As you drive along the old King’s Highway (Hwy 2) from Delaware to Melbourne, Ontario it seems to be a quiet, sweeping path back in time. Some modern homes and signage are along the way of course. There is something though, gently pronounced in the atmosphere, so many stories untold. It is something difficult to explain. I will try.
As highways go it is well surfaced and an easy journey as it swoops along over a bridge and into lots of farmland. Many large and sturdy yellow brick farmhouses of yesteryear, set back from the road document the family life of the community. Another heritage style home of red brick with it’s lineage date carved on it’s front facade attracts the traveller’s eye. Few of the old wooden barns remain but some have been beautified with barn quilt art. Some bush lots remain and large trees planted years ago provide windbreaks here and there.
Thinking of all the families, the history, the heritage of the First Nations people, the battles fought circa 1812-14 makes one wonder. A beautiful gated woods, Longwoods, beckons with some stories preserved. All of these thoughts surfacing along the drive and wondering all the time what untold stories can be unearthed, but now are so quiet, undisturbed.
Turning around just outside of downtown Melbourne and driving back through it’s one two way stop intersection I see a familiar family name on a vintage sign that had escaped my attention earlier. A connection, another remote and distant relative perhaps but still part of a story yet untold.
The old school, just off the main drag, closed up. Compelling the sensitivity of a retired teacher to turn around once more and drive up the lane for a tribute glance. Stories of families and community glint from the windows somehow and are felt but are unexpressed.
Back in Delaware, the best thing to do at this latter part of a Sunday afternoon is to shop the market there. It is rural village style but with some trendy touches such as an outdoor patio, a deli counter,an ice cream station, groceries, baked goods, some barbeque items and an assortment of small gifts and souvenirs.
With a chicken in the crock pot at home I just picked up a few things for supper, some whole wheat rolls and green onions…and bananas for a treat (instead of giving in to the glorious pies for sale.)
Cashing out at the register, I had a brief visit with the most pleasant mature lady who worked there with a couple of equally pleasant younger women. You could tell she loved her work as she moved from one thing such as sweeping the floor to another such as straightening up a display of items.
We discussed the power outage problems from the recent windstorm, the frustrations some had with technical issues and shared the realization that it was all minor inconvenience compared to what some folks have had to deal with.
I don’t know this lady at all but imagine her backstory would be very interesting and one of a strong work ethic and positive outlook. I’m glad to have met her along the old King’s Highway today.