Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lazy Days

I'll have to come clean… I did nothing on Wednesday and Thursday. The dogs got their business walk, but nothing else. I've sat around reading, but not much else.

Thursday afternoon I finished reading Philomena, a story about an American boy adopted from Ireland. It was a good story - I won't say any more than that in case you read it yourself or want to see the movie. Reading does suck up an enormous amount of time!

I did go back to Spike's blog and repost the entries so that Chapter 1 is the first one you see entering the blog. Unfortunately blogger doesn't have a sorting option… A make-work project…


Friday morning I got up off my a.. and took the dogs for a good long walk - 1hr 20min. They were flaked out for the day, and I had to resist climbing back into bed.

I thought that I'd take advantage of all these lazy days to write like crazy, but I seem to have lost my imagination and every word is difficult. Too much sleep? Too much beauty? Too much sun? I do have a file with story ideas, but none of them really catch me.

Just for fun I looked up flights to NZ for November… found a really good deal, but it isn't in the cards for another year or two. Although it has been almost 2 years since my last visit.

Friday after we had a visit from my Uncle Ken and his girlfriend Marilyn. The weather was perfect for sitting outside visiting, and even held out till past supper time. We had a lovely visit and enjoyed hearing Uncle Ken's stories of the past. All too soon it was getting dark and they were on their way.


Saturday was another lazy day with more swimming (huge waves!), and visiting with Bill and Brenda. Again, the day went by all too quickly. Less than a week left… The park is busy this weekend - I picked up 3 doggie doos on our campsite today - and no, they were not from our dogs. If there is one thing that makes me really mad it is people not picking up after their pets!!! If I were to catch the culprits I'd be tempted to drop it off on their camper step - and keep the bag…

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meeting New Friends

Another long, hot summer day was in the cards for us yesterday, but hey, I'm not complaining ;-) 


Sitting outside reading yesterday morning, I noticed that the elderly couple across the way was wrestling with miles of white water hose. It looked like they were planning on topping up their fresh water from the tap about 200' away. He has to sit down to catch his breath every minute or two, while she totters along in a very unbalanced way. I honestly don't know how they manage. But back to yesterday - I obviously couldn't sit comfortably, while they struggled, so I called Carm and we went over to help. Apparently they've been coming here from Virginia Beach for over 20 years - she has cousins in the area. I'd be willing to bet that unhappy conversations about their way of life are happening in their home.



We had arranged with Brenda and Bill to meet here for the afternoon. Icy margaritas kept us cool in the hot afternoon and conversation flowed. It wasn't long though before the glittering water tempted us in for a swim. The water has warmed up so much since the weather turned a few days ago. There was no icy grip, but a comfortable caress. We stayed in for ages, playing like children.


Coming up the path from the water, we passed between our camper and the one behind us. John and Diane were sitting outside so we called over to them to join us for a while. Doffing my wet suit, I made some snacks and got ready to welcome our new guests. We'd talked to them on the road, but not had a real chance to get to know them.

As so often happens at our house, conversation turned to politics and things of that nature. Dianne and I were off to the side, making it easy to keep out of politics, and into a more personal conversation. I'm not sure how it came up, but I mentioned that I was bipolar, and she immediately said that her brother had been. She asked me some questions about what living with bp was like, and then I tentatively asked her about her brother. Yes, he had been bipolar, but that's not what took his like too early. He had been murdered while trying to stop someone from stealing a car. The thug had put a screwdriver through the side of his head.  Eventually the perp had been caught and is now in jail. I didn't get the feeling that his incarceration had put any closure to her brothers story. I feel that a violent death, murder, must be very difficult to move on from. Our conversation moved into other, more happy areas, but I could still sense a sadness about her. It seemed also, that she had taken a terrible event and instead of becoming bitter, has instead embraced life and pursues happiness. I know my last two statements oppose each other, but I think people are complicated enough to do both.

I think it was nearing 8pm before we started with our planned supper - hamburgers for Bill and Brenda, black-eye pea burgers for Carm and I; plus an array of salads. More laughs over the dinner table. My head hit the pillow pretty heavily after such a long day.

