My Christmas break was everything I was hoping it would be. I spent most of the 6 days back with the family out at Baba’s farm, in Sandy Lake, Manitoba.
Food was the central event. We feasted on the usual Ukrainian fare and enough food to last months. You’d think after 5 days of perogies and holubtsi, I’d be sick of it, but I brought back a ton of left-overs that I’ve been slowly putting a dent in over the past few days.
For me Christmas is about 2 things: seeing family and playing boardgames. Presents are only a side show. We had a blast playing Sequence, Mafia, poker, crokinole, and cribbage. Mafia was my new addition this year. It took some convincing to get a game going, but once we started the family was hooked. It was a bit worrying to see how enthusiastic they were about lynching their relatives. Once the mob zeroed in one someone, there was no persuading them.
We also had the traditional Boxing Day bonfire. Not as large as previous years, but still an impressive sight. Mom and I found brought in dead tress from the Ponderosa and Aunt Sheryl and I picked dead branches out from the bush at the farm and built a decent-sized teepee to light. When we lit it at night there was no wind, so it burned evenly and neatly collapsed in on itself.
On Wednesday, Uncle Uke, Aunt Sheryl, and I went snowboarding at Manitoba’s premier ski hill – Asessippi. I enjoyed it, but I think I’m becoming a BC snow. I couldn’t help but notice how small and unchallenging it was. I was able to make it down the black diamond runs without killing myself – I still fell, but not any worse than on a green run. Oh well, back to Cypress soon.
The pain is starting to fade, but I still need to mention how ridiculous the travel regulations are at airports now. They confiscated my jar of sealed peanut butter. My peanut butter! What the hell is with that? And then they threw it in the garbage. At least give it to the food bank, people. And why can’t take water on the plane? Actually, I found a great way around this on the way back. Bring an empty bottle through security and fill it up at one of the water fountains before boarding. Water problem solved. On the way back I almost missed my flight because the Air Canada employees at the baggage check-in decided to hold a work slow-down and all take their lunch break at the same time, or something like that. But I got through eventually.