Family time – Mennonite lunch and granddaughter’s basketball

We only had one special event for my 3rd and 4th days with my kids and their families in the Calgary area – attending one of my granddaughters’ basketball games with most of the family. But we kept busy with a little of this and a little of that. I had timed my visit to happen during one of Steve’s off-shift periods, so we had total flexibility.

The Elf on the Shelf was my evening and morning amusement – trying to figure out what to do with him in the evening, and watching Brock find him in the morning.

Elf on the Shelf
Steve had found a great little Mennonite restaurant in Linden – a 140-km round trip from his home. That sounded like a fine outing for the boys. Big sky country, with not much traffic on the secondary roads that took us to Linden. The next photo was shot heading east on Hwy 567.

Alberta Hwy 567
Steve took some detours into small communities along the way. There are many sad reminders of how towns like Irricana used to look. I’m lucky enough to remember when this country was full of vibrant, independent communities with grain elevators towering over them. My Mom’s family was from the area about 120 km further east of Irricana, and we visited a few times. The towns have pretty much all gotten quite flat and generic now.

The historic Irricana Hotel in Alberta
This was our destination – Country Cousins Bistro & Bakery, tucked away on a side street in the small community of Linden. We got there just before noon, and there were only about 10 people in the restaurant. Within a few minutes after lunch, it was about 80% full.

Country Cousins Bistro & Bakery in Linden, Alberta
The large menu has plenty of variety, but I wanted something unique, and the Mennonite Plate caught my eye. It has homemade potato cheese pierogis, bacon & onion cream gravy, cabbage roll with fresh dill & sour cream garnish, locally-made Chetin sausage, and fried red cabbage, for $15.40. It was a good choice – the pierogis in particular were the best I’ve ever had. That should have been sufficient, but Steve said that they make amazing peanut butter pie. The slab that was served could have fed all 3 of us, but I made it disappear! Yes, it was amazing 🙂

The Mennonite Plate at Country Cousins Bistro & Bakery in Linden, Alberta

That was a fine way to spend 3 hours, and an afternoon nap was in order for me when we got back. That evening, Steve and I sampled some single-malt scotches and started planning a motorcycle camping trip to Yellowknife for next August.

What is it about the Prairies that creates such amazing sunrises? My guess is dust in the air. Whatever it is, this was shot from Steve’s front door the next morning.


I’ve been toying with updating my car for a while. I want exactly what I have, but newer – my car is now 8 years old. I had found what might be the right car at a Calgary dealer, so I went over for a look and Steve met me there on his new Triumph motorcycle. We took the 2017 Cadillac CTS out for a test drive, but it wasn’t the right car – it’s a base model, while mine has every option available in 2010. I moved my car over beside it to try to figure out why the 2017 wasn’t working for me. The new one is simply boring.

2010 and 2017 Cadillac CTSs
My last stop on my final day in Airdrie was Home Depot, where I’d shopped out some house renovation materials that aren’t available in Whitehorse. That cartload of stuff, mostly oak steps to replace the carpeted stairs to the basement, actually fit nicely, and the total weight was probably only a couple of hundred pounds. Now I had a particularly good reason for driving down instead of flying 🙂

Loading up my Cadillac at Home Depot in Airdrie
Our last family event was attending a basketball game that my granddaughter Kylie was playing in. It was an excellent game, with the score back and forth right up to the final seconds (Kylie’s team won).

Girls high school basketball

Girls high school basketball

The next morning – Wednesday, December 13th – I’d be on the road before anyone else was out of bed. It had been as perfect a visit as I could have hoped for.



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Family time – Mennonite lunch and granddaughter’s basketball — 2 Comments