I drove home from Radville slowly after midnight, south on Highway 28.
This was probably the latest we’ve stayed at any family gathering without sleeping over. Farmer was full of wisdom and had already talked himself out. The kids slept and I navigated potholes through great stretches of thick fog in silence.
I was thinking about stories I’d heard of narrow scrapes with death, the near loss of a limb by one family member, my friend Danielle finding her way through the late stages of cancer all the way across this continent and this impossible road I was driving.
Tonight my sister-in-law and I simultaneously recited the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. In the moments that fog slowed me to near stops as I struggled to see the centre line and dodge the deepest holes in my lane, I considered insanity.
How insane it must be for those who patch this road. They reach the end of each day and drive home to see cold mix they’ve rolled into deep holes already pounded out by heavy gravel and oilfield trucks this road was never designed to carry. Same rerun daily.
I practiced school bus skills earlier this summer, predicting that by the time school resumed this fall these trucks would have totally ruined all the work these highway crews had accomplished. It didn’t take a prophet to nail that one. Prophecy becomes a simple product of repeated observation.
The fog comes in waves and they’re beautiful waves even though they are blinding. Economic ebbs and flows like potash or gas prices and their repercussions are similar life altering movements. The price of food and accommodation are elevated to insane levels but we all pay up and repeat the buying and earning cycles in an effort to keep pace.
Whether Saskatchewan’s population is enjoying a better quality of life as a result of these movements is highly questionable.
Why do we dodge disaster while other provinces drive fine roads? Insane.
Baba bawled for his evening milk pail when we arrived home. While he fed, I stared at a clear, star-filled sky; the Big Dipper so brilliant I’d have yanked my kids from bed to show them, except this glorious truth would have been but a blur to their sleepy eyes too.