Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Bringing Everyone Home to the Calgary Stampede!

Monday, July 8, 2013

OLA: Bringing Everyone Home to the Calgary Stampede!

Calgary Stampede and Alberta Flags are hung all over the city!
It may not have been as scary as when Bill had a heart attack and I was all alone, but pretty darn close.  We all got scared:  Ante and Tess, Arnold’s parents, Bill and I, and, of course, Arnold and Enzo, Kai’s 7-year old big brother. We had just brought Claudine from the Birthing Center to her private room  but just before we were about to leave for home, she started to bleed heavily. We were all asked to leave  the room and soon 2 doctors and 5 nurses were frantically scurrying in and out of the room.

Red lights were blinking outside the room in unison with buzzing sounds. It took an hour before they were able to control the bleeding. And we all felt sorry for Claudine who had another harrowing experience. Actually, this sounded more painful as we heard her loud, though infrequent, screams. But at 11 PM, we were all allowed back to bid her goodnight and let her rest.  Arnold stayed with her, trying to sleep on the one hard metal chair. It was clear that Claudine would not be able to go home the next day, Canada Day.
Arnold brought Claudine home with Kai to brother Enzo and stepbrothers Ashton and Andre
flowers, fruits, and bears from well-wishers

But my courageous daughter did the day after! Bringing a healthy Mom and a healthy Baby back home is such a joyous occasion, with flowers, fruits, and bears from well-wishers waiting for them. That night their first group of visitors came and a Chinese Feast was bought by Arnold for all! Sooner rather than later, everything will surely get back to normal, with the new addition, Kai Jor-El.  I confess I could not get enough of him. Bill and Claudine were always pleading ‘Put him down!’
a Chinese Feast!

Kai in the car going to the doctor
What an astonishing healthcare system for moms and babies! A public nurse visited and checked Mom and Baby the next day. The second check-up was a visit to an Alberta Health Services Community Health Center where the nurse confirmed that Kai was almost out of the jaundice curve and has gained some more grams! Claudine, however, also had to be checked by her family physician the next day who ordered an ultrasound just to make sure that no more blood clots remain in her uterus which, by physical examination, still seemed quite distended. The first available slot is August 1. Sigh.

It was really very considerate of Claudine to time Kai’s arrival just before the world famous Calgary Stampede on July 5 to 14! For the first time we will be able to attend ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’. The event's roots are traced back to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair and in 1919 when the American promoter Guy Weadick, who had put together the first Stampede in 1912, returned to Calgary to organize the Victory Stampede in honor of soldiers returning from WWI. In 1923 the two events were merged to create the Calgary Stampede.

Organized by volunteers from many civic associations, it has grown into one of the world's richest rodeos, one of Canada's largest festivals, and one of Calgary’s tourist attractions bringing in more than a million tourists every year. Known as the "Stampede City", Calgary takes on a different look: offices and stores present cowboy themes, residents dress western, and hundreds of free pancake breakfasts, barbecue lunches, and evening cocktails are hosted.

flooded parade street in downtown Calgary
Less than two weeks before the start of this year's show, heavy rainfall triggered the worst flooding in Alberta's history, causing the areas along the Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Red Deer, Sheep, Little Bow, and South Saskatchew rivers and tributaries to be overflowed. Four people were confirmed dead and 100,000 displaced. A massive clean-up by the government sparked an equally massive volunteer campaign. The Stampede rolled on! 

Enform Corral, our first Stampede breakfast!
On July 4, as a pre-Stampede event, Claudine’s office Enform hosted the first-ever Stampede breakfast Bill and I participated in. It was held at the office parking lot with a mini-golf, car racing, and buckaroo for the kids and pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, and fruits and a cowboy DJ music for everyone. Of course, the 4-day old Kai was one of the main attractions!  On July 5, we participated in another Stampede breakfast at Arnold’s former office LaurenConsie where his uncle Ernie Dino is a partner. It was more of the same stuff plus devilled eggs and blueberry muffins and screwdrivers with western music playing in the background. 5-day old Kai was again a main attraction.

the long line to the partners, cooking breakfast for staff of Lauren Consie
the Filipino Contingent was first in line!
It was great that the office is situated in the city center, right on the street where the Stampede Parade passed. We had a great vantage point from the fourth floor! The parade must have been a mile-long with more than 50 organizations participating. The Filipino contingent was the first to roll! There were lots of horses, floats, clowns, cars, and ethnic groups, including the First Nation. 

most applauded
But the best applauded were Calgary’s emergency service organizations and the representatives of the towns affected by the floods that swept the lower sections of the city and threatened the cancellation of Stampede. It is but right. Seeing courage and cooperation amid any danger or calamity is most inspiring!
 More about Calgary the Stampede and mom and baby in the next two posts!


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