I almost didn’t make my annual trip to Muskoka this year—didn’t want to wear out my welcome; I’d visited twice last year, once for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and again at Christmas. Happily, all it took was one phone call from my big sister to change my mind. Guess I was looking for a push, and it worked.
This year, my vacation didn’t quite sync with my sister’s time off, but it meant I got to spend some time in downtown Toronto which I haven’t done for years.
I love the old stone buildings and the towering spires of the Cathedral Church of St. James is a beautiful example.
Red brick is a Toronto staple and found everywhere. I snapped a pic of the Flatiron building with the Trompe l’ceil wall on the rear.
I paused at City Hall and remembered finishing a ten-kilometre Miles-for-Millions walkathon there when I was a pre-teen (though I can’t remember where the trek began or what we were raising money for).
I stopped to watch dogs and their owners enjoy a whimsical spouting fountain in Berczy Park that made me wish I still had my dogs.
The St. Lawrence Market hasn’t changed though the pork chops weren’t piled sky high in the butchers’ cases like they used to be.
At the end of the week, we headed up to my sister’s cottage, which is our Grandmother’s former home. It’s next door to our parent’s place on the Manitouwabing River.
I had a terrific visit with parents, sisters, a brother, a great aunt, cousins, nieces, some guy named Bob and another named Phil (I think) and many friends. We spent time reminiscing, as we inevitably do, and adding to each other’s memories.
When I was young, I didn’t appreciate the cottage like I do now. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy being there, but the drive up was torture; I got terribly car sick (still do) and it was a four-hour slog. I hated leaving my friends in the city and missing all the weekend parties (good planning my folks would say!).
These Muskoka visits take me back in time to magical summers and weekends. We were water babies and snow babies and bonfire aficionados. I treasure the memories and look forward to going back each year.
On the writing front, not many words made it to the page during my time in Ontario, but Emelynn’s next book sits at 65K. It’s coming along and I’m looking forward to getting back to it this week.
Another note on the rebranding front: at the August long weekend’s Denman’s Saturday market, after his wife bought Awakening, her husband, Frank, told me he’d avoided my table because he thought I was peddling religious material. That’s yet another vote for rebranding!
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