Today started off beautifully, but by mid afternoon the wind was blowing so hard that even Grace was happy to come inside. And by 3:30 we had a somewhat of a cloud cover.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Sipping the Sunset


Today it was 1/2 an hour earlier than yesterday when the dogs and I made our journey,  too early for the sun to stream down through the trees. It was damp. The cold night had coaxed droplets of water from the air, covering everything in a thick dew. The first part of our trip took us down the same roads as yesterday morning, ending up at the shore of the lake. The water was still, with slight ripples in the silken surface. I fumbled with my camera, dogs leashes looped over a picnic table bench, and played with taking photos into the sun.  The occasional water bird caught my attention.


We meandered down the shore a bit, enjoying the peace of the liquid prairie, before turning back. Instead of retracing our steps, we kept to the lighthouse road. As we passed through a natural meadow, 2 deer stared at us, before bounding into the woods. We kept to the road, but stepped into that same wood - deep and dark with barely a sunbeam to brighten it. Tall trees and a thick carpet of needles deadened any sound.

We kept to our route and came out of the woods at the entrance to the marsh viewing platform. From there we could see a wide expanse of marsh leading out into Presqu'ile Bay. It was pretty, but if I'd been there an hour earlier the sun would have been coming up over the misty view.


The start to the day couldn't have been much nicer. Which bookends nicely with the end of yesterday.

We'd been cooling a bottle of bubbles in the fridge for the last new days, waiting for the perfect time to open it. The end of a wonderful summery day seemed to be a fitting time. It was also nice enough to eat outside - a rarity this summer. We balanced plates overflowing with pasta and vegetables, sliced cucumber, glasses right out of the freezer, and the icy bottle out to the picnic table. We dined overlooking the lake, with its edges gradually turning to a pale pink and then darker blue. The chilled glasses of pink champagne looked like we had captured the sunset with our glasses and were drinking down the rest of the day. We pulled our chairs around to the edge of the bluff and sat, sipping our sunsets until it was nearly dark.


Then of course, reality kicked in and we had to wash dishes (and break one), clean Grace's cage, and other mundane chores that sort of broke the spell.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paradise Regained


Early morning sun dappled the road as we strode out on our walk. It was peaceful, the only sounds to be heard were the click of dog nails on the asphalt, and an occasional chippie. The dogs and I were up early again - I wanted to get our walk done before the other campers woke up. The campground is full to the brim this weekend, and with hundreds of bikes and pedestrians about it is more peaceful to walk early. Part of our trek was through a towering forest with leaves that filtered the bright sun; I stopped and gathered up the dogs while I juggled my camera out of its bag. I wanted to capture the moment to revisit sometime during the long winter that is surely on its way.


Our turn around point was just outside the campsite area, and into the day use part of the park. That’s where we normally do our walk, parking at one end, and walking down the edge of the lake to the other end and back. Today though, it was just a brief resting point beside the quiet water, before heading back into the trees.


Since this is a provincial park, there are no water taps at each site, so today was the day that Carm had to heft 30 gallons of water to refresh our tank. It was no mean feat carrying all that water and then balancing the heavy 6 gallon (US) jug on his head. The water inlet is high on this trailer - someday a small pump will be needed to do the transfer, but for now Carm is my strongman.


Sparkling water tempted us into our bathing suits and down into the lake. The cool caress of the water soon had us refreshed and ready for some reading.  Luckily we had taken our swim when we did as hoards of kids from the trailer next door ran screaming into the water while the water was still drying on our skin. I counted 9 small kids. They seemed to have great fun, along with their barking dog who tried to visit with our dogs a few times (and bark at them). My pack had to spend some time inside as a dog barking at them from just the other side of the fence was too much.

It was a nice day though, so please don't think I'm complaining! Besides which, the noisy part lasted less than an hour. In fact, I wrote much of this post with the glitter of water catching my eye, and the gentle sound of waves lapping at the stones along the shore. 

A true sign of a nice day is when Kabira wants to come outside! She’s normally much happier in her cosy bed without flies bothering her.


Presqu’ile: When it is nice it is very very nice, but when it is bad it is horrid!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today’s Laundry for Tomorrow’s Sun

I'm glad I took advantage of every last minute of yesterday's sun - today it is grey and cool, with a slight breeze. I was up at 6:30 (bother), so decided to take the dogs for a long walk. We were out close for an hour, and explored a new route. I like walking at that time of day - it is peaceful with just the odd chippie for distraction.

