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Monday, January 24, 2011

L is for the Land of the Living Skies, written by Linda Aksomitis and illustrated by Lorna Bennett. Sleeping Bear Press, H B Fenn, 2010. $19.95 ages 8 and up

"Jigging is a form of dance inspired
by fiddle music, which is important in
the traditional culture of the Metis
people Metis fiddlers play distinctive
jigging tunes that combine many musical
elements passed on from their ancestors -
the Scottish and French fur traders, along
with their First Nations mothers."

It's always so interesting to discover what you don't know about where you live. As we stretch our wings to travel far from home, many of us forget that there is much to see and discover right here. My brother and I dealt with unmerciful teasing when we were young for the many trips we made to 'Saskabush' or 'the gap'. It is home to many relatives and though we knew much about the Qu'Appelle Valley, we knew little else. It is as an adult that I have discovered the beauty of Saskatoon, the Bridge City. It is the gathering place for Behrns family reunions, and an occasional cousins' getaway weekend.

Family letters at Christmas whoop or whine, depending on the fortune of the Roughriders at Grey Cup time:

"F is for the Faithful Football Fans

We're the fans in green and white,
we're the fans stay on your side -
we're the fans that cheer at night,
we're the fans with Rider pride!"

'Fan'atic? Oh, yeah! Go GREEN!

There is much to learn about a province that I thought I knew. It seems I have only scratched the surface. I was amazed at the number of fine shops in Moose Jaw when I visited last. I have plans to visit the Cypress Hills one of these days. I have always loved the beauty of the Qu'Appelle Valley, which follows the Qu’Apelle River for more than 400 kilometres, from Manitoba into Saskatchewan.  It is a place of beauty and peace and I never tire of my first look from the top of the hill.

If you want to know more, this is a book that will help.

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