Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I just got some wonderful pictures from Pope John Paul School in Kenora,ON. I held a Mask Making Workshop for 91 students and a Drama Workshop for 20 actors in which they performed for their school. The students worked hard and were stupendous! Their teacher, Ms. DeGagne was phenomenal!!
I was looking forward with great trepidation the day on my calendar marked 7 flights. Much to my pleasure the day went off without a hitch! Leaving Pickle Lake via Wasaya Airways at 7:45, the 14 passenger prop Beech Craft was fully loaded. It was a sunny day and the iced lakes in the massive view above were glistening with the promise of spring. Flying northeast for a few hundred miles we landed in Landsdown House on what looked like a dirt landing strip. Then, we carried on to Webequie even farther north. Once in the air the plane flipped a Uie, banking hard to port, we tested the seatbelts. Our new heading was due south. We stopped in Summer Beaver and Fort Hope. And finally after hundreds of miles in both directions we landed in Thunderbay. I had a delightful experience visiting with the children that afternoon. Amazing how wonderful it felt to be a live ;-) Shot back to the airport to catch another plane this time with Bearskin… I heard someone refer to it as ‘Scare-skin.’ Heading northwest we landed in Sioux Lookout. This must be a hub. I had landed there before. Arriving in Red Lake, my ears were ringing. I had experienced most and the best flights ever.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
May 11-12th Upon landing I saw a large variety of beautifully coloured float planes. There were piles of pontoons, waiting patiently under a blanket of snow, for the wheeled planes from the south… to fly north for the summer. My arrival to Pickle Lake was a little stressful due to the fact the plane was ½ hour late and my presentation was due to start in five minutes! The driver was not there. Starting to sweat…. Heather, the librarian arrived. She had anticipated the delayed flight and set back the schedule to accommodate the new agenda. Everything was very well planned. The students had reviewed my books and had done some amazing book reports including artwork quite surprising for the age bracket. As a matter of fact, the student in Pickle Lake School showed a remarkable amount of talent collected in such a small school! I wasn’t able to get enough photos to show the amount of talent but will include a few. Coming out of the school Friday afternoon, I was hit with a spring snow flurry. It was so cold. The wind blowing the snowflakes in a horizontal angle made you dizzy. The lake at the end of the road gave no sigh of releasing the ice cover. My town library presentation was fun. I met some beautiful people who home-schooled their children and were happy to give their children the opportunity to visit with an author. There were also teachers from another small school I was not able to visit due to lack of time. Having five flights tomorrow I land at my new home base, Thunderbay. I will have one presentation and scoot off to the airport and take two more flight. Arriving in Red Lake, I am positive I’ll sleep good.
May 10th Leaving Thunderbay was like leaving home base, off on a new adventure. Lake Superior was trying to break free from winter’s hold. I could see small changes in the melting of the frozen landscape. My plane was late leaving Thunderbay and I was happy to find out the Wasaya Airline was holding the plane in Sioux Lookout. I was surprised to see the next plane was smaller than the last, with the exception you could almost stand inside walking down the aisle.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Taking off at 7:30 from Kenora, I was sad to leave! The town is just beautiful and the people kind and generous with their hospitality. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a nip in the air. Passing several deer along the way nibbling the fresh new grass, the promise of spring was becoming a reality. The flight was fast… I slept through it. Arriving in Thunderbay, once again, felt comfortable. A wonderful librarian picked me up from the hotel and we hurried to a majestic old library 100 + years old. A bright cheery and excited class met me there and we had a splendid time. They made me feel like a very special person lining up for an autograph! And then….. CBC Radio Live! WOW! What a thrill! I don’t know what I said but Cathy Alex, the radio announcer, was brilliant! What a conundrum!! How can 10 minutes last so long and fly by so fast! Tomorrow I have two flights and arrive at Pickle Lake! I can’t wait!
Ecole Ste-Margierite Bourgeoys School The Gymnasium was decorated with everything to do with fishing! It looked just magnificent! The teacher’s really out-did themselves. With yummy food and comfy spots to relax, I had an amazing audience. Reading The First Mosquito to the Book Club was exciting to say the least. Afterwards, the K-2 grades, (160) came back to have a full presentation and reading of The Salmon Twins! Shortly thereafter the grade 3-6, (140) came and I shared with them. After Ecole School, using my trusty GPS, I raced to Evergreen Public School to present two performances one to JK-SK and one to grade 1&2. A full day loaded with questions from some very inquisitive students! Tomorrow morning I take 2 flights to Thunderbay!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
My Bearskin Airways flights were perfect! And thrilling!! Coming into Ft. Frances, I thought we were going to land on a soggy mudflat. But the instant we touched ground the pavement appeared! Taking off I used up my allotment of adrenalin for the next 10 years! Staying in one spot, the pilot…who I could see plainly…revved up the engine then poured on the throttle holding the plane at a stand-still, the released the breaks, (or whatever) and the plane shot into the sky in a slit second!!! Looking back the runway was the size of a postage stamp! In the air all the lakes were frozen. The visibility was terrific and as far as the eye could see the land was ice bound. Coming into Kenora, the landing was the same…. Short! With all the braking power put to the test with just the wee bit of runway left. Flawless I might add. No lumps or bumps. After viewing the frozen landscape for hundreds of miles all around, I was surprised to see the lake in Kenora free from ice! Looking up I could see hundreds of water fowl flying from all directions and landing onto the only open water for who knows how far in all directions! I had four classes today with the happiest children! All glad to see spring on the way and so welcoming! Posters were up all over the halls in both schools. Just perfect students with the most perfect questions! Tomorrow I visit another school and share a reading and two workshops! A mask making and a Drama workshop!!!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Thunderbay... This is on Lake Superior! What a giant body of water!! We flew over it for a hundred miles! Upon arrival yesterday afternoon, I saw the bay still frozen along the shores. There were snow plowed roads and a drifting of new snow. Today, the snow is melting as fast as the green shoots of spring try to force the issue. This is spring ya'know... The teenagers are in flip-flops tip-toeing through the bits of white stuff and running water. While packing and re-packing trying to find some way to miraculously drop 20 pounds off the total weight limit for Bearskin Airlines, I discovered the fact my pro hand held stapler and the full pack of staples were NOT a match! I had grabbed the wrong box. A mission was immediately designed with a trip to the airport checking in my luggage…I only had to pay $28.00+tax for overweight, caught a bus to downtown, (with transfers) AND found a Staples!! (the store)…With a name like that they just had to have the most unusual sized staples for my hand stapler in existence….Right? After harassing the store manager for 35 minutes opening this one and that one… I was ready to buy another dang stapler… he whispered, “check next door at Lowlerys.” With great expectations, I scrambled across a four lane highway and running into the store with scarf flying, I begging for a miracle. It was granted! *****I will arrive at the Mask-making Workshop with a fully loaded stapler! You’re thinkin’ what’s the big deal? Think about it…91 masks made in 58 minutes for 91 excited 3-4th grade students! I catch my flight to Kenora at 5:00PM… bags are checked, I’ll hide my stapler+3 pounds of staples in my jacket. My carry on can only be 10 pounds…my computer and projectors weighs more than that! Cheers!