Every ten years I write a story and then go back to sitting in my recliner and stiffen significantly up due to being overwhelmed. No, that’s an exaggeration. I write for my writers group once a month. We share our work and then I go back to the recliner and watch videos. My writers group is small consisting of about six people but that is flexible as I see the other names on the contact list would make it a bit larger. I have never met them. One writer joined in for some sessions and then stopped. Life intervened .Currently there are four of us meeting on a zoom once a month. The “edgy one”, is busy at the moment doing other stuff but when she is there our group totals five. Confusing enough. We are so different. Our genres are memoirs, religion, fantasy, storytelling and poetry. Considering where I fit in the group is more confusing, I write descriptive content that seem to be children’s stories with an allegory or two thrown in often with a touch of humour, a flash of sarcasm and when needed, a peek of vulnerability. The group does however keep my writing on life support for the time being. None of this may interest you. This blog started my writing process about twelve years ago so I am getting back to daily writing. There will be some clawing, scraping and stretching going on as I attempt to resurrect my atrophied imagination. (An insight you might find enlightening in all of this is that I just spent the day researching literary agents, realizing my considerable stash defies description and being overwhelmed once more I have returned to the recliner and sought relief with you, dear reader.)
A cold heavy rain fell last night and made the glorious fall colours look a little deary in the subdued daylight. Despite the darkening effect I was still cheered by the sights, sounds and chill of a cool autumn day. Pumpkins at the door of many local village houses or piled at the end of farm gates are a comforting display as everyone gathers for the holiday weekend. Later these pumpkins will be hallowed out and lit to add to the time honored rural celebration of Halloween.
This time of year is a favourite experience for me full of sensory and nostalgic pleasures as I recall all the hard work of gathering in the last of the garden produce, picking up the windfall apples, canning applesauce, bringing in the plants we could save from the frost, taking in the washing from the clothesline with cold, half numb fingers and doing any number…
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My son, his dog and I spent a nice afternoon celebrating Mother’s Day together in Arkona , Ontario. It’s about twenty minutes away from home. We just kept things easy this year deciding to go for a very short drive and have a picnic.
I had just been to Arkona just last week but the weather was stormy so I didn’t venture to Rock Glen Conservation Area which is a famous spot of interest so I wanted to go today.
Just spending some time together today on a fine spring day felt like the old times we used to go on little adventures and find new places we had never been before.
We never went too far all the time my son was growing up but occasionally we ended up at Miller’s Lake, near Tobermory visiting a cousin. The furthest drive I’ve done was to Kingston with my extremely excited teenage son off to see his first choice school, Queen’s University. We have also driven the back roads together to Niagara-on-the Lake and Welland for his summer courses there. Once I drove the old Hwy 3 along the port towns of Port Stanley, Port Bruce, Port Rowan etc. We have had some fun little trips together just doing our thing.
Other than that, I drive mostly around London, Strathroy, Stratford, Seaforth and surrounding countrysides.
My son however is accustomed to driving across Canada and in the States for his work and studies. Today though he had a nagging toothache and expects to have dental work done as soon as possible. He willingly let me drive and I think he enjoyed just being the kid again, out looking at little villages and places to discover with his mom. He actually mentioned it was like old times. That touched my heart, after all, it is Mother’s Day and I am a softie.
Our first stop was the dog park in Strathroy and his bulldog Penny enjoyed playing with a couple of bouncy puppies and checking out the interesting smells along the fence line. This was an enjoyable point of our little road trip for our family. We are dog people.
Down the country roads we went and I showed my son all the interesting spots I had recently discovered. We went as far as Forest, just about seven km from Arkona and had our picnic there under some shady trees.
We went back through Arkona and stopped at The Arkona Heritage Market. We took turns going in to see the antiques as we had the dog in the car. The market has a cat scampering about ( I think I saw a cat!) so it was a wise decision. (Not that I would take a bulldog into an antique store..talk about a” bull” in a china shop!)
I was intrigued by the wide variety of vintage things for sale along with a whole sideline of contemporary items. I was treated to a taste of local maple syrup and offered homemade cookies just for dropping in to look around. The friendly gentleman behind the counter told me about his family, hobbies and some points of historical interest about the village.
The topics he told me about ranged from chickens, turkeys, orchards, Rock Glen Conservation area, a memorable restaurant with an appreciative clientele requiring bookings and the legacy of another local person who had created elaborate Christmas displays that brought in the crowds for years. I purchased some specialty maple barbeque sauce for my next crockpot creation.
My son took his turn going through the store and was impressed with the roasted coffee, maple syrup products, spices etc that were promoted in the store along with the heritage dishes, furniture, pictures, jewellery and other typical treasures.
Driving to Rock Glen we took in the rolling landscape and rocky waterfall, trailer camp and park and picnic area. My son had not heard of Rock Glen before even though it is so close to our home and I explained it’s geological significance and it’s appeal to rock hounds. Considering he is thirty-five years old and no longer a little boy he seemed content to take a picture of the rock falls and not try to clamour about looking for fossils.
Part of me wished I had taken him there years ago! How did I miss doing that? (Busy working single mom back in the day so some things just got missed I guess. )
Just down the road (Townsend Rd.) we visited Thuss Greenhouses. After all, it is Mother’s Day today! I had visited this greenhouse already this past week and knew just what I wanted. My son took his dog on a quick business trip to a grassy patch out by the roadway.
The owners and staff were busy restocking a wonderful selection of annuals and other plants and finishing up for the day but Lisa stopped and visited with me for a few minutes. We discussed plants, shared some ideas about Mother’s Day and I told her I had met her sister a couple of times. I was visiting the greenhouse on her recommendation. I’m glad I found this country style greenhouse and intend to visit it again!
I made my choice of a very pretty hanging plant and went on my way. As we prepared to leave some long time friends of my sister-in-law drove in and we had a chat and our sweet bulldog, sitting in the backseat of the car was suitably admired.
Driving back home we took a mini detour into Strathroy for a few items and stopped at a brand new touchless car wash. I was treated to a fancy car wash for my Mother’s Day present and we rolled through the coded experience by being dampened down, well soaped, rinsed and foamed up again and re-rinsed before being air dried. It was a rather novel experience for the dog and she hid her face in her towel for awhile until it was all over.
I had a crockpot supper of spareribs ready at home for us (my son’s favourite even with his toothache) and the dog settled for her nap after gobbling down her food. They have now gone home but I have the feeling they both enjoyed a simple afternoon of hanging out with Mom (Grandma to the dog), just playing at the dog park, going for a Sunday drive, finding some new and interesting country places and coming home for supper. I know I did.