Ryan McFadden did a nice write up on the win, so I won’t go into it here. It was exciting, overwhelming, unbelievable — and we didn’t know enough NOT to crash the dead dog party, so obviously we still have lots more to learn. My aunt endeared herself to all the “boys and girls” on the 15th floor — I will never forget this huge guy — Wookie like in my memory — walking up to me and giving me a high five. “Your aunt is AWESOME!” Yes, she is.
And then we came home. My husband had been receiving increasingly panicky phone calls the whole time we were in Winnipeg — the last one was on Sunday, and the words “Do I need to get on a plane?” struck fear into my heart. Winnipeg is a LONG way from Edmonton when you are Eileen, who hates driving, and who has to get the truck back home. Luckily everyone calmed down long enough for us to hit the road — together — and head back.
We did it in one day. Good drive, actually, and my husband even let me take the Alpha seat for a couple of hours. The last Tims we hit was at Lloydminster — a town that straddles the Alberta Saskatchewan border, where we had spent many, many weekends watching our daughter play softball. (And now the joke. “There is NOTHING soft about that game!”)
We had both the awards in the back seat, and they tinkled — sometimes gently, sometimes not — depending on the condition of the road. We made a lot of increasingly goofy jokes about “the twins” as the miles rattled under our wheels, until finally, we pulled into Edmonton, and then our driveway. I can’t begin to tell you how glad I was to see that little round house and the raggedy overgrown grass.
Our daughter, who had been good enough to look after the animals, burst out of the house, thrilled to see us — and thrilled about the wins. (Competitor, after all. Knows how nice it is to bring home hardware.) We talked for a bit, convinced her to stay one more night (so we didn’t have to drive another kilometer that day) and went to bed, exhausted.
We were all up early the next morning. Husband had to fix all the damage wrought over the weekend (remember those phone calls? Everyone who made them remembered!) and daughter had to be taken to work. Then, I finally had the house to myself. Nice.
I saw that Ryan had posted about the first day, and thought it was a pretty good idea. So I did more or less the same thing. A maudlin little piece about Dad — but it read well enough that I left it. Then I milled about, not really ready to step back into my life, but not really ready to do much else. (I didn’t even unpack. Still haven’t, truth be told.)
The next day I went back to my blog, to add another day. And there were comments for the first post. Cool. I like it when people actually read this thing…
And one caught my eye.
Congratulations on the award. I’ve been receiving congrats on your behalf – and thought I should pass them on!
Could you give me a call?
630 CHED Radio
Yes! The famous Eileen Bell from radio. Talking to me!
This Eileen Bell has been on radio forever in this town, it seems. And I have always had to endure the joke “So, are you the one on radio?”
“No,” I always reply. “I am the other one.”
So I called her. I could only imagine the look on the receptionist’s face when I asked for Eileen Bell, and she asked me who was calling. “Eileen Bell,” I said. The pause was long before she chimed “One moment please.”
And then I spoke to Eileen Bell. Very cool. Even cooler — she wants to interview me in July. On being a writer — and being Eileen Bell.
I said yes. Good grief, how could I not? Here’s my five minutes of fame — and I get to share it with the other Eileen Bell.