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UP NORTH

Just back from what felt like a flying visit Up North. Capitalization, as always, intended.

I haven't been up there in a year, which is entirely too long. First there was the job search--and looking for a job is a full time job--and then there was, well, the job. No holidays 'til I've been there a year, and I'm working extra shifts to boot.

Eva hasn't been up there in entirely too longer.  In her case it was Georgia-Peach nailing her down. We loved our Peach to, ah, peaches, but she was a handful even at home.

And Tux...Tux hasn't been to Daddy's Daddy's house in almost nine years. For most of that he was being a big brother to the Peach. Now, approaching the other end of a long and happy life, Tux once again found himself going for a long, long CAR-RIDE.

We left right after a rough night shift, and we realized at precisely the point at which it was too late to turn around that we had forgotten Tux's leash. This didn't worry me as much as it might have: Tux is a border collie/Lab mix and he's stayed in his yard even when Daddy inadvertently left the gate open and swore up and down he'd never tell a living soul that he did it and so now he's writing it instead.

I tried to sleep in the car, and even succeeded for about half an hour or so. Which honestly surprised me. My bed doesn't move: I don't normally sleep in things that do. Not to mention it was as bright as a sunny day, it being, you know, a sunny day and all.

And so we arrived at Rose Point on the Magnetawan River. My dad had a house built here more than twenty years ago and I still have a case of house-envy every time I see it. When I say the house is "on" the river, I mean it: run hard enough through the living room window, oriented just so, and you'll hit water, especially when the river is as high as it is this year.

Here's the view from the deck, looking downriver:


And here's the view from the dock, looking upriver:


...but my favourite view is right across the river:


You'll notice it's a bit...dark. That's because it's 5:40 in the morning in these pics. Even when I'm not on a night shift schedule,  I make a point of getting up before the sun and gazing at the Crown land across the river. There is absolutely no sign of humanity's existence over there. It's all too easy to lose yourself in a  ten thousand year old daydream, drifting over the flat calm, listening to the wind soughing through the trees, floating along with the loon...

...drifted off there. Dad's dock is my happy place, the place I invoke when I'm meditating, a pocket of calm in a chaotic world.

Here, let's shed some light on the subject, and maybe add some human interest.


There's Eva flanked by Ken Breadner père et fils. And below is my  Aunt Dawna and Barry:


So wonderful to see you both. Thank you for taking time to catch us when there wasn't much time to catch us.


There's Jessie chewing on Tux's pencil.

Tux was a VERY GOOD BOY for the whole trip. Didn't go off the property, got along just fine with Jessie (and Laddie who lives next door)...and couldn't figure out why passing boats should be barked at.

Eva, having a tubby

Ken, deep in The Lies of Locke Lamora, with Tux doing his best to reduce the local bug population (he even managed to "GET THE BUG' a few times...)

I did my best to stay up...my best wasn't good enough. I ended up taking long afternoon naps both days and sleeping parts of the nights. It sucks that I was coming off the last of seven straight night shifts, with (at least) four more of them now...thank you, Dad and Heather, for being so understanding.

And for spoiling us rotten. Marinated slabs of pork one night, absolutely delectable prime rib the next, mashed potatoes both nights...yumtacular.

I even got to see my dad's friend Monty Flindall, the man my brother was named for...haven't seen him since our Destin, FL trip in 2007. Now that was a flying visit.

We left at 6:00 yesterday morning and were home by 10. Back to life, back to reality...

Thank you so much, Dad and Hez, for everything. It won't be another year that passes, okay?

--with love from Macaw and Lady Macaw


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