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After Roxie dropped me off at home I had 3 hours to recuperate before I was back on the road again for a three hour ride out to the Farm and a family reunion in Shoal Lake, MB. I spent some time swapping stories with my mom and Kelsey before I curled up in the back seat and fell asleep for most of the ride – I really needed the rest, unless I wanted to alienate the majority of my family with my grouchiness. After we arrived, we couldn’t find any family members at the farm, so we headed to the Ponderosa (the name of my parents retirement property) and played one game of Ticket to Ride and promptly crashed.
Reunion Collage
It was great sleeping at the Ponderosa. I got a bed on the second story of the wood shop. There are 3 big windows on the west and east sides that let a nice cool breeze through at night and the only light was from the stars. The only downside was that as soon as the sun rose I woke up, but I usually managed to find a corner where I could hide my face and squeeze in another hour of sleep. The fresh country air did wonders and I feel rejuvenated after a weekend of sleeping out there.

Saturday we headed to Shoal Lake to meet my relatives – some I haven’t seen for years and others I never knew existed. The reunion was for all the descendants of my great-great-grandparents (the Yanicks) who came to Canada in the late 1800’s. There was 150 people there, a lot of them I’ve never met before. I got to know a few of them, but unfortunately most of the organized events didn’t force me to socialize and I’m not outgoing enough to seek out new people, especially when there were plenty of relatives I did know and wanted to catch up with. So most of the weekend was spent with Team Green (my great-grandmother’s offspring) whom I see every Christmas.

The highlights of the weekend were the pickup softball game (Team Green vs random relatives); sneaky water balloon attacks on unsuspecting Yanicks; crazy Ukrainian dancing – the bruising butterfly and Baba’s impoved line dance (WHOOO!); ensuring some unsuspecting relative won the Backstreet Boys CD in the silent auction; farmer hats for all; pickup floor hockey; and the best, best food I’ve eaten in months. So much dilled food, cream sauces, onions in everything, buckets of “Nuts and Bullets”, borscht, hollopchy, and real church-basement perogies. It it wasn’t for the oppressive heat, pickup sports games, an the morning runs I went on, I’m sure I would have gained 10 lbs.

After spending some time with relatives, I quickly realize where I get my competitive and mischievous streaks from. I was also surprised to notice that most of my relatives had darker tans than me – we must be descendent from some dark skinned Ukrainians.

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