The Calgary days rolled on. We read and played, ate and drank, and generally took it easy. Well, I did. The slave driver Donna had Ann hard at the grindstone, working away on all her client files. Me? I played video games, did some writing, plucked my new ukulele and watched magpies.
Donna, being the mother that she is, arranged for Ann and I to get our flu shots. Given that other virus raging across our lands, we were happy to get the jab. And since we now have an American in our midst, we had the perfect excuse to have a turkey meal to celebrate ‘Muricuhan’ Thanksgiving — all properly distanced, as you can see.
We had booked a flight back to Thunder Bay a couple of months ago, and with Covid-19 wreaking such havoc on all travel, we’d been watching and hoping the Westjet gods would come through for us. Initially we’d booked passage through Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, but the airline decided it was better if we flew south to go north, so we were routed through Toronto.
But it all went off without a hitch, even though we had to fly directly over Thunder Bay twice (once on the way to Toronto, and the on the way back from Toronto). We arrived to friends Paul & Julie, and mouse-pissy-smelly car.
Yes, while we’d been away mice had taken up residence in our little red car sometime over the summer. Paul had found the vermin, and had already done an incredible job cleaning it all up. But it must have been horribly disgusting, because it still smelled pretty bad once we arrived. Julie and Paul, ever the sweethearts that they are, gave us the loan of their wonderful Bunkie shack on their land a ways outside of town. They had set the little cabin up for us, and even had a bottle of wine waiting. We have the most amazing friends (and family) 🙂 .
It was grand just hanging out at P&J’s camp. It is right on Superior’s shore, just a short distance south of our old home. Thankfully, it has a fancy, large and warm garage that we were able to move the car into. We spent the next few days stripping everything out, clearing out all the little mouse poos, and then steam-cleaning using a rub cleaner. It was an annoying task, but it worked. The car now smells as it always did — kinda old and musty, but at least it’s not mousey!
Despite the stinky car situation, we had a wonderful time at the camp. It was the perfect place to self-isolate following our travels. But even so, we were able to spend a fair bit of time with Paul and Julie. We all wore masks, and enjoyed physically distant meals and outdoor campfires. It was lovely just being in that space. We had the woodstove for heat, and the lack of running water and an outdoor outhouse just added to the ambience. We are so blessed with such wonderful friends. Sure hope we can return the favour this summer — if Newfoundland stops holding our boat hostage!
Sadly, our time in Thunder Bay had to come to an end. Ann had a medical appointment coming up in Ottawa, and we still had many miles to go before we could sleep (on the floor 😉 ). So we said our goodbyes, and headed east. Our first stop was just down the road at Selim, the suburbs of Rossport 🙂 . Even though Covid-19 didn’t allow us to stay, we had to stop in on our favourite Maggie, and her caretakers Cathie and Joe. We had a good, outdoor, and properly distant visit. The best that we can do in these times of woe.
We moved on from there, staying at the Sault, and then North Bay (for two nights) where we celebrated the old(er) gal’s birthday. We ordered special yummy takeout food from a great local restaurant, and of course we had a nice bottle of wine. It wasn’t a big celebration, but at 58, she’s only good for a couple hours of excitement anyway 😉 .
After the big party we carried on, finally making it to Ottawa where we were greeted by the most important person of all: Hammi! Oh, and Mom and Sis were there too 😉 .
We moved into our suite-a-la-floor and got reconnected with all that is Ottawa. Coming back felt a bit like completing a circle. We started this whole Covid catastrophe here, and now we’d come back. Sadly, Covid-19 has not gone away, although with the vaccines finally starting to roll out, we might see a beginning of the end … hopefully.
Being back in Ottawa meant we could revive the quartet for Covid Cacophony!
We settled in for a few weeks of relaxing times, with good chats, lots of game playing, and Babylon 5! This is a sci-fi series from the 1990’s. If you haven’t watched it, you should. It is eerily prescient on some of the Trumpian times we live in.
One great thing about our time in Ottawa was being able to spend Christmas with Mom and Kathy. But it was even better because we were able to have Connor and Colleen over for the first part of the day. There’s nothing quite like having a kid around for the paper massacre of wrapping paper.
When the mayhem settled down, and Colleen and Connor went back to their own place, we cooked a full turkey meal with all the fixins. Then, for the next few days, we ate nothing but turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey…
Although we could have stayed at Kathy’s place, one of the reasons we were here was because we’d managed to land a three month house sit here in the Nation’s Capital. In fact, it’s on Third Ave., down in The Glebe, which is not far from where I grew up. Happily the home owners had moved up their departure, so we were able to move in a couple of weeks early. But we decided to delay a couple of days so we could celebrate the other old gal’s birthday.
Kathy is another one of these December 27th kids. We’ve got a bunch in Ann & my collective families. I guess the coming of Spring (nine months earlier) warms more than toes.
After all the parties and celebrations we finally did move over to our new temporary home. The house is pretty large, fairly old and very interesting. It has been renovated over the years, and is very easy to live in. We feel very privileged to be entrusted with its care while the home owners are off for their seasonal skiing holiday in BC.
So now we settle in for an Ottawa winter. It’s weird being back in The Glebe. Everything is so very familiar … yet it’s also very different. They say you can never go home… I guess that’s true. But it’s still pretty darn nice.