The rolling waves of cool water beckoned to me when I got back, but since Carm was still asleep I decided to play it safe (I have a very strong safety gene thanks to my dad!). So I went back to bed, hoping for a bit more sleep, and that I'd wake up to sun. The sleep happened, but not the sun.


There was a sailboat race out on the lake this afternoon. It was too far for me get a good look (I did take photos though, just in case), but close enough to inspire me to get back to the story I've been writing about a sailing race our family participated in oh, so many years ago.


Which brings me to now - we decided that since the next few days are supposed to be hot and sunny (fingers crossed/not betting on it), we'd get the laundry done. We stuffed all our clothes and sheets into Mega Load, a giant machine that dominates the row of little white washers, and now I wait, watching the clothes create a moving Picasso painting in the porthole.


Last night we treated ourselves to ribs at the local sports bar. They weren't fall off the bone tender, but my preferred style - rip the meat off the bone with your teeth. The slightly smoky meat wasn't overwhelmed by bbq sauce, just nicely brushed. Still got sticky fingers though! Stuffed like pigs, we managed to save some 1/2 eaten ribs and a few fries for Grace, who was much appreciative. She's a carnivore too ;-)


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. ~Pablo Picasso

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weather report - long and boring

Grace has been keeping us amused during these long, crummy weather days. Recently she has made up a new nickname for Kabira, whose name she knows well. Kabirdy, Kabirdy, Kabirdy is a constant chorus.

Wednesday morning, the dogs gnawed on bones, while we watched, bundled in blankets and sweaters. Although it wasn't very windy out, with the temp around 23C, it didn't take much breeze to make us freeze. Eventually a light rain drove us inside for the rest of the day. We've only had one hot day since arriving 10 nights ago, and I don't see any in the forecast. This has been a terrible summer!

I did a big bone head Wednesday - we were heading out for the lighthouse walk, which means getting into the truck, when I stupidly decided to clip dog nails. Spike worked out okay, but then I cut two of Bella's too short, causing them to bleed, and bleed, and bleed. No walk for us, and even in the evening there were intermittent spots of blood. Poor dear.

Wednesday I posted the last episode of Spike's Alberta Adventure. One of these days when I'm bored, I'll edit the date in all of the posts so that they display first to last, rather than last to first.

The weather on Thursday didn't look like it would be much better, but turned out to be pretty much okay. We went for a long walk, tripped to the grocery store, then spent the afternoon with friends that we made here 2 years ago. It is a funny thing about meeting people and getting to know them for a brief period, then years later when you see them again it is as if you've known them for ages. Time sometimes plays weird tricks on the brain!


Drum roll…. it is Friday and there is Sun! I've been in swimming twice already (and may go for a third time later).

I thought I would download photos from my camera and do a proper post, but I can't drag myself inside to do it. Can't waste a moment of summer…

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Prairie – Story #5

The horse shifted underneath him as he gazed across the natural prairie grassland. About half of his land remained untouched by the plough and he treasured every acre as if it were priceless a work of art. Behind him vast fields of wheat rolled like waves in the wind, the cultivated order a contrast to the wild grasses. He knew every inch of the land as well as he knew himself.

From his perch he could see low rolling hills, hiding places for the wild creatures that made the grasslands their home. Deer, elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, badgers, and many types of birds populated the area; occasionally a wolf would pass through. His cattle also used the hills for shelter, but today they were out in the open flatland near the slough. He smiled to see the young calves by their mothers side; the bull stood apart from the herd, easily distinguished by his great size.

He nudged his horse to a walk, steering it away from the small patch of cactus at his feet. The diversity of plant life never failed to astound him: cactus, sage with its fragrant leaves, wild roses with pink blossoms, numerous kinds of grasses, and an astonishing variety of wild flowers. He could never understand the city people who found the prairies boring. To him they were more beautiful than life itself.

Some days the wind would tear at him with the ferocity of a thousand tigers, but today there was just a soft breeze, scented with the perfume of sage and a thousand flowers.

