Food…. drink…. friends…..colour…..

The colours in Madawaska and environs are so stunning, and so exactly NOT what you get in the fall in Vancouver, that I feel like I’m high just from looking at trees.

After we got going yesterday, Catherine and I went to a very nice El Salvadoran restaurant (ate there last time).  This time I said, “I’ll have what she’s having’ and thus ate my first tamale (om nom nom) and I also had a burrito and pupusa.  It was really really awesome.

Then we walked along Bloor to Long and McQuade, where I acquired two thunder drums, one of which I donated to Sandra upon my arrival.  Then, off to Rentawreck, conveniently at the end of Catherine’s street, and into the car to get to Madawaska.

Today has been a day full of colour, incident, work and fun.  The most wonderful stuff that happened today I can’t talk about because I don’t have the permission of the folks involved, but trust me, YOU would have been laughing your ass off in that “I really shouldn’t be laughing” way.

Last night, however, was given over to food. I purchased chèvre with cinnamon cranberries, Raincoast crisps, 73% cacao chocolate, chocolate covered marzipan, Rooibos chai shortbread cookies, and about a pound of almonds, which, along with some very nice potato vodka and the final beer in the fridge, made for a lovely, chatty evening. Sandra introduced me to pickled hot peppers (Indian style) which, tossed in generously over the beef and cabbage curry, made for a wonderful and very fashionably late dinner.

Clem was here and we hung out briefly but he had to get back home to get enough sleep to deal with a root canal today.

Today, after planning her day like a military operation, it all got shot to hell and we didn’t actually follow the plan due to those damned extenuating circumstances and we ended up driving to Barry’s Bay and Combermere, the first for beer, wine, banking and comestibles, the second to get used windows and frames transferred from Vivian’s house to Larry’s house. Larry is Sandra’s special friend, and I got to meet him when we picked him up from his workplace for a late lunch at the Ash Grove Inn, which looks out over Kaminiskeg Lake (and the colourful trees scattered thereabouts).  Our companion was another local, a gentleman named Gary who is developmentally delayed.  Larry is (in addition to his other gainful employment) his worker.  Watching Larry deal with Gary was absolutely wonderful, and also very funny.  Gary would rather have fun and socialize with Larry  than stay home and watch tv  so Larry has tremendous leverage with respect to