Monday, November 30, 2009

The Grey Cup

I'm not going to write about the game or remind you how great it was.

Last night was a turning point for me in this journey so far. That warm feeling that everything has come full-circle set in after those Field Goals and last night Iqaluit finally,really felt like home.

Work hosted a special Grey Cup event which we diligently sold tickets for and eventually sold-out. A lot of our regulars and some friends of staff ate up all the tickets and excitedly showed up last night wearing Alouettes Blue and Saskatchewan Green. The cooks spent all of yesterday and the day previous cooking a "TailGate Meal" which ended up being above and beyond what any of us expected. We did a Pool, we sold drinks, we ate, we cheered . . . and all 63 people including the staff were all a part of something special. We were a community; a large group of people from all over Canada. Newfoundland, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick . . .everywhere.

In the dying seconds of the game, the whole bar stood on its feet. The cooks were out of the kitchen, the bar-staff stood behind them. The customers gripped their hats, bit their nails and some even covered their eyes. When Montreal stole the game from the Roughriders in a second attempt at a Field Goal, the walls shook with cheers and sighs alike. And just like the crowd at the game, we all couldn't help but collectively clap our hands and smile because we had been a part of something so uniting and so communal that you didn't care if your team won or not, you just cared that you were there.

It made me miss my good friends from home. I wondered what they were doing or where they were when the game ended. But as I looked around at all the faces in the bar, they suddenly changed from "new" to "familiar" as if a sun had risen on them. Finally, as we were cleaning and stocking, the last group packed up and headed out, they exited by telling us this: "Thanks you guys, I'll remember tonight as one of the greats...see you tomorrow"

What a game . . .what a night . . . what a trip this has already been.

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