difference.
As I stepped back outside, I heard him say to the gas jockey, "I hope mine is only twenty-four bucks..."
2 months ago