Thursday, July 30, 2015

Splish splash

It calls for bubbles/champagne/sparkling wine - whatever the term - today is a day to celebrate.

The alarm blurted music again today, although an hour later than Tuesday. Another exciting day was planned! Our pool was finally going to be fixed with a new liner. It has been a year or maybe two since the last time we swam, and with the weather being so hot this month the fix is way overdue.

The installers were here at 8:30 but had to wait half an hour for the rain to ease up just a bit. No worries though as they knew they wouldn't melt if they got wet so got to work, with Carm following them like a pesky child, chattering non-stop (he says he helped them but I'm not so sure). The installer has two men in their early 20s as helpers - I couldn't help but notice that they were on their phones every chance they got. Is their generation going to able to use their own minds for thinking and entertainment?

The most excellent thing about the install is the water that's been trucked in. We thought we would be filling from the well (50F) which would: take days; and, be bloody cold for weeks! This water is 82F which is perfect for swimming. Hurray!

After the rain cleared up it turned into a perfect swimming day - what luck! Icy virgin mojitos clinked in frosty glasses as we relaxed on the swing, dipping ourselves into the refreshing water of the pool when it got too hot. Life is rough, eh! Bobbing around in the cool water on a warm evening, with glasses of icy bubbles in our hands is fantastic (that part may not actually happen but it is fun to think it might).

Yesterday, with the humidex at 42C, we stayed inside for the early part of the day until it was time to go to town where we were treated to a lovely supper at the Royal Oak by Jo Ellen and Don. It was good to see them again so soon, I hope that our next visit won't be too long from now. (good luck Jo)

Summer was a book of hope. That's why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe. ~Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It was like we were in Grade 13 again

The alarm blurted music at 7am yesterday. We rarely set it at all, but yesterday was special: I was meeting high school buddies Jennifer and June! June lives in Europe, and while Jennifer is only an hours drive away we never seem to make the time to get together.

By 8am I was ready for my cross-country drive to Jennifer's Hunting and Fishing store in Richmond, just an hour away. I had the gps set, a full tank of gas, and a few bottles of water. I was ready for some fun!

I met up with Jennifer and got a tour of her store - guns, bows, camouflage clothes, and all the paraphernalia that goes with hunting. It was an unlikely sight - in high school Jenn was more interested in plush animals than dead ones. It is a testament to the depth of her love for her husband Rob. I am happy to see her thriving.

I transferred my stuff (including my camera which never made it out if its bag - dooh) from the car to her funky truck, wrapped in hunting images - and we headed off to meet June. We gabbed the whole way making the hour long drive seem like minutes. We had a lot of catching up to do!

When we got to the allotted meeting spot we sat down to wait... and wait... at one point I joked that June was probably at the other end of the building... we waited some more... and finally there was June, looking just like herself and not a moment older than she was 8 years ago. And as you may have already guessed - she WAS waiting at the other end of the building!!!

We laughed the first of many laughs and the afternoon passed all too quickly. We shopped for a bit, had lunch and copious glasses of lemonade (it was 30+C), walked to the lake and watched boats go through the locks, and talked and talked.


June's father set me on my career path in 1981 (I wrote about him in "Important People", one of my WYL musings) - he was there for a moment and I was happy to have a chance to say hello.

Many years have passed since our high school days, but we are essentially the same people as we were back then. Our values haven't changed, and the issues that we each struggle with are the same, however, we are wiser and don't stress about our imperfections as much. We have always accepted each other for who we are, but now I feel that we also accept ourselves. I guess age will do that to you!

To say we haven't changed isn't to say we haven't grown. I can't speak for Jennifer and June, but I am more self aware and understand better what is important in life. However, the value I put on honesty, kindness, open-mindedness and tolerance are much the same as when I was a teenager.

You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. ~A.A. Milne

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blessed Breeze

I wonder if this is what it is like in the south? Hot and humid, like an oven full of southern biscuits, steam releasing from the milky dough. It is a day for cool lemonade and icy mint mojitos (virgin for me please). It is definitely a day for the pool that sits forlorn and empty, waiting for a new liner and sparking fresh water. The stock tank dunking pool is a far second.

