Lingering in St. Catharines the day after our our big Thanksgiving dinner, we decide to take a walk along the lake to Port Dalhousie. I probably don't have to say that a day like this, having some time with a family that likes each other so well, is among the greatest gifts. I don't need to be reminded to be grateful for what I have. But I'm sure glad we have a day that reminds us to say it out loud.
Last night, Friday, I get home early and make split pea soup. Ceri comes over and we open a bottle of wine Leonard gave us last weekend. D'Angelo Foch, bottled, we note, when my 27 year old youngest daughter was 11. Len wasn't sure if it would be wine or vinegar, but it sure is wine and we linger over it.
Later Ceri takes off to go prepare for his trip back home, and then Cathy comes over – she'd come into town for a colleague "transition party" and some sister time. We drink more wine and talk and she sleeps over.
Saturday, it's sunny, clear and gorgeous and we decide to walk over to the market and to have brunch on a patio. When the sun's out, it's hot; when the clouds cover it, it's cool. That picture up there – it's me hanging on to the sun moments. We are not ready to give up outdoor meals yet.
It's been a really good three quarters of a day.
Saturday morning Ceri and I walk up in the pouring rain to collect our rental car for what is has become the annual long weekend road trip to Amherstburg to see friends at the Shores of Erie Wine Festival. After collecting Carly and Kelsey at their respective homes we get on the highway and point south-west. There is a dodgy hour or so, trying to get coffee and sandwiches behind a busload of seniors at the first available highway stop. Eventually though, the rain clears, and the sky puts on a show and suddenly we're almost there.
Today we ride over to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE, or "The Ex") to hook up with Cathy and family and tool around the Toronto late summer institution – one of the largest fairs in North America, dating back to 1879. We wander around, look at the vendors, ride some rides (okay, Stan and the teenagers ride some rides), people-watch, eat some sinful foods, get jostled by crowds, listen to music, drink some beer and soak up some Vitamin D.
Rooftop picnic with my girls and Ceri. The season is changing and one of the ways I can tell is that I'm getting nesty. Summer remains in all its August loveliness, and yet I'm starting to think about making things like soup, and ways to preserve this bounty. But nothing can preserve what it's like to eat fresh Ontario tomatoes, peppers and corn outdoors on a clear summer evening. August – I'm hanging on to you for all I'm worth.