Monday, September 18, 2017


I tossed and turned all night thinking that I wanted to get up early Sunday so as to not miss a minute of my first day of Freedom 55. By the time morning came I was bleary eyed and dizzy from lack of sleep. Fitbit said 3 hours and it felt like it was right. Dooh - what a fine start to the day.

My first walk with the dogs was unremarkable, except that it was one of those perfect mornings with the sun just burning through the fog and not a breath of breeze. It seemed like the whole campground was in a deep slumber, even the pesky squirrels.

Once back at camp I dug out the day old Upper Canada bread and hove off a thick slice that I transformed from dry bread into eggy french toast. I would have preferred pancakes, but french toast is easy, plus I need to save room for the rest of the day's meals.

Hot cup of coffee and then we were ready for outing number 1: the flea market. Right away I found what I was looking for. Two small glass serving dishes that would fit in the toaster oven, perfect for a mound of potatoes out of the actifry. I'm using serving dishes more than I used to as some of the actifry meals are multi stage. I paid an astounding $5 for both (not each).

We returned back to the camper for another coffee, and another walking of the dogs. Then we were out the door for Upper Canada Village where we were meeting Trudie & Leo and Vashek & Marie for lunch. We had plenty of time to walk around the village fair before meeting up for our meal. I had Welsh Rarebit with mushrooms and cheddar cheese on thick UCV bread. Yum.

We returned back to the camper for another walking of the dogs and a nap for me. Later in the afternoon the big tree at the side of our site was casting the most delicious shade. I pulled my chair over and enjoyed the view of the water. Before long we fed the animals, then we were out the door for the Acapulco restaurant for supper. Trudie & Leo were already there and had decorated the table with birthday decor. The rest of the evening was spent talking and eating, talking and eating. Alicia (owner) brought over a tray of shrimp appetizers, then I had schnitzel, then birthday cake… I'm up a few pounds today.

I haven't mentioned that we were blessed with hot sun all day, as nice as any summer day we had this year.

The rest of my family was in Montreal, celebrating Olaf's birthday. We didn't feel we could go, especially with the heat. Neither leaving the dogs for several hours in the camper, nor bringing them with us in the truck, seemed like good ideas. We'll catch up with everyone some other day.

All in all it was a perfect day to turn 55.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

evening twilight fades

Fog hung like a shroud, obscuring the details of the landscape. It was early and only one lonely guy was stirring. I crunched along the gravel lane giving the dogs opportunity to stop when needed. Aside from my footsteps, there was a hush: no birds sang or crickets chirped. If I wasn’t so tired it would have been beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful the last few days have been glorious and today is shaping up to be the same. It has been hot with skies so clear they look unreal. This week of Indian Summer (can we still say that?) has been a blessing after such a crappy summer.

Did I write about Wednesday? Carm played golf and I played house in our little villetta. Thursday we did some shopping in the nearby town and then went to Upper Canada Village for a walk around. It was pleasantly quiet as we strolled up and down the dirt roads. The vegetable gardens are past their peak but we still got glimpses of goodness. We skipped having lunch there, instead coming back to camp for our healthy, low-cal meal. We had a good day eating wise (although the scale didn’t agree).

Friday Carm was up at the crack of dawn to meet his golfing friends at a far-away course. My treat was a visit from my Mom. We had a lovely day together (as we always do), and before you knew it Carm was back from the far reaches of golfdom and Mom was taking her leave. We couldn’t convince her to let us treat her to a supper at the Acapulco. The idea was in our heads though so we broke the diet (in a major way). It was the best schnitzel ever. We had fun visiting with Alicia after we’d finished eating and I joined her in the traditional tequila and lime. A slice of lime has never tasted better :-0

My heart is breaking though and occasional tears make tracks on my cheeks. The dogs are not the dogs they used to be. Even last year they were able to make it for an hour walk. This year even 15 or 20 minutes is too much for them, of course it’s been hot which doesn’t help. They aren’t even dragging me off my feet when a cheeky squirrel makes itself known. Spike has slowed down too. It is sad when the future seems much closer than you want it to.

“For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

each golden day

The music is playing over the camper’s surround sound system, except some of the speakers aren’t working - either they weren’t set up right, or the blueray is not setup to recognize them, or perhaps the music from my phone isn’t configured right. It doesn’t matter: there is music (I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away…)

My duster has been flying over every surface. A summer of inactivity followed by a bumpy ride to the campground which shook every dead insect and bit of dirt from the top of the slides has left us pretty dirty. For those not familiar with slides, they stick out (with their roofs) when we are parked, but come inside when we are driving so the roof is inside spewing detrus.

We haven’t been here for a year so it was a bit of homecoming. The pets were excited to be going camping - even Grace didn’t waste a second coming out of her cage to get into the carrier for the ride here.  

I wonder what the dogs think when we get going on a trip. Do they think we are going to Alberta again and that they’ll spend days in the backseat? Do they wish for that adventure? Or are they happy to go somewhere close and familiar? I suppose I might ask myself the same questions.

It’s been so long since I last wrote that I can’t remember much of what we did, and certainly not in chronological order.

Oh, here’s my song: the Eagles ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’. It’s a song about a relationship so all the words don’t jive, but I love the refrain. Peaceful easy feeling accurately describes those good moments of contentment that I treasure. They are sometimes elusive so I’m sure to make note of them when it happens. PEF is a feeling that I try to memorize so that I can reproduce it when I need to. Haven’t gotten that good yet but I keep trying.

Okay, back to the last week. Sunday, after a busy day of getting ready for camping, we took Pat to Sol de Acapulco for her birthday supper. Trudie & Leo were there too so it was a bit of a celebration with decorations and cake. Pat seemed to have a good time.

Saturday we went to the Russell Fair for the Craft Beer fest. We tried a few different kinds and tasted some that we’ll track down in the future. We met up with Pat and two of her friends so we sat with them. A young man came up to Carm at one point and introduced himself. He was the son of someone Carm worked with for decades. It was nice to see him and his 2 year old son, but sad to know that Leo had passed away 2 years ago from smoking related illness. He never got to see his grandkids...

Monday was a whirlwind day with haircuts and then a trip to the city to look for tummy tucking underwear for me and a grocery run to Costco. The camper fridge is full of healthy vegetables.

Now, here we are, in our usual spot that gets full on sun, living in our villetta with sun across the board on the weather forecast for the next week. It’s showing a high of 29C for my birthday :-) Wowzers!

Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.”
~Elizabeth Enright