 I've made a few forays outside, but I don't usually last long - not as long as Carm did when he cut the back grass. I would have fainted but he soldiered on, his mind braced against the burning sun.

Grace is outside. She seems happy as I hear her cheerful whistles and chatter. "Are you outside?" she asked me as I took her out this morning. There is a large bowl of cool water in her cage, a refreshing wading tub if she desires.

Braving the heat for a moment, I walked around the front yard with my camera capturing photos of the garden. While not spectacular (we aren't avid gardeners), our little plot has the most colour and bloom that it ever has.

Sunday afternoon we met my aunt Kari and others at the St. Albert cheese factory for a poutine fest. ummm ummm good (but oh so bad). I can't believe I ate most of it. Actually, yes I can as I still feel its weight in my belly! It was a good chance to catch up with everyone so it was worth the sacrifice ;-)

Thank goodness for air conditioning! Speaking of which (strange segue but the water from our cooling system empties into the pond) there were 4 otters eating frogs in the pond yesterday. Pesky creatures!

I think there is a cocktail shaker with my name on it ready to make a summer refreshment: 1/4 to 1/2 lime to taste, 10 leaves mint, 1 tsp sugar, and ounce or two of coconut water.  Muddle then add ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass and top with sparkling water. It is like dangling your legs in a lake.

Thankfulness opens the door and ushers in peace and joy like a blessed breeze on a hot and humid Louisiana summer day. 
~David P. Ingerson

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Summer Afternoon on the Swing

The swing gently swings, lulling me, counteracting the two cups of coffee I just had. Stress and anxiety drain from my limbs. The slight breeze, warmed by the hot summer sun and softened by humidity, feels like silk on my bare arms and legs. A chorus is sung by the trees whispering to each other, leaves stirred by the movement of the air. Birdsong is the melody.

A huge beetle, almost as big as a kiwi (or so it seems), buzzing loudly and flying heavy and slow, takes a run at my head, causing me to duck and run. It keeps coming back. This time I scream and run inside for Carm. I'm all for live and let live, until my head is the target. This B52 wasn't going to ruin my day.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Lulled.

The barn, clad in tarnished sterling silver with a brightly polished roof, sits on the left edge of my view down to the river and beyond. I can't see the water, but know its course from the trees along its edge. There are two small hills framing my sightline to the river. We call the closest one 'lookout'. From its crest we can see the creek and our bottom land. The other is 'homestead', named for the broken down stone foundation that litters the crown. Before we built the house we would picnic there. Now it is overgrown with noxious weeds.

The old sand ring sits between the swing and the barn, overgrown with grass, burrs, and pretty yellow flowers, some Queen Anne's lace off to one side. The silvered cedar fence posts have started to lean. It has been several years since they contained the herd of golden horses.

Summer. Bliss.

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  ~Henry James

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oh oh oh its magic you know...

Technology is wonderful! A thumb-sized bluetooth receiver can turn a regular stereo - house, car, you name it - into remote speakers for my tablet. I thought of buying portable bluetooth speakers, but since I already have a stereo in the house, and one in the camper, not to mention 2 regular portable speakers, I couldn't justify it. It would be one more thing cluttering my space. I knew there had to be an answer and sure enough there was. Amazon had the answer - I just had to chose the one that best meets my needs and press the button.

Magic arrived in the mailbox yesterday. I ripped open the package and connected this tiny apparatus to our stereo system, paired it with my tablet and soon music was pouring out of our speakers. Joy.  Today I tried it in the truck with the same wondrous results.

Small things bring happiness (especially for this techno-junkie!).

Yesterday we had friends Jo Ellen and Don over for the afternoon and supper. It had been way too long since the last time we saw them, but isn't that the way all too often. Spike went crazy. He loves Jo Ellen and greets  her with wild abandon, jumping and crying and running around. His greeting is totally over the top but who doesn't like to be loved with so much passion. I think his exuberant feelings come from his days at the office with me. Jo Ellen's office had the sun spot, but more than that, when it was appropriate (he was a working dog), she'd give him a lovely greeting that made him feel special.