He and his horse slowly made their way south, the horse not needing any guidance from his rider, it knew the frequently travelled trail well. When they reached the bottom of the hill, the tallest on his farm, the man dismounted and dropped the reins, sure that his mount wouldn't go far. He wanted to walk to the top himself, savouring each moment. With each sure step, more of the land surrounding him became visible; he loved the slow reveal.

When he reached the top, he walked over to the ancient stone circle that was almost overgrown with short prairie grasses. Carefully he walked around it, imagining himself as the long ago shaman that once worshiped there. When he came to a break in the stones, he stepped through the entrance, into the centre of the circle. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the aromas of sage and grasses filling his lungs with life giving air. The sun shone strongly on his shoulders, a giver of life as well. Opening his eyes and looking out over the wild landscape he felt himself become one with the land. No church service would ever compete with the spiritual experience he was immersed in. He felt weak at the knee for a moment as the feelings washed over him.

A loud squeak brought him out of his reverie. With shock he saw that he was sitting in a wheel chair, in a garden. He looked up at a face smiling down at him; there was something familiar about the younger man, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

Confused, he shut his eyes and retreated back to the grasslands where his spirit was free and his legs were strong.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sailing into a New Life

The sight of a sailboat floating in the misty sunrise greeted me this morning. It inspired me to get the dogs out of bed to take them for a long walk. I figured at that time of the morning there would be fewer dogs (wrong), and few bicycles (right).


Yesterday afternoon I noticed a gaggle of kids walking down the road, accompanied by two women in burkas, without covered faces. They were encouraging the kids to stay off the road and had made up a cute song to remind them. Suddenly a little dog ran out at them, causing a fright for a few of the kids. The women calmed them down and told them there was no harm, and then got them to stay on the dogs side of the road. When the kids asked why, the woman told them that the dogs parents wouldn't want it on the road either. Their garb seemed foreign, but their attitudes were Canadian.

This morning a young girl/woman (I couldn't tell age), passed me on a bicycle; she was wearing the full, face covering head dress, yet she was riding a bicycle. I thought she was well on her way to becoming Canadian as well.

We ran some errands in the morning (some having to do with poop bags), then finally it was time to get outside. Grace strutted around her outside cage, pleased to have a bit of wind ruffling her feathers. The dogs raced out trying to get a spot on the cushion. Bella lost. The waves were crashing again, making enough white noise to drive me out of my head!


I've figured out how to stay outside when it is too windy for the awning, and too cold to stay in the shade anyway - I position my chair with its back towards the sun and stretch my legs out in front of me. Enough sun to keep me warm, but none on my face. 'Course this means giving up the good view. But I can still hear the view!


"He sat heavily on the picnic table bench, head bent. The decision was clear, they wouldn't be able to do this anymore. It had taken him several attempts to get into the campsite, including a trip around the campground to realign the huge camper. Backing up seemed so much more difficult than it had been. He thought about his wife and how unsteady she was on her feet. She was adamant that they not give it all up, but he was just waiting for her to take a tumble on the rough campsite. Even getting in and out of the truck was difficult for them both. They had always said that sooner or later they'd sell the camper - now it seemed that the time had come."

In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. ~ Bill Clinton

Monday, August 18, 2014

A break in the weather


I'm sitting outside with the sun warming my legs, and the sound of water lapping up the shore. There is no wind, just a slight breeze, and it is reasonably quiet. A lovely Monday morning, such a contrast to the last 6 days!


Friday we went for a drive, westward, along the shore of Lake Ontario. It was nice to be in the truck, sheltered from the wind and cold, and nice to get out of the camper for a few hours. Almost as soon as we got back to the camp it started raining again - what crazy August weather. I feel like I've woken up from a coma and have found myself in October…


Saturday was "house" cleaning day - a whirlwind of washing and wiping got us ready for our weekend guest. Deirdre arrived in good time, but unfortunately for her, soon after her arrival it started raining, and continued raining until Sunday morning. We were cosy inside with the fireplace burning. Deirdre is a die hard tenter, but I think she enjoyed luxury camping for a night!


