Canada in Summer
Another month between updates. I must have been busy. My view certainly has changed, in more than one way.
I’m no longer fussing about tracking sand into the trailer in Coastal Georgia. I’m up in Canada – and in the summertime, no less. What a concept! Canada in summer and the South in winter. I wonder if anyone else has thought of this?
Looking out the sixth-floor window, until recently, has meant being able to see through the leaf-less trees onto the snow-covered Tam O’Shanter Golf Course, and watching the Chinese children trudge through the sidewalk slush to get to the local grade school. Now, in summer, I can’t see the golf course due to the trees’ leafy-green foliage and the Chinese grade-schoolers are at the library working on their Doctorate while the white kids hang around street-corners learning to smoke.
Getting up here was an experience. Until this trip, I have traveled north on I-75 where the Appalachian Mountains have not played as predominant a role. Coming from Savannah and the Atlantic coast involves traversing the heart of the mountains. In the rain. Up and down, round curve after curve, dodging bullets from the Hatfields and McCoys. Any time you drive a new, unfamiliar route, it seems to take forever. I am hoping on the way back down it won’t seem as bad.
It’s been eventful. I arrived late Saturday night. On Sunday, I dined at my favorite Canadian fast-food restaurant, Harvey’s, and saw my hospitalized Uncle Peter for the last time. On Monday, Uncle Peter passed.
It did indeed become a family time. Most of the family lives here in Toronto but for the first time both Uncle Peter’s Savannah daughter, Janice and her family plus me, the long-lost Black Sheep, were here in town together. It is so unfortunately true what they say about weddings and funerals being the only times family all gets together. I met second cousins of mine, some for the very first time, who are now parents themselves.
Not having been a part of the family for decades, I found myself a surprising choice but I was honored to be asked to say a few words about my Uncle Peter at his funeral. Uncle Peter and my mother lived in the same Seniors’ Condo building and I had the chance to get to know him much better over last winter when my mother was ill with Shingles.
I always liked my Uncle Peter. Emotionally, talking about him at his funeral was not easy. Emotionally, I thought I held up well. But there was a Scottish piper at the funeral service and when he played, “The Battle’s O’er”, I near lost it.
God Bless you, Uncle Peter.
March no more, my soldier laddie,
There is peace where there once was war.
Sleep in peace my soldier laddie,
Sleep in peace, now the battle’s o’er.
Instead of rolling my eyes at the number of Canadian Holidays, this year I get to participate. July 1st was Canada Day – Dominion Day for us old timers – and I have been very fortunate to have been somewhat adopted into the family circle of some wonderful Scottish Ex-Pats. It was a fun afternoon amongst great people of all ages and superb food. As well as a better class of burgers, the array of nibblies kept arriving from the kitchen in a steady stream. Many, many thanks to our host and hostess, Craig and Gillian!
I enjoy visiting their part of Toronto. Forty years ago I had a friend whose family lived two blocks over and two blocks down. In my mind, the house was a comfortable size on a comfortable lot. My friend’s father was the Assistant Commissioner of the OPP – the Ontario Provincial Police. This was a very comfortable neighborhood.
I drove by the house on my way over to the Canada Day BBQ. The same house is still there but things sure have changed. The house – much, much smaller than I recall – is now dwarfed by the newly built houses nearby after knocking down the original dwelling. These new houses take up almost the entire width of the property. Maybe it’s because I’m used to rural living, as what struck me was the size of the building lots.
Yes, some of these new houses rival castles, but I think my own home – which I would consider a LONG way from palatial – would barely fit on a lot I once thought considerable. I have given up inquiring the value of these houses or even just the property here in Toronto. In this market, homes that I would barely thank you for are being sold after three days on the market at above asking price… a few sheckels shy of a half million.
And here’s me living in a 26′ box!!
My return to Toronto at a sensible time sure paid off! Excellent seats to a Blue Jays’ game against the Boston Red Sox at the Sky Dome in Toronto.
A banner evening despite a losing effort by the Jays.