Aside from a brief sprinkling of rain at supper time we were able to enjoy the back deck. Summer... Swing and conversation with good friends. As the day turned to dusk we gathered inside for our farewells - they wanted to get on the road before the deer were out. We were in the house for only a few minutes when we spied 4 fawns in the hayfield. No photos though, they disappeared the instant we stepped out the door. So much for getting on the road early!

The deer at dusk reminded me of driving from Buffalo, Alberta back to Medicine Hat. That route was peppered with deer and elk.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  ~Arthur C. Clarke

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Our internet was down for a while this afternoon. Talk about an eye-opener! Some of the apps that I've been using (Google Docs for example) do not have editing offline! Without an internet connection I am SOL (sh^$ out of luck).  Thankfully my writing app has an offline presence, even though the docs are stored on Dropbox, a copy is stored locally. I am not totally reliant on the internet (yeah right)!

My mind is not where it should be these days, and finally I'm spending some time thinking about how I can change it, instead of focusing on how awful I feel. Much introspection brought me to the conclusion that my emptiness and lack of 'spark' may just be a medicated normal. An article that I read yesterday spoke of this very issue and the comments from many bipolar sufferers confirmed my thoughts.

Carm and I had a long conversation about the emptiness and he claims that this is his norm and what he thinks is most people's norm. It seems impossible to be content this way… My moods fluctuate from a contented happiness where everything seems good to worthless despair. Sometimes my mood swings more widely, but usually I'm at one end or the other. Enter 'normal' - that state in the middle where life seems empty and meaningless. Doctors would have me believe that the middle state is the desired way to be. It is hard to accept.

Somehow I have to actively improve this middle state… and today, with this thought in my head, I read an extract for a writing book that has the answer! It is stunningly obvious… be mindful and outwardly observant. Keep a notebook of observations and use these in my writing. Writing is the answer :-)

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It is just a flesh wound

The skies have transformed from azure blue with bright white clouds to ominous black clouds burdened with rain (it is pouring). Thunder rumbles, cracks and booms. So much for my planned afternoon of reading (and with any luck, writing) on the swing, instead the dim light drags down my eyelids making a nap seem like a really good idea.

I have been hobbling around trying to keep my left big toe from getting any dirt on it. Yesterday I gashed my toe on an errant finishing nail that had popped out from the baseboard trim in the camper. Ouch. Blood poured - which I think is a good thing as it washes any dirt away - before I could staunch the flow enough to hobble back to the house where I could properly minister the infraction. I've been babying my foot to keep it clean - so far, so good, no infection, it doesn't hurt at all - but wearing socks when the humidex is at 38C is miserable - how long till I can wear sandals, walk barefoot in the park, or wade in the less than clean Lake Ontario? I don't want to say miserable because having a real wound would be terrible, this is just a minor inconvenience which at first glance seemed heinous (all that blood freaked me out), but it is really 'just a flesh wound'.

It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one's memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory. ~Edgar Degas

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thrill of the Bargain

The thrill of the bargain is often more exciting than the find itself.

Last Sunday we went to the fleamarket for a poke around - I wasn't looking for anything in particular, it was just an outing meant only for a change in scenery. With no small amount of luck my eyes spied a fancy tablecloth - cream cotton with cut-out spaces embroidered on the edges - there were some faint stains that I thought might scrub out, but otherwise in good condition. I scooped it up from the cluttered table and took it to the vendor to ask the price. Two dollars! Worth the risk! And as it turns out the stains did wash out and I have a perfectly good tablecloth for only two dollars.


Thursday Carm had to take the truck in for some work so I jumped in the car and drove to Liquidation. I found 3 skorts for five dollars each! I had hoped to get something along that line but finding what you want is a crap shoot there. They get returns and overstocks from Costco, Land's End, and a few other retailers so I never know what will be there. All the clothes are 50% off, even ones that have already been reduced. Sometimes they have special sales, like pants/jeans 3/$30. I was a happy camper leaving the building with my finds.

I never knew the rush of pleasure that a cheap find would give until I visited the flea market with Trudie a few years ago. With a pocket of change I emerged from the labyrinth of junk with a few treasures. I was hooked!

Wednesday was a special day for us: 26th wedding anniversary. We went into the city for supper and talked about our love. No cards or gifts (we gave those up years ago), instead we reminisced about when we first met and how our relationship has grown and strengthened. It is all quite sappy.

