Overcast, chilly air, bare trees and a silver sunset sit well in my annual day of Remembrance and Gratitude. As a baby boomer, I share memories of parents, uncles and aunts in WWI and grandparents and relatives in WWII with many of my generation. As memories of conflict haunt us and war looms large every day for others, we can be thankful to keep at least one day a year for reflection.
Chris and I are beginning our fifth year of adventure in our motor home. We had a busy summer in Ontario staying in a number of parks: The Pinery, Lake Huron, Albion Hills, Highland Pines near Fergus, Sibbald Point on Lake Simcoe, Caledon East at friend’s property, Homestead RV Park, Bayfield, Awenda Provincial Park on Georgian Bay and the Driveway of good friends in Cambridge.
On April 8, we welcomed the birth of baby Genevieve, daughter of Al’s sister Liz and husband Curt. We got to visit the sweet wee baby and her parents at the wedding in July.
On May 16, we lost a wonderful friend, Francis Michael Hopley, the beloved husband of my cousin Marilyn and dad to Sam and Dave in England. We miss him so much but cherish the memories of his zest for life, worldly knowledge and sense of humour.
Danielle arrived in June when we began preparations for the celebration of Dani and Al’s Wedding, July 12 at Hedgerow Farm.
See lots more wedding photos on Facebook
I travelled to Australia for a second wedding bash and a two week visit to the fabulous island. Thanks for the hospitality Dani and Al and Dot.
We enjoyed this summer’s especially great weather hiking, biking and visiting family and friends. We also began a search for a parcel of land where we could have a paved driveway, power and a small outbuilding; a place to stay during our spring and summer in Ontario. We spent a few days in New York City with Mark and Dina where we saw the sites and enjoyed many special meals together.
In September, we visited friends in Bayfield who showed us their lovely small town, Lake Huron Shores and hiking paths in the Hullet Marsh. Touring the small community where they live, we discovered a few places for sale and a few days later, to our surprise, we were making an offer on a small house there.
We moved in at the beginning of October and continued living in the motor home in the driveway. We were welcomed on our first morning with an early snowfall.
When we became full-time Rvers we sold and gave away most of our possessions so we will have to spend time in the spring looking on Kijiji and in second hand shops to furnish our home. Luckily, I stored many dishes, cook wear and keepsakes which will make the place feel like ours. We emptied our storage locker and I unpacked the bins finding many treasures that I had not seen for over four years. The fall weather in Ontario was spectacular so we were able to do a lot of work outdoors. I emptied the gardens and made them ready for spring plantings. We raked many loads of pine needles and trucked them down to the community compost dump around the corner. The homes are situated in a former pine forest and a blanket of five inch needles is to be expected each fall. No longer, full-time RVers, we will look forward to having our own place to return to in the spring.
We did chores in the house and prepared for our trip enjoying a couple of campfires in the backyard. A week before out takeoff date, Dixie became seriously ill and we spent a few days nursing her back to health. She had a severe case of Pancreatitis and spent two days on IV at the Vets as well as a battery of medications and a new diet regimen of low fat foods from now on. It was very frightening and we were so glad to see her getting stronger and showing more signs of herself. Her red and white blood cell count returned to normal and the Vet gave us the ok to travel. For anyone with a geriatric dog, especially a female, be warned that it can take just one fatty treat to irritate the pancreas. If we had known this, we could likely have avoided the suffering that our dog went through and a huge vet bill.
NOVEMBER 8, we headed smoothly across the border and continued for a trouble-free drive down to West Virginia. The day was bright as we passed many forests bared for winter; crossed many winding rivers, many with Sunday fisher folk in hip waders standing hopeful in the current; quaint American small towns with their steeples and smokestacks competing for attention, grand and fallen farm homes and barns and on into the melodic rolling hills, green and brown, dotted with grazing sheep and cows. Sadly there are many deer along the route that fall victim to traffic and countless brown bodies lay still at the highway’s edge. By early afternoon, we were heading in to our favourite Stonewall State Park where we will stay for a week. The park’s trails, lake, deer and solitude are familiar and we settled in for some quality down time.