My cousin just blogged about her trip to Saskatoon and it made me reminisce — I once lived in Saskatoon, from 1978 – 2002. But, I must clarify that I really started LIVING after my divorce in ’97.
The Saskatoon summers were awesome when the heat waves hit. For me, a heat wave was ideal weather. Heat waves made the winters bearable. Saskatoon was so hot I would dip a large overshirt in water and then wring it out to wear on the bus in order to keep cool while getting downtown (laugh if you must!). A half an hour later, walking around the street events, the shirt was bone dry. I never left home without a bottle of water during those heat waves. I loved the Fringe Festival, usually held in the Broadway District, or I’d take in the sidewalk sales downtown. I also loved to dance at the Blues Festivals and the Jazz Fests. Great music for those slow, sensuous West Coast Swings or the lively East Coast Swings!
During the heat waves, even the nights were hot. I liked to sleep outside on my balcony, where the air was moving. True, I had an air-conditioner, but I didn’t appreciate the roaring sound or the blasting cold air. Besides, I could never get used to the heat if I used air-conditioning — temperatures were too extreme! Oh, and the thunderstorms that erupted after a heat wave were something else! I so loved the thunderstorms. What impressive light shows they were!
Winters, on the other hand, were bitterly cold, with wind chills running to minus 40 and 50 degrees below zero. The steam from the traffic froze when it left the tailpipes and literally hung in the air — ice fog. These frigid dips of temperature lasted three weeks at a stretch some winters.
The Bessborough (“The Bezz” by locals) is one of the nicest hotels in the city, with one of the finest city views along the river. From that vantage point, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) can be viewed across the bridge and to the Northeast. The trees are lush, with a differing panoramic view with the coming of each new season.
The U of S Dance Club held an annual dance event and sometimes it was held in the Bessborough’s grand ballroom. Our dance group watched a great Latin dance show one year, and then spent the rest of the night doing waltzes, foxtrots, cha-chas and rumbas. The event included dinner — and the food, too, was exquisite (first time I ever reveled in a dessert of Key Lime Pie).
I’ll always remember my dance adventures in Saskatoon. They were some of my happiest memories up till then. Those dancing days gave me the momentum to move ever forward in my life. Those days gave me courage to live my dreams to write and publish my book (which I just got back from the editor). I have a little more polishing, but it’s shaping up nicely. My editor assured me it’s a great story that needs to be told.
I celebrate Saskatoon!
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