After a week of serenity and quiet at Oma's place in The County, I have returned to my own hearth and home. It is good to be back to the dear and familiar, though the saying goodbye is never easy.
I made the return journey with Bil (my brother-in-law) and his father, It is always an interesting thing to be in their company. They are men, so that tells you a lot right there, but it also inexorably entwined in their genetic makeup to quantify and evaluate everything. Especially if doing so can prove the other wrong. Or at least not right.
Conversations between them go something like this:
"What a nice day, eh dad?"
"Yep. It calls to mind May 13, 1984. Now that was a truly nice day."
"I remember that, dad. May 13, 1984 was a good day for sure. But I think the sky today is a tad more aquamarine than it was then. And I'm pretty sure the wind is a little more south-easterly."
"Well now... you might be right, son. Though I think maybe you're confusing it with May 14. Definitely on May 14 the wind was south-easterly."
"Yeah. I think today is the third nicest day I can think of."
They could tell you that on this plateau, there are more white cedar than red and that because it's one degree warmer - on average - than down on the plain, the trees are maybe a day and a half ahead. When pressed, they could tell you which brand of ketchup is best, and will react with astonishment when they discover how you butter your bread.
It used to drive me mad, but I've come to realise it is how they relate to the world and know where they belong within it. I've also learned to snort at them and roll my eyes. Almost anything is bearable if you can roll your eyes at it. Ask Mr. Darcy... it's how he tolerated Mrs. Bennet through all of Pride and prejudice.
They are also generous, chivalrous men who performed feats of service for both Oma and I, so I extend my deepest thanks to Daddy and Grampa Nut. Thank you!
The drive home was quick and smooth, and as a back seat passenger I had the opportunity to gaze blankly out of the window for hours. The blank gazing was occasionally interrupted by some interesting sights, such as:
Canadian flags waving in fields along the 401 - the stretch known as The Highway of Heroes. This is the portion traveled between Trenton and Toronto when fallen soldiers are repatriated home from overseas. It would sometimes be a large single flag waving at the edge of a farmer's field, and sometimes a cluster of smaller ones just at the edge of the brush lining the highway. I've had the honour to be on the road during one of those processions, and it was very moving to see the cortege of police and military vehicles, and the vast number of people who stand on the overpasses with flags, or just standing in silence to honour the dead. I was pleased to see those red maple leaves today, as a more permanent tribute to those who have given their lives in service to us, their fellow Canadians.
Big, beautiful, black horses, almost like Clydesdale's but a little slighter. They were prancing in a small pasture, causing the white feathery hair of their lower legs to plume out like costumes. What a sight!
A crazy car. Seriously. It was yellow on the bottom, had a patch of zebra stripes somewhere toward the front, and a red paramecium sprawled across the back. Huh?
A house placed right on the edge of a bay. A wonderfully picturesque setting. They had denuded five very large trees of all their branches. The trees were not cut down to stumps - they still stood as tall as the house. They were merely reduced to very tall, branch-less trunks. Very sad. Bad Saruman.
An organic farm near Oma's makes use of solar and wind power. Today neither of their two wind turbines was turning. Does that mean we're running out of air? Perhaps more likely, if there's no wind to turn the turbines, our MPs must be on a break, no?
One of those self storage places, called "Self Stor". I'm sorry, but if you can't afford to pay for all the letters, you probably can't spring for security or maintenance either. I'm not going to 'stor' my stuff with you!
A Smart Car on the highway. Presumably the driver chose this car for environmental reasons... so why did she toss her cigarette out the window?
A stand of cedars whose trunks and branches were all leaning to the east, as if bowing.
Nearly home, and off the highway at last, an apple orchard perched on a rolling hill and it was just beginning to bloom. A truly breathtaking sight.
I didn't write a thing while I was gone, but I read three books. I can't wait to tell you about them!