Settled in to the north of 60 home and life is good. It's a clear, sunny day with temperature of -34c, skidoos out on the sea ice and the usual activities of a northern community. Sunrise is officially just before 10 am and sunset at 5:30 pm but there's a lot of light on the horizon both before and after. A week down already and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the time flies in my working life.
The six days at home were as expected, full of tasks and then complicated by a snow storm. Since I hadn't opted to put snow tires on my little car for just a week, I headed down to the city on Friday, stored the car with my classmate and overnighted twice. Had a nice supper with two daughters and a son in law on the final night which is a great send off and snuck away for an early flight the following morning.
The commute is becoming fairly routine and thankfully there were no glitches. One of these days the positive influences I travel under will rebel but heading for four years and no major hiccups yet with connections. This time I took a page from my job share partner's book and stored two nonperishable filled bags at the Edmonton airport. Well worth the $7 each to not have to drag them to the shuttle, into hotel and reverse the process in the early hours again, especially as they're never opened. Did my grocery procurement in Edmonton as those six days post vacation at home were fun filled with snowy roads, plus who wants to schlep an extra box 3/4 of the way across Canada? Canadian Tire for a new action packer and duct tape and then Walmart for groceries. No scale so jammed the food into the tote, fastened it and sent it off to the hotel cooler. Supper, phone catch up with a Cuban Edmonton friend and an early night - miss the sleepovers of the western daughters who are now eastern daughters though, made the stopover funner. The 5:20 am shuttle to the airport and travelling as far as Yellowknife with an agency nurse heading to Kitikmeot…the north is large geographically but small people wise. Retrieval of bags, check in at Canadian North with a very accommodating clerk as in…the scale for my grocery action packer read 72 lb, we both looked at the number and she said "that says 70 lb doesn't it?" and I quickly agreed because that is the maximum allowable and she wrote 70 lb on the tag. It really did average out with the other bags but could've been a pain to shuffle at that point. Seat selection and she said "you need a nice perk today, how about row 3?" so I nodded (row 3 was leg room so deep you couldn't reach the chair back table and the row all to myself :) Quick flight to Yellowknife, picked up 60+ student athletes there and on to Inuvik directly (no station stop in Norman Wells) so in early, very painless. Aklak Air however only guarantees 60 lb (including carryon) will be delivered with you on the flight so the action packer had to be opened, reshuffled and resealed. And of course…..everything came with me anyway. The only calamity of that being a sugar puncture in the duffle resulting in vacuuming. Warmly greeted at the airport by my job share partner as she exited and various community members who said "welcome home".
Sorting through the emails and discovered one from the clerk in housing who insisted that in order to receive a rent rebate the nurse in charge had to confirm the job share partner and I were sharing the apartment last fall. My counterpart had left that for me to deal with being that for either of us to sign was clearly a conflict of interest but….hey who am I to question? I duly acknowledged that we shared and hit send. Bureaucracy never ceases to amaze me, even at my age! Spent a couple of hours getting stuff put away. Not much of a job to retransition to the apartment as it's very cozy now. Put the food away, found my pyjamas, ate a lobster sandwich and crawled into bed.
The work week was one of catching up on various paperwork issues, helping the casual CHN understand northern nursing and greeting community members. The manager was away for the week so good timing as for extra tasks etc. being on hold. Easier when you start to know the players and processes.
A few personal technology glitches including a two hour phone call with Apple support to get my FaceTime working again and a test with a nite owl in the home time zone. Treated myself to Bushnell instavision binoculars at the fishing supply store as the shore captain has a nice pair which we used on the cruise. Discovered when I looked for polar bears and saw two flags at the RCMP detachment that the prism must be out of line as there is double vision when looking through both lenses. Was relieved to find that I wasn't having a stroke, it was truly the 'noclars' as my kids used to say, but annoyed as I'll now have to return them at home. Googled and noted "unfortunately double vision is common with these binoculars". arggh My heating pad power supply had a broken wire so will have to search online for a replacement - it is so cozy for the sofa in the winter. sigh. And the discovery that I brought whole wheat flour and red river cereal (birdseed as the kids used to call it) to make bread, having not checked there were bread pans here….on the list for next time. And yes I fully realize, all first world problems. I shall console myself by eating the dark chocolate covered mangoes I was gifted for Christmas.
Invited to supper last evening with the RCMP family who will be posted March 3rd so trying to eat up their freezer of food. Lovely ribs and I took cranberry pudding for dessert - walked carefully and didn't have any mishaps. Over to sewing after supper and the on call phone rang as soon as I settled myself. Winter gear and up over the hill in the sharp cold for a quick, routine call but not worth heading back down afterwards so crocheted and headed to bed with a book. Reading Pierre Berton's The Arctic Grail which is (as expected) well written and certainly apt in my present setting.
Awaiting a FaceTime chat with the home folks so will sign off. Technology is my umbilical cord.