The three thirty bell rings. Rain like grey sunshine is pouring onto the cement, grass, gravel through the trees between the elementary and high school. Younger kids are running under the roof overhang, dripping wet. Older kids linger, laughing, then bolt for the busses. I'm on supervision, standing against an open door, backpack on. I'm supposed to meet Keitha and Sue for coffee downtown, but I'm not walking in this.
Moira runs past me for the bus, huge smile. "Forgot my coat," she yells under the trees as she turns around and runs back for the school. "Oh, forget it," she says inside the porch, turning around and running back into the rain shine.
Once the buses are all gone I go back into the school to find Michael to see if he'll run me to the bakery. Michael and I walk to the back door. He leaves and I stay in the porch, visiting with some of the Educational Assistants.
"Oh, what a gentleman," says one of the ladies as Michael pulls his noisy turquoise truck as close to the door as possible. We all laugh and I dash out the back.
Sue, Keitha and I drink coffee and sit in a booth by the window. the rain has let up. We share ideas for a walking tour of Fort Qu'Appelle that we'll organize for Day One Hundred Ninety Nine our first Treaty Walks Tour. We plan to walk together in the Fort Qu'Appelle Lion's July 1st parade for Day Two Hundred. We make a list. We laugh at my scribbly map. We think of people to personally invite.
Michael pulls up in our big, black Envoy. "Sheena, your Prince Charming has arrived," says Keitha.
"I'll get the tiara," says Sue.
We're driving along Highway Ten into Regina to see Victoria's directing debut of The Castle. Arwen, Moira and I are dressed in black. Michael is wearing a plum sweater and black jeans. Victoria meets us wearing three inch heels, making her way over six feet. Andrea has pizza and Caesar salad waiting at the church building where the play will be staged. We visit with old friends and chat with Victoria's classmates while waiting for the show.
Victoria introduces the production as a "morality" play written by Edward Willett. The story is set in a castle which is run by a committee. Outside a war is waging, but the committee members are only concerned with the upkeep of their castle. Most inside the castle are unaware of the war. A wounded soldier staggers in, near death, and through one new committee member's compassion, reveals himself as the King. He leaves her to infiltrate the castle with her vision and he walks back into the war.
We eat Nanaimo bars, cupcakes, lemon squares, cookies, and tarts. We drink tea, coffee and punch. We sit in a circle and lean into conversations.
As we drive home, without even stopping at Tim Horton's and a coffee for the road, I wonder at our rich living. Rich food, rich friends, rich opportunities. I doubt the Queen has it so good.