Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

How I Spent my Summer Vacation
      The end of August is fast upon us.  I am NOT going to say, “Where did the summer go?” or, “My, the air feels like fall, doesn’t it?” or  “The days are getting shorter, aren’t they?”  No, I’m hanging on to summer for Dear Life.
Dear Life by Alice Munro

High School Reunion
     Forty years.  Can you believe that?  Sitting at the Hampton Pub in late June with Friends of my Youth, I was absolutely thrilled when the ever-charming Leo Kelly took my hand, gazed into my eyes and crooned, “Barb, I loved all the girls in our class, but you were my favorite.”  Butterflies.  Just like when I was 18.  Five minutes later, Leo had moved down the table and was holding Dorothy’s hand.  I overheard him say, “Dorothy, I loved all the girls in our class, but you were my favorite.”  Sinking feeling in my stomach.  Just like when I was 18.  Charming Leo continued to change seats about every 5 minutes.  “Tanya, I loved all the girls in our class, but you were my favorite.”......  “Cathy, I loved all the girls in our class, but you were my favorite.”  ET CETERA!!!  You get the picture. 

     A Lady Never Discusses the Size of her Yarn Stash
     Then there was the daytrip with my cousins Susan and Peyton from Halifax, and my cousin Mary Ruth from Ottawa to Harvey to shop at the Briggs and Little Woolen Mills.....because, I don’t have enough wool in my life.  And neither do they!
That Could be Me!

Send me a Letter... 
    I had a quick visit with my daughter Julia in Toronto in mid-July.  Sweltering Toronto is not my favorite place to be in July; however, the temperature was pleasant and I had an event-filled week.  One of the highlights was attending a play performed on various porches in a downtown neighbourhood.  Postman, based on the life of Toronto’s first black letter carrier, was excellent!

Laurence Dean Ifill as Albert Jackson

Aunt Gladys to Norwood     
     While chatting with Aunt Gladys earlier this year about my friend Ines who is converting her family homestead to a Bed and Breakfast, we determined that Aunt Gladys had been to that very house in the 70s to buy hens.  At the age of 92, Aunt Gladys is no longer in the hen business, but she maintains a definite interest in old houses.  I suggested that Aunt Gladys might like to visit this house again.  She was keen, so away we went! 

Aunt Gladys on the Verandah at Norwood

The Hen Story:  One warm summer day, Aunt Gladys and her husband, Uncle Eldon, travelled 60 kilometres from Gorham’s Bluff to Cambridge Narrows to buy some hens.  The hens were packed in threes in burlap bags and loaded in the back of the Dodge half-ton.  On the way home, Aunt Gladys suggested that they stop at The Country Kitchen for dinner; being on a farm, they did not often get a chance to eat out.  Reluctantly, Uncle Eldon agreed.  Unpacking the hens at home later that afternoon, they discovered some hens to be half-dead and many to be dead-dead.  Uncle Eldon was not impressed.  There followed a beheading, gutting and pin-feather picking Hen Party.  A memorable day. 
Not Aunt Gladys; Not a Hen

The John Deere Trail
We hit the John Deere Trail in Carter’s Point one hot Sunday in early August.  This trail, built and maintained by twin brothers, features a gentle walk through the woods and an inspirational tour of impressive vegetable and flower gardens.  At the end of the walk, you are rewarded with refreshing lemonade and home-made cookies and cakes!  One Sunday every summer, Jerry and Joel host a tour of their trail and gardens as a fund-raiser for Long Reach United Church.  What a gift!
The John Deere Trail
Cemetery History 
     One August afternoon, my cousin Betsy, my Aunt Muriel and I made a stop near Gagetown at Elm Hill Road,  the site of an early settlement of  Black Loyalists in New Brunswick.  In the Elm Hill Cemetery, field stones with no markings indicate the head and foot of most of the gravesites.  Occasionally, you will find a tombstone with writing. 
Tombstone, Elm Hill Road Cemetery

Life on the Lakes     
     A weekend of heritage, nature, arts events took us back to the Washdemoak in early August.
  We attended a quilt show, a book sale, the Flowers House Tour.  Several artists and craftspeople were on site at Norwood demonstrating and selling their talents.   We purchased a gourmet picnic and a bottle of wine at Motts Landing Vineyard and Winery and sat in their field to eat it.  Beautiful.  We could have been in Tuscany, but we weren’t.  We were in Cambridge-Narrows overlooking the Washdemoak. 
Mott's Landing Vineyard and Winery
Charlotte’s Tea     
      In mid-August, a tea was held at 1810 Carter House in honor of my mother, a dedicated member of Peninsula Heritage, and an excellent tea-maker.  Ladies arrived in hats, gloves and pearls to enjoy the wide variety of teas and vast array of desserts. Charlotte, who would have been 99 years old on August 16th, would have enjoyed that tea party!!
Tea at 1810 Carter House
Noel at the Camp   
     Noel, my "Little Brother", was able to spend 3 nights with us at the camp this summer.
  I am going to let the pictures tell that story.  We all had a good time!
Noel at the Camp
Fisher Noel

Hammock-Lounger Noel
FireFighter Noel

Captain Noel

Tree-Climber Noel

ZooKeeper Noel

Kitten Farmer Noel

Puzzle-Solver Noel

Land of Potatoes and Plenty
   Last weekend, my sister and I took our elderly Aunt Carol to visit her elderly cousin Freda in Carleton County.  Freda would be our first-cousin-once-removed, in case you’re wondering.  We have many second, third, fourth cousins in Carleton County.  Our second cousin Gary took us on a wonderful tour of the area where we saw acres and acres and acres of potatoes, fields and fields and fields of oats, hectares and hectares and hectares of hay, big sky, rolling hills, antique cars, tractors, trucks, seeders, harvesters, sprayers, etc,etc,etc.  Plenty of evidence of lots of HARD WORK and agricultural success stories.  What a beautiful corner of our province.   And what kind, genuine, generous relatives I have in Carleton County.

Potato World

Until Next Time.....


  1. Was happy to be a small part of your summer. I always enjoy a trip down the steep hill to your camp. I look forward to an evening on the bluff listening to Stephanie to almost finish off August.

  2. Yes, and you know what that means, Wendy!!

  3. Missed you in Toronto and NB. Time sure does fly by..and cannot believe summer is nearing the end.

  4. Missed you in Toronto and NB. Time sure does fly by..and cannot believe summer is nearing the end.

  5. Sounds like a summer well spent.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Summer not over for those of us who don't "have to go back" as we used to say. Ain't it grand!!