Go to main menu Go to main content Go to footer

Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Wandering thoughts

BY Sonny Orr Jul 3, 2022

The clock clicked a minute passed midnight and, as if flipping a switch, the hot summer days were blown out by a mere five-minute decrease of our daily dose of sunlight. Yep, summer solstice ended and now the days will start getting shorter until they practically disappear in six months’ time. Why is it that when time is measured, there is never enough of it?

As I hypothesize a breakdown of the summer days that remain, I wonder if all the ice hanging around has anything to do with it. Yep, foggy summer days arrive on schedule, about half an hour before flights arrive. Ahh, the sounds of low-flying aircraft in zero-zero weather buzzing the homes of those fortunate enough to survive near misses always gives me a thrill or a chill when a close call is imminent. Isn’t there radar for this type of weather or at least some sort of simple application that we can download? 

Oh well, pilots being pilots I guess, what’s the thrill in having to always have perfect sunny weather to fly in. Nothing like the occasional drop in a midair flight to jostle one’s fear of flying vertically and inverted. That’s pilot talk for those who have queasy stomachs and bone-crushing hands that grip the next passenger’s body like it was a life-support raft. Arrg! The agony!

But for most of us who are just landlubbers and prefer to stay that way, the land yacht – a large SUV capable of carrying a hockey team or two – is the way to go these days. Back in the day, the station wagon, believe it or not, was a road monster in disguise. It could transport a load of adults and kids in relative comfort, with all the doodads (old-school term for devices) and several jerry cans of gas. As long as you occasionally emptied the ashtray full of stinky butts and added oil every thousand miles or so, you could go on any adventure. 

The next upgrade in comfort is the family recreation vehicle or RV, which are just mansions on wheels or for the unfortunate, a mattress and tent on the truck bed out back. Monster RVs could be the alternative to meeting our housing and transportation woes all at the same time. Now, parking is another matter, but anywhere there’s land or a strip of gravel, you could live in your RV. Then there’s the added benefit of staying forever in any Walmart parking lot in the country. No rent, no hydro, no land lease, no slum lord, no evictions and if you don’t like your neighbours, you can just drive off. Plus, there’s no need to set up camp on your favourite beach or backyard of a family member. 

Today, your RV can be completely autonomous, internet included. The only thing I guess is to be in a local service area if you happen to call for takeout from some delivery service. “Yeah, just down the creek a bit and behind the large willows. Watch for fast-flowing waters and stay away from foraging bears” would be the only additional instruction I would give the poor delivery person. “Oh, I forgot, bring your own bug spray.”

On my road trip last month, I was wondering if I would reach town in time to get some real food, as we’d been living on gas-station munchies for most of the travel days. Forced to drive at a highly efficient speed on the newly repaired highway, I couldn’t stop thinking about having to pay highway robbery rates in gasoline. I started to miss the old station wagon days when those spare jerry cans were part of your travel arsenal in getting from point A to point B.

I guess we will have to wait for the new electric charging stations to avoid paying out for all this non-renewable fluid we call gasoline. Too bad we are dependent on someone else on the other side of the world, when we have the largest generating stations in our backyard. Who is waiting for who?

LATEST ᒫᐦᒡ ᑎᐹᒋᒧᐧᐃᓐ

Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.