We watched 'Saving Mr. Banks', which I thought was an excellent movie with good acting. Being a Disney movie there were messages and lessons in nearly every scene, but the one that particularly struck me was Mr. Disney talking about how it should be the goal of storytellers to bring hope. I thought back to the stories that I've written so far, and for the most part they have been hopeless. While hopeless makes for a more interesting ending (I think), perhaps I can re-write some… But then again I'm not Mr. Disney…


Sunday was not too bad so after going out for breakfast, we bundled up under blankets and enjoyed the out of doors as best we could. The day flashed by - it wasn't long before supper was done and Deirdre was on her way. It was a good visit!




Today we got pumped out, which if you are an RV'er staying at a non-full-service site for longer than a week you will know our excitement to have the honey wagon visit, rather than packing everything up and going to the dump station ourselves!

(p.s. still got that peaceful, easy feeling!)

“That’s what story tellers do.  We restore order to imagination.  We bring hope.” ~Saving Mr. Banks

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Canadian, eh!

Tuesday we huddled inside the camper for the morning, sheltered from the wind and rain. By noon the rain had let up, so we headed into Brighton for some groceries… and lunch at Captain George's, the local fish and chips eatery. We had our monthly fat intake quota in one meal, and I'm pretty sure we'll be back there at least one more time on this trip. Good though.

There are two decent grocery stores in town, including a No Frills with great prices and selection. Hard to do much grocery shopping after have stuffed ourselves silly on fish and french fries, but I did pick up Rachel's buttertarts, and hotdogs… oh my, we'd better do some serious walking... Presqu'ile is the only place we eat hotdogs, for some reason they taste better here.

By the time we got back, the wind had died down somewhat and there were even a few blue spots in the sky. We put away the groceries and leashed up the dogs for a walk. They were happy to be out, and so were we!


I had made up my mind to go swimming today - no matter what. So, as soon as the dogs were back in the trailer, I got into my suit and walked down to the shore. Waves crashed, splashing me with cold water. But I was determined, so true to my Canadian/Norwegian heritage, I waded in. I didn't go in very deep, not even hip level, and just crouched down and let the waves crash over my head. I think the people walking by thought I was crazy, and I agree - good crazy!


Wednesday the weather wasn't much better, although thankfully we didn't get the torrents of rain that were forecast. I think the weather skirted around us, probably blown north from the wicked winds that pummelled us. We went for a long walk, some of which was along the shore, and some sheltered from the winds by trees. It is a much different camping experience inland… There was no swimming yesterday - not only were the waves vicious, they had scoured the bottom of the lake and were green with algae - yuck. No one on the lakeshore sites were sitting outside, and we didn't either. It is days like these that make us grateful for space to move in the trailer.


Thursday was mostly overcast. First thing in the morning I took the dogs out for 20-30 minutes of walk. We were all happy to get back to the camper where Carm had the little fireplace burning - Kabira was lying in front of the fire as soon as she had her breakfast.

Grey skies, cold temps, chance of rain and moderate winds prompted us to go for a drive. We all piled into the truck and headed for Trenton… the long way through Belleville. Once we got to Trenton we stopped at the used bookstore, and then headed for the dog park. Bella and Spike were excited to be there - Kabira no so much. We picked up some groceries (I don't know why we needed anything at the grocery store - we've been eating out constantly…). We got everything unloaded from the truck and had just shut the camper door when the rain started. Good timing!
Tea in front of the fire rounded off our afternoon. Decadent!

The weather is supposed to get back to summer Friday or Saturday…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Green Fields – story #4

The heavy chain clanged as he dragged himself out from beneath the shed. He hoped that the man was coming to feed him; it had been a couple of days since he last ate and his water was bowl was full of scum. His hopes dropped when he saw the man's hands were empty, but glimmered when a short length of rope was taken from the man's pocket. They were going somewhere! Thinking that it might be that place in the country that the man had taken him a long time ago, he jumped in anticipation. He had run in the green grass and then swam in the cool lake. A quick boot in the side subdued his enthusiasm, but a small flint of hope remained.

The man shoved him into the car, barely letting him clear the door before slamming it behind him. It hadn't always been like this. When he was just a puppy the whole family had showered attention on him, but then he had chewed up a shoe, and one of the children's toys; a chain and corner of the shed became his new home. He had held out hope for years, but now the sight of his family just triggered a defensive growl.