I'm still struggling with my mood, which is a drag. I feel guilty for being so trivial when others that I know have real problems - what right do I have to be miserable. Having a disease of the mind is a conundrum. I can't just talk myself into having a good attitude - there are brain chemicals thwarting me, making me anxious, unworthy and desolate for no real reason. Shameful. What I really mean to say is that I am sending good vibes to a few people that I know and care very much about.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ~Aristotle Onassis

Sunday, July 12, 2015

the rest of the week

Here it is Sunday afternoon and I haven't done a lick of writing, or much else for that matter. I've been a bit out of sorts, even with extra medications, but am carrying on, trying to fake a good mood (with little success). I find it nearly impossible to form sentences when I'm talking let alone writing them down, so you might want to close your browser now.

I'll do a recap of the last few days for my own benefit when I print my blog at the end of the year.

Thursday morning we went into Morrisburg to pick up something at the grocery store then drove to Iroquois to visit Trudie & Leo who are camped at a municipal campground. It is inexpensive compared to where we are, but in the space equal to our campsite there are at least 5 or 6 trailers crammed in. Nice if you are really social.  We decided to meet for supper at Sol that evening so came home so I could have a long nap (2 hours!).

Friday afternoon Bruce & Tina came for an overnight visit. They set up their tent on a suburb of the central anthill, hoping that it was unoccupied. Lots of icy drinks and one person who likes to sit in the sun made it possible to pass the afternoon. By 4pm the shade from the huge tree to the west dappled our site, giving some respite. It was hot, but not brutally so. Thankfully we were able to eat outside - Carm and I had to wear big hats to shade our faces from the lowering sun.

Saturday Bruce & Tina left around 1pm, we rushed into Morrisburg for something (and an ice cream), then returned to camp for a hot afternoon of naps and reading.

Sunday (today) we met Trudie & Leo at a local municipal golf course for breakfast - we got there at the end of a big rush so had a long wait. After we finally ate we met up again at the flea market where we all poked around aimlessly. It was hot so we didn't linger. When we got back to camp I took the dogs out for a quick out and even after 2 or 3 minutes they were panting from the heat. We stayed inside enjoying our big windows and the air conditioning. And I napped.

You may have sensed a trend... I have been so exhausted that I just can't stay awake in the afternoon, and the rest does seem to perk up my mood for a little while.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.  ~Charles M. Schulz

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lying Supine

Tuesday was one of those days - you know, those summer days that are too hot and humid to do more than lie supine and sip cold drinks. There were rain showers in the morning, raising the humidity. The sun, once the sky cleared, was blistering hot, super-heating the moisture in the air. We had the awnings out for a while but the wind was flipping them around so we pulled them in, which meant a day inside with the AC. Not the worst thing in the world (books, tablet, music)! Until... the power went out... with no AC the temperatures inside started rising to match the outdoor inferno. We decided to take our chances with the wind and unfurl the awnings, stationing ourselves in the tiny patch of shade praying that the wind didn't shift. After a few hours the power was restored and soon after that the wind did shift, leaving us bare to the sun, relying on the AC again. FYI, the high was 36C with the humidex!

Please don't think that I am complaining about the heat and the weather, because I'm not!

One of the things I enjoy about camping here are the giant lakers and ocean going ships that glide past on the St. Lawrence Seaway, their diesel engines thumping. (right now: 'make it a laker') From the campsite the sound is a low thrumming sound, reverberating deep within. It must be deafening to be on the ship!

Today is perfect. We had rain overnight but the skies were clear by the time the dogs had to go out. Carm went to play golf while I lollygagged around, being lazy and somnolent. It figures though... on a day when I want to relax outside the lawnmowers were out in full force, disrupting the peaceful surroundings. I try to imagine it is waves crashing against the shore at Presqu'ile (with varying success).

