But in the midst of all of this, a warmth like I never expected was found at Rumour Handcraft Inc. at Regina Airport.
One of the my favourite stops in Regina (read more at Blogging from Regina) and the most unique and well put together souvenir store of any airport I have been to around the world.
The owner, one of the sweetest Canadians, is well connected with local "plantations" and artists and offers their products in this lovely store.
I have already tried her wild rice, berry tea, and chocolate. Today I was generously gifted Saskatoon berry jam and Bison Pemmican (Smoked bison with Saskatoon Berries).
The story of the foods is for another day since I was overwhelmed today with all the unique Saskatchewan art Rumour Handcraft carries.
It was the first time I learned about Wheat Weaving, a craft that came from Europe and is popular in Saskatchewan where keeping the weaving throughout winter is a way of preserving the grain spirit for the next year.
I was exposed to the art of Audrey Euteneirer, a local artist capturing the Saskatchewan's nature. Rumour Handcraft sells her artwork and also those adorable milk tins with her art printed on them.
I could not resist them and it was difficult settling on one in particular.
My beautiful new piece is now proudly displayed at somerville kitchen.
Those fridge magnets are based on few of the hundreds of grain elevators drawings by a Saskatchewan artist Jack Heshka who depicted 1200 different Saskatchewan towns via their own unique grain elevators.
But the most interesting story is when a local candle maker, Michelle Frischholz asked to display her candles in the store. The owner told her that there is nothing Saskatchewan-unique about candles... unless they are shaped as grain elevators. The candle maker lived up to the challenge and those grain elevator candles are now sold in hundreds here.
And let's not forget the books. Love, Loss and Other Oddities is a collection of first time published Saskatchewan writers (can't wait to read them).
All Aboard is a fundraiser collection of Radville residents' recipes (hometown of the sweet store owner). Fun recipes like 7-Up Salad, Hamburger Cupcakes and Millionaire Cookies await me.
A lovely discovery, wonderful visit with the store owner and a beautiful sunset made me forget the agony of business travel on this cold long day.
Regina Airport, before Security