They drove for a while, and when they stopped he knew it was not the fresh scent of the country that he smelled, instead the place was ripe with the smell of fear. Dragged out of the car and kicked into a small cage, he knew terror like he had never known before. The man gave a last rattle to the cage door to make sure it was shut and then drove away, leaving him alone with only the company of other terrified creatures.

All night he shivered, more from fear than the cold; his dull black coat while short, had been keeping him warm for years. After the sun had been up for a while, a woman came out and stood in front of his cage. The soft words she spoke to him were the sweetest sound he could remember hearing, but fear made him growl a soft warning at her. She opened the cage and reached inside; his instincts told him to bite, but the calming sound of her voice gave him pause long enough for her to gently slip a leash over his head. With a quiet tug he was out of the cage and walking into a building. There were other dogs barking, some seemed frightened, but others were happy to see the woman.

Some other people came into the room and gently patted his head. He expected to be kicked and growled in defense. The people talked for a while then lead him into another, larger cage. It had a soft blanket and a bowl of food and fresh water. Confused, he looked at the woman and could see that she was smiling.

Two days passed, with food and water, blankets and warmth, smiles and soft pets. He still couldn't help himself, all those years of abuse made him distrustful. He was starting to trust her though.

When she reached in with the leash again, he stood quietly while she put it on; he felt that she meant no harm.  She walked him to another room, where she and another woman helped him up onto a table and got him to lie down. As she spoke to the other person, she gently stroked his side as he tried to relax.  He felt a small jab and felt himself starting to feel sleepy. As the bright white light above him started fading, he looked into the woman's eyes and wondered why she was crying.

Green fields surrounded him, a lake glittered in the distance. Suddenly, he felt himself free and he ran like the wind.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Bird Were Flying Backwards

The weather today (Tuesday) is wild. The wind started around midnight - weather network says gusts of 37km per hour, but I'm thinking that right on the lake it might higher. The rain didn't start until 2am and has been intermittent.

We've been watching the cormorants trying to fly into the wind on their search for food - they are flying backward at times. Poor things just trying to get a meal.


The camper has been shaking like a carnival ride - it is a little disconcerting thinking about the two skinny little front legs holding us up.

To close off the bottom of the camper we have sheets of white coroplast (plastic corrugated "cardboard") - it is pretty tough stuff, but I'm not sure it will hold up to this stress.

Getting the dogs outside this morning was an adventure. Kabira had to be literally dragged out, Bella and Spike were not much keener. I needed help from Carm to work the door and the dogs. The wind was blowing the rain straight into the camper at a ferocious rate - the walls had to be dried! I will admit to breaking my rule about no peeing on a campsite - with the rain coming sideways at us there was no way we were walking the 2 or 3 minutes to the parking lot!

Luckily an hour later the rain let up for long enough to do the business walk; just as the dogs got back inside the rain started. Good timing!

We've experienced this weather at Presqu'ile almost every visit so know what to expect and put everything that we could away. Others were  not so lucky. I noticed a few tents coming into a site a few down from us. At 3am last night I could see flashlights madly flashing around their site. This morning their tents were gone, so I suspect the people spent the night in their car. The neighbours on our door side left their screen tent up - it is now in tatters.

Wild weather!

There was sad news today about Robin Williams. The news hasn’t mentioned that he was bipolar, but sources such as the magazine BPHope have claimed he was. Most people don’t know that the suicide rate for those affected by bipolar is about 20%. I think some good will come of his death as talk about depression may now become mainstream.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Peaceful Easy Feeling

I have a few things to post about today, but first we'll go back to Saturday night, my niece Laura's wedding. As everyone expected, she made a beautiful bride. Her exotic beauty was only enhanced by the fairy tale dress with layer upon layer of tulle. Gorgeous! The wedding was fun, we got up and danced to many a tune, but sadly only one was a clear Rumba - we did do a few fancy moves on the dance floor... the rest of the dancing was weave and grind, which is okay by me as I love to do both.


I love watching people on the dance floor: some people only sway a little side to side, seemingly worried about messing their hair or dress; some go into their own little world and move and grove by themselves; and then there are those like me that let the music flow through their bodies, the song almost visceral. They are the fun people to watch as their love of the groove is catching.


