This family reunion was very relaxed, pretty unstructured, but seemed to come together to make a meaningful weekend. This was also a first – commemorating the fact that the ancestors, Joseph and Exilda, moved to Saskatchewan 100 years ago.
There was lots of time to sit and talk. The Lanoie’s are exceptionally fine talkers and story tellers so you can just imagine.
Aside from being the site of a big biker rally, I doubt that many people find the valley that is home to the park.
It is a beautiful valley with trees hidden in the midst of the surrounding prairie hills and fields. And near it is a site attempting to preserve some early petroglyphs which you can make out faintly in the sandstone rocky outcrop.
The badlands are full of surprises, hidden from most of us city folk who never venture out to these wild places of grass, wind and sun. There really are no attractive beaches nearby, no city to shop in, and only a primitive museum and attempts by the community to preserve this part of history along with that of the early people who travelled out here to settle and try to farm.
But in this country, the Lanoie’s are well known. They have lived here and farmed here for a hundred years.
The weather was great, the food was good and the drink did not run out (well, except for the rum. There are a lot of rum drinkers among this bunch.) The people are salt of the earth kinds of people, even if they can be a bit rough around the edges. Most still live around those parts but others came from as far as Connecticut.
We had fun. I hope the children will continue to gather the clan together in the future, remembering their roots, holding onto shared values and even the faith that we celebrated on Sunday morning.
More pictures will be posted over on Flikr and a link set up as soon as I get this done.
Update – sorry but the distorted pictures at a larger size just bothered me too much, hence small but undistorted. I’m sure there is a way around this but I have still to figure that out.