Sorry folks but I’m not around today. I’ve had to give the task of getting the blog out to owner. Unfortunately she’s not nearly as articulate or creative as I. Here’s hoping she can throw together a record of her trip to Canada to visit her father and other family members (I’m helping from afar otherwise the dialogue would be so dull.) They took a trip down Memory Lane to old picnic haunts of their youth, yes Ol’ Pops was young then too. Getting a post out brings on a “crise de nerfs” so I had to give her a lot of shoulder pats….for God’s sake what’s up with that? The French quote….well they are pretty close to Quebec up at owner’s old home.
(Ol’ Pops – a spry ? years old….Age is just a state of mind he says.)
Duramax, the young Border Collie featured above is one of my Canadian cousins. He’s the only one of any size or durability. Shall we say, he’s all dog! The other cousins are of the puny and hairy variety, much loved, very pampered, and opinionated. Granted they are cute…but demanding?…hmmm, let’s just say Yes.
Duramax tried to convince owner to bring him down to Telluride to hit the trails but his owner, James, had different ideas. How would James cope out on the farm without Duramax to keep him company with the horses. Actually, after the damn dog nearly electrocuted himself by chewing up owner’s computer charger….she wasn’t sure he’d be such a great addition to the condo.
(here’s The Old Homestead in all its glory. Pops got older and suddenly grew a green thumb….who knew that was possible? Not looking bad for a house built by the Grant family back in 1903.)
First owner dropped in at the old homestead. (I get confused about this term since owner’s family also uses it to refer to people taking up way too much time in the bathroom…as in , what the heck, are you taking up a homestead in there? The term comes from the good old days with five people, one bathroom. Won’t even mention the “rip your tits off shower.” To keep ol’ pops happy they headed down to The Legion to do some karaoke. Trailers for Sale or Rent (or whatever it is called) never sounded so good. Pops and Margot singing We Got Married in a Fever….sounded like the original! By the end of the night people were doing the limbo and generally going wild. Beer does that to some folks. What happens at the Legion stays at the Legion apparently as there are no photos that I can find.
(A little view through the front porch windows down to Lake Temiskaming and yes, folks, that IS Quebec on the other side of the lake.)
(View from the verandah, pops favourite place on a summer evening watching the boats go by.)
Here’s the newest addition to Aunt Karen’s family, Chloe. She’s cute; I get it. She reminds owner of a cartoon dog. She has expressive eyes; you’d swear there was a person inside that little body. It would be a person of very little brain (sorry Winnie the Pooh) since what dog would be content to waddle around with a huge leaf stuck to her lip. However, she’s very young so I’ll forgive her. You don’t get to choose your cousins after all, do you?
Now Aspen is a whole different ball of wax. She’s a Shih Tzu or something. My first question is if you mix a Bull dog with a Shih Tzu…don’t you end up with something rude? However, it is extremely unlikely Aspen would ever stoop so low as to “mix” with anyone. Haughty?….her picture defines the word in the Oxford English Dictionary!
This dog got adopted by the right family. She arrived with some god awful skin condition that caused all her fur to fall out, bleeding, death–defying fevers, mites. She proceeded on to need her eye bags removed – plastic surgery for a dog! Then she needed surgery to prevent her eyelashes from growing into her eyeballs. Seriously folks! Aunt Karen drew the line at braces although lord knows Aspen could use them – she barks with a lisp! Considering Aspen didn’t come free from the pound and then ran up thousands of dollars in veterinary bills just to stay alive that first year….I repeat she found the right home. The good news is that now she’s actually “large and in charge.”
Everywhere the people went the dogs went. Out to Mowat’s landing where a bunch of canoers were heading down The Lady Evelyne towards Temagami, if I remember the direction correctly. Out to The Old Mission to see what had happened to the Brion’s cottages the family used to stay in every June. Over to the more rugged part of the Old Mission to remember picnics with cokes tucked safely into cold water harbours created by damming the area with rocks. Mum, gone eight years now, used to make the best salmon sandwiches, brownies, and pack chocolate bars which were a serious treat. Everything was recreated for the Memory Lane picnics with ol’ pops but they couldn’t bring mum back; she was missed.
(Yup, that would be the picnic area just left of Karen at Wendigo, it’s gone!)
(Karen, that place you could picture in your mind but couldn’t name….well it is Wendigo, imagine that!)
Memories of shooting tin cans with the BB gun (more likely Ron than Karen and owner), outings in the old freighter canoe (testing the already old life jackets every year with a short swim to make sure they worked), swimming along the seven feet of Old Mission shoreline that were safe – or the big drop off would suck us away! Pops caught in a mini tornado at eight years old and seeking shelter in an old shack with his dad. Tasty meals in the restaurant in Ville Marie, across the lake on the Quebec side….everything came up in conversation. Let me tell you the fish they caught back then were quite H U G E! Some shock resulted when “the going back in timers” found out their old picnic spot along Lake Wendigo, on the way to Englehart, is completely overgrown with a pine forest. Were those gigantic trees babies in the ground forty years ago while they sat on the ground around the tablecloth and enjoyed each other’s company. Owner can remember a gigantic peacock blue and vibrant green blood sucker swimming by her one day but everyone else just nods politely and wonders if she is nuts?
Ol’ Pops pointing out how the storm came up the lake when we was on a fishing adventure with his dad back when he was eight. Uncle Chick had to hack his way down to The Old Mission with a saw and axe so that they could be rescued. This drive is no picnic today!
(Mowat’s Landing…canoe trippers still head out on long voyages from this spot.)
And then it was time to leave. Ol’ pops wishing everyone lived nearby for Sunday dinners. The dogs wishing they lived up North where they can run around leashless and the chipmunks are a dime a dozen. Karen and Kath wishing they could go back and enjoy, even briefly, a day in the old homestead with everyone singing along as mum accompanied them on the piano for the latest show tunes. Who wouldn’t give anything they could to be driving on a family road trip to Toronto and screaming out the lyrics to “What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?” Oh, those were the days. See ya later.
Ol’ Pops and owner reliving the old days
Aspen and Chloe enjoying life up around Haileybury