Now on to Sunday, the start of our summer vacation. We got underway at 11am, right on schedule. The drive was uneventful (thankfully given all the trouble on the 401 of late), and we arrived at the park just past 3pm. We had tanks to dump and water to fill so it was another 1/2 hour at least before we got to our site. Ahhhh.... bliss. We puttered around, taking ages to get set up, but finally we were. A quick walk for the dogs, and then we went directly into to the water. Cold, with warm patches. Oh, it felt so good to wade my hot body into that cool water. There is nothing like the feeling of cool/cold water flowing over my head.


After I was cool, I sat on one of the big stones by the waters edge and watched Carm talk with other swimmers, and watched the swans fly overhead, and looked at the way the horizon blended into the water. It was hard to tell exactly where the water turned to sky. The cormorants sometimes looked as if they were flying in the water, or diving into the sky. There was no wind to speak of so the water was gently lapping at the stones on the waters edge. The vast expanse of water lay in front of me, almost like a prairie vista. All of this was enhanced by the knowledge that we'll be here a few weeks to. None of our local camping rivals this beauty. I wish you were all here to experience it. It was wonderful. Immediately the line from the Eagles song came to my head "I get a peaceful easy feeling". That's what I had, and that's what I still have.


I came back to shore and got supper ready - we ate, sitting side by side on the picnic table, overlooking the lake, the birds, and the amazing expanse of water and sky, sipping champagne, listening to the happy noises around us. Neither words nor photos can capture the feeling.


I had forgotten how wonderful this place is. Walking down to the water from our site, and wading out into the cool water- heaven. There are some Queen Anne's lace (my favourite wild flower), just outside of our fence, between us and the water. They are silhouetted against the sky/water - I'll probably take dozens of photos of them over the next few weeks.

As the evening progressed, we watched the cormorants fly back to Gull Island. Then the giant moon started rising. Slow fireworks.



5:45 am Monday

I've been awake since 4 - Bella had to go outside and I haven't been able to get back to sleep. I've been outside,  watching the giant moon reflect on the rather still water. I've been almost lulled to sleep by the sound of the water caressing the shore. Now I can see the beginnings of pink in the sky outside the window.

'cause I get a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing...
I'm already standing...
Yes, I'm already standing on the ground Oh, oh

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Embrace – story #3

Here’s my third try at writing a “short story”. This one is a bit sappy… I hope you enjoy it anyway.  I just posted chapter 8 of Spike’s story over on his blog. He finally gets to Alberta!



I couldn't help but watch them; I had been outside enjoying the day when they pulled up in their beat up car and started setting up camp. They were obviously in the mad flush of initial attraction, perhaps even newly in love. As they went about setting up their camp, every few minutes they would stop what they were doing to embrace and kiss. They seemed to have a visceral need to touch each other, perhaps to confirm that they weren't figments in each others imagination. The flames of passion burnt brightly in them.

Tent erected, they both slipped inside. I smiled, as I'd been there before. There was something about the warm, cocooning embrace of a tent... When they emerged, smiling shyly at each other, they started chopping wood for the fire. She tried banging the axe ineffectually at some wood, after letting her try for a minute or two, he took over, eager for her to know he was capable of taking care of her; he could split wood with the axe and build a warming fire.  She watched him for a moment, pleased that he did not mock her, then busied herself around the site preparing a meal, falling back into traditional roles.

Later, with their chairs side by side, and holding hands in front of the brightly burning fire, I wondered if they would be sitting like that in 25 years, the bright flames spent, smoldering coals of enduring love in its place. Or maybe they wouldn't be holding hands, but would have a comfortable blanket of time about their shoulders.

Wistfully, I remembered those heady days of courtship, that feeling in my stomach from the butterflies of uncertainty. I remembered constantly thinking about him, obsessed, unable to steer my thoughts elsewhere. I thought of our relationship today and yearned for a return to long gone passionate days. I felt that I was missing something. I wondered if our easy days were just indifference disguised. I considered our long periods of silence and wondered if that was boredom. But as I thought about it, I came to appreciate what is now. For isn't some of the passion of first love fear of rejection as you carefully reveal more of yourself? Isn't physical passion the salve to learning sometimes uncomfortable truths.