Carm returned triumphant from golf but bearing nothing other than sweaty socks and an inedible white ball. He showered then we went into town for a few groceries (more lemonaid!). I made a stop at Tim's Place, a second hand store. I've made some good scores there in the past, but today I came away with just one book. Is it wrong to mark-up a book? I have every intention of using Hemingway's 'Farewell to Arms' for writing practice, but can't bring myself to write in my $0.50 copy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Linden trees

The air is heavy with the perfume of the linden trees that surround the camper. As day becomes evening the fragrance intensifies in combat with the campfires that sputter, smoke and flame. We breathe deeply and wonder where we can plant a few of these Cleopatra trees at home. In bed, the ceiling vent blows the fragrance into the room, at first it is lovely, but soon became cloying, like being in an elevator with someone with too much cologne.

We got here Sunday after a short, uneventful drive over familiar roads. This is destination camping - get somewhere and stay for several days. It has been hot. Our walks have been mostly short, and each time the dogs were panting and limp by the time we got back to camp - hurrah for the cooler bandanas!

I made a mistake in booking our site - in the summer we reserve a site with a few big trees for cooling shade, but I have a dim memory that our fav was already reserved so we settled for our fall site which is full-on in the sun with no shade until late afternoon. Carm and I have been shuffling our chairs into the tiny rectangle of shade created by the awnings, which shifts as the sun crosses the southern sky. Our chairs touch as there is barely enough room for the two of us. I shan't complain though - at least the wind has been light so we CAN have the awnings out. We are inside with the AC running if there is even a moderate wind.

This morning there are showers (so much for the weather forecast which called for them to start late afternoon). We were about to head out for another walk when the rain started - we cancelled as even though they have raincoats none of the dogs like to be out in the rain.

Monday, July 6, 2015

WYL #32b Perspectives of Life - rewrite

I wrote the original of this several months ago but wanted to try again after reading the first 10 chapters of "Writing Tools" by Roy Peter Clark. It is an excellent book so far. I think that this version is much better in some ways, but fear that some of the excitement is lost. I might try again in a few months, but frankly I'm getting a bit sick of it now! I'm open for comments/criticism and suggestions!


I leaned against my car sipping a coffee while I listened to Nick, our builder, shout out last minute instructions to the shovel operator. I was parked at the top corner of our hayfield that morning in July of 1994, waiting for the action to begin. The scene lay before me like an impressionist's painting: a slight mist hung in the air softening the hard edges of the giant yellow shovel, and the sky matched the colour of the blue cornflowers that mingled with the tall grasses left standing after the recent cut of hay. I felt light headed with excitement and wished Carm was there.

The shovel raised its huge bucket into the air and crashed into the earth, gouging a wide swath through the grass. My eyes burnt with emotion. It was really going to happen. My lifetime dream of living in the country was coming true. I gulped some air and tried to dry my eyes as Nick strode up to the car. He smiled and leaned against the car next to me to watch the progress.

As I watched the shovel sculpt a place in the earth for our home, I thought back to when I was a little girl visiting my Aunt's farm and wishing for my own farm. How many blown out birthday candles and shooting stars were called upon to make this dream come true?

Carm was bombarded with real estate listings from the day we met. Sometimes I wore him down enough to go and look, but that didn't happen often, however, I was relentless in my quest for a place in the country. Early in the spring of 1993 I found a listing for 28 acres of undeveloped land - the fact that it partially flooded in the spring was inconsequential to me. I don't remember what sort of persuasion I used but he agreed to go for a drive.

We rolled to a stop on a one lane stone bridge that crowned a roaring creek - these were no quiet flood waters, this was a torrent of uncontrolled energy and it was magnificent. We drove up to the corner of the lot and turned into the field to get a better look and as we got out of the car we looked at each other with the sudden realization that we'd seen this land one summer several years previously when it was a green, pastoral paradise. We had fallen in love with it then and now had a chance for that verdant valley, with it's creek that meandered through rolling fields, and shallow river that edged the property, to become our own. We sped off in search of the real-estate office.

We were crestfallen when the agent told us there was already an offer on the property. She explained that if the current offer was rejected we'd have a few minutes to get ours presented, so we drafted a full price offer and went home to wait. I paced a hole in the carpet willing the phone to ring and when it did later in the evening I stood by Carm's side anxious for the news.  When he nodded his head at me, my heart leapt. My dream was coming true.

