This past week I made the decision to move away from Vancouver. I'd like to say it was a difficult choice, but I think knowing that it's the right thing to do made it easier for me. I'll always remember it fondly - it was my home for four years, after all. However, New York City beckons. On my way there I'll be spending my summer in my hometown of Carman, Manitoba.
Here is what you need to know about Carman. About an hour south of Winnipeg, Carman is home to about 2,500 people. It has only one set of traffic lights at the main intersection - it has often been said that this intersection is home to everything you could ever possibly need in life and in death: a gas station, a convenience store, a medical centre, and a funeral home. What more could you need, right? Though my favourite attraction in Carman is not located here - Syl's Drive-In restaurant - is about a minute away. It is greasy deep-fried vanilla soft serve goodness times infinity. Pure bliss. If you ever get the chance to visit, have the chicken filet sub, the chicken nuggets, the chicken fingers, and the chicken burger. And a chocolate milkshake.
Or maybe it should be a man with wheels?
I mowed the lawn this morning. My parents have a big yard - it takes about four or five hours to mow on a riding mower. I love mowing the lawn. It's a task with a clear beginning and a clear ending, and in between these two points I have a lot of time to multi-task. I tan, I listen to my iPod, and I sing at the top of my lungs without any fear of being overheard. Though the chance of being overheard has gone up dramatically since my parents moved into town. We used to live about 15 minutes outside of Carman, closer to a village called Graysville. Even then I was overheard sometimes - once by farmers on the other side of the row of trees, once by two guys in a truck who were driving alongside me while I drove the lawnmower to my dad's potato shed. Who knows how long they were listening to me before they honked at me and drove off. The best story actually happened inside our old house - it was the week before I started grade 8. It was a Monday - the day the water delivery man used to come. I was in the kitchen around the corner from the front door jamming out to Mandy Moore's "In My Pocket" when I thought I heard something. I decided it was nothing and continued toward the songs climactic finish - including one particular OHHHH WHOAAAAAAA. After that I thought I heard someone say "whoa." I assumed this was my own conscience complimenting me on my own singing abilities and told myself to stop being so conceited, and I continued on. Then I heard the front door slam. I ran to the window in time to watch the water delivery man return to his truck. Then he grabbed our bill and headed back toward the house - and I ran downstairs to wallow in shame.
I was embarrassed, but it wasn't as bad as the time I let the Jehovah's Witnesses in. Or as bad as the time my grandparents showed up while I was watching Coyote Ugly.