That evening, sitting next to our own fire, I reached out my hand, knowing that it would be held, that he was not a figment of my imagination, but a solid, dependable, presence. I basked not in a fire burning bright, but in the eternal smouldering coals that are a comfortable union of trust, acceptance and love. The comfortable silence that only comes from knowing each other completely sat easily on my shoulders. Metaphorically, we are in each others embrace for a lifetime.  Smiling contentedly to myself, I crossed my fingers for that young couple.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Smile and a Friendly Word

On our way back from picking up dog food Saturday, we stopped at a light in the down trodden part of town, right beside a homeless shelter. A man, perhaps in his 50s or 60s, approached our car, cup in his outstretched hand. We grabbed a handful of change for him and after a friendly thank you, he cheerily continued on his way. I was left pondering his circumstance and how he might have ended up there. Was it substance abuse or mental illness that landed him in such dire straits? Or maybe only a series of bad luck, maybe a job layoff, a marriage breakdown, and no alternatives. How many twists of fate would it take for any of us to end up in the same circumstances, having to beg for our next cup of joe? Be kind.

After we had the dog food packed into the freezer, we got in the car again, this time in a different direction. Our destination was a liquidation warehouse that deals with Costco and other store returns and over stock. As luck would have it, all t-shirts and jeans were $5, so I stocked up on both. Afterwards we stopped at the little local dive restaurant for some lunch. We both had Greek gyros with fries - but the point of this story is the service. It was fantastic. The waitress had glasses of water tinkling with ice cubes for us almost before we sat down. She brought over menus and was back to take our orders the instant we had decided. The food was good, and at a good price too. As we were nearing the end of our meal she came over again, this time with a big pitcher of icy water to refill our glasses. All with a smile and friendly word. Now that's good service!

After all that you wouldn't think there would be time for the swing, but there was :-)


I thought that this is where my post would end... but Sunday morning Trudie called to see if I wanted to go 'junking'. Since Carm was out for the day I jumped at the chance to get out of the house. First stop was the gas station. As we pulled in I noticed a bright red pickup truck already at the pumps. It wouldn't be my choice of colour, but it was eye catching. They finished first, and as he started pulling away I noticed a pair of handcuffs hanging from the rear view mirror. I was curious as to what sort of person would choose such a decoration, and thought maybe they were just being playful or wacky. But as the truck passed me, the driver turned and we locked eyes... a chill passed over me. With a scowl and rather mean looking face, the ornament seemed suddenly more sinister. Maybe I just have a wild imagination.

After some more driving (it seemed like forever), we arrived at our destination - a flea market in Smiths Falls. We started outside... I could hardly believe how much junk could be strewn around a yard. It was overwhelming. Luckily I had my camera with me so I could get a few photos.


As I was focusing in for one shot, right there in my viewfinder was the small vacuum hose that I'd been wanting! In the trailer there are a few carpeted steps right by the door - because of their location they collect a lot of dirt and leaves, etc. and since the central vac outlet is right there I figured a short length of hose, one that could be stored right in the step, would save me hauling out the whole shebang for quick touch-ups. So there it was! I was happy.


We finished 'browsing' outside and headed into the building. I was amazed to see that it was a giant building FULL of junk. I mean, FULL.It was all piled together in a massive jumble. I couldn't even calculate how many homes this stuff would have come out of, surely it was hundreds.  Anyway, we poked around for a while - I found a few more little things, and then it was time to negotiate. Since Trudie is a pro I let her do her magic, so spent hardly anything.

While Trudie finished checking out the rest of the room we were in, I chatted with the owner. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, he ask me if I was married, and seemed disappointed that I was (it happens so rarely now - I am easily chuffed with a slight flirtation, even with the junk man!). Blah, blah... he had mentioned that he was Greek, so I told him about a friend of mine - who turned out to be his cousin. It truly is a small world.

Even once we got home, my day wasn't over. We headed into town for a nice supper with my parents, brother Graham, his kids, and cousin Tanner. A relaxing end to an interesting day.

Oh, I’ve posted another few chapters of Spike’s book – I’m up to chapter 7.

Chapter 1; Chapter 2; Chapter 3; Chapter 4; Chapter 5; Chapter 6; Chapter 7

Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling. ~k.d. lang