My new boss insisted that I hit the reset button and take time to visit my family in Canada. No need to offer twice. I hadn't seen my parent in 4 years. A trip for 5 days, coming right up. Make that really 3 plus 2 days of fun times at the airport.
Planning a last minute trip with 4 horses and 8 dogs at home ain't easy; tip of the hat to Adjanie who ran the entire farm by herself. And to Lisa who drove in from Auburn to play with the dogs and give cuddles.
Only my dad knew I was coming. First stop: mom's place; with the house being remodeled, I grabbed a paint can and tools, then waltzed right in through the garage and pretended to work. I know I was chancing giving her a heart attack, but she took it like a champ.
I proceeded to spend 3 quality days pigging out.
My stepdad and I went on tour and did some trail walking.
Fall foliage was at its peak color. The days were warm, so warm that a pretty snake greeted us on the hike in Larose Forest.
I require my daily flora and fauna.
I even managed to catch up on homework.
I dragged Mom and Chuck on a tour of historic Vankleek Hill (an excuse to find a double shot of espresso) and we found a thrift shop where I snagged a beard for 25 cents.
Even though my Dad was expecting me, I tried to fool him. When I walked across his lawn, he yelled out: "No bums allowed".
I went from my mom's sleepy Ontario village, to my Dad's Quebec lakeshore Summer abode to Northern Quebec. All in one day. Dad and I put some serious miles on the rental car.
We even surprised a cousin who was working in their yard at their lakehouse. I love this covert travel business. Our trip back to my aunt's house took us by our old lakehouse. 22 miles of dirt roads, the same roads I drove when I was 14 (rules weren't different in the 70s; parents were, I was the dedicated driver once we got out of Ottawa city limits).
I'm not a lake person, I'm a field person. I stopped to stare at this in wonderment. I could picture 4 horses here.
Daddio and I ended up in another quaint Quebec village from my youth: Wakefield. The old grist mill that was a run down derelict building in the 80s has become a 5 star spa and restaurant. We splurged, it's not everyday you turn 51.
Best seat in the house overlooking the falls. I appreciate the presentation of my entree, even though it still looks like they almost dropped the plate.
My next victims: Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary. They knew my dad was coming, but didn't realize he had brought a package from Alabama.
Life isn't about money and how much stuff you have, it's about the moments. I will treasure the 3 days of memories spent with 6 members of my family. My boss was right, this recharged my batteries.
The glorious sunsets at the farm look just that much more beautiful now. I was glad to see all my babies again, even if there was a new face in my yard.
I can't make this up: a stray dug dug under the fence to join my pack in my absence. Sweet Aussie mix boy needs a forever home (not my home, I'm overbooked here with 8, plus Pippins is going blind and is requiring extra care). Anyone need a little lovebug?
Serious inquiries only, background checks applicable, adoption contracts sealed with the blood of your first born. You know the drill.