We started designing our home as soon as the ink was dry. Every detail was taken into account. I knew I wanted to live in the light with lots of south facing windows, so we made that axis the longest. The house was designed for entertaining with a large central great room (which got larger and larger as time went by), and smaller bedrooms off to the side. I wanted the great room to dazzle with light so windows were used liberally. They capture the views to the east. They dominate the south wall. A west facing window scoops the late afternoon sun. Windows were shoe-horned wherever there was a smidgen of blank wall. Picture windows in the master bathroom flank the giant tub, bathing it in sunlight. The kitchen sink angles to align with the picture windows above it. I can stand at the sink and see the pond and barn. I walked through the 3D computer design countless times before I was happy with the alignment of each door and window, light switch and power outlet. I may have driven people crazy with my obsession with room dimensions.

My excitement rose every time I looked at the plans - my house in the country was soon to be and the thought of it was almost enough to make me swoon. Every chance we got we spent tramping the length and breadth of our new domain. In the winter we snowshoed, in the spring we planted thousands of trees along the fencelines, summer was time for picnics and campfires. If I could have lived there in a tent I would have. Within a year of signing we had hired Nick to be our builder. Selling our house was a pivotal step so it was important that we had a motivated agent; Wendy, Nick’s wife, filled that role. We cleaned and polished countless times as people came to see our modest home. The day we sold the house, Carm almost got heat stroke mowing the acre lawn, while I vacuumed and washed floors to mitigate the fact that we had 3 dogs, 2 cats and 10 parrots also living with us.

Wendy dropped by later in the day with an offer. The project was ‘a go’ and the race was on - 9 weeks till we had to move out of our Limoges home and into the new one. Nick had a challenge.

A few weeks after our house was sold I was leaning against my car with scene before me looking like an impressionist’s painting. Tears welled in my eyes as I watched the first swath of earth gouged by the shovel’s bucket reveal where the foundation of my dreams would sit.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Two tiny fawns

Today I got a glimpse of the fawns who have been bedding down somewhere on our property. I was carrying a load of food to the camper when, what to my wondering eyes should appear...
two tiny fawns. The two delicate creatures frolicked like daddylonglegs on a hot pan, in the cut grass in front of the barn. What a thrill.

I have been studying my new writing book in between getting ready for our next camping trip. I’ve scrutinized the first 6 (out of 50) rules, and have done some of the exercises. I felt ready to edit a story I wrote last winter in order to put the lessons to the test and I think the results are good. I’ll post revision #1 this week - before/after I drive myself totally crazy.

Luckily before I got too deep into the book I read the last few pages which advise keeping your critical self away from the initial writing process until it is ready for editing. Write and let the ideas flow - which is what I have done up until now, but now is time to learn.

The question of ‘voice’ is niggling in my head. When do the edits remove so much of what is me from a story? At what point is the life sucked out of it?

Have I mentioned how much I love this book!!! Life sucking or not ;-)

(p.s. you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to write this little bit of text!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day

Yesterday I bustled around the house until the time came to sit down with my pencil to start circling subjects and verbs. My hand trembled and my head ached as I worked through the document. When I was done my patient teacher, Carm, looked it over. Tears of frustration threatened to stain the worn sheet of paper as he kindly pointed out my errors - why didn't I learn this when I was in grade school, now it is hard and makes me feel stupid. All that said, there was improvement.

A sea of red shirts flooded the hangar floor at the Aviation Museum's Canada Day celebration. We had meant to go mid morning to meet with my family, but the steady rain discouraged us. And it looked unlikely that the two events I was interested in would take place: the ceiling was too low for the Snowbirds and F18 to do their flypast; and the parachuting demo needed a high ceiling and dry sky.

I climbed into bed with my tablet and writing book, and with the pitter pattering of rain lulling me I started to work. I was on a roll when Carm convinced me that we should give the outing a go. Rain chased us into town but took a brief break when we got to the museum. The crowds were heavy especially inside away from the on again/off again rain. We looked and searched but didn't see even a hair of the family. They must have been hiding in a secret spot far from the maddening crowd. We enjoyed ourselves regardless.

Happy Canada Day! As an aside, it was wonderful to see the diversity of people proudly wearing their red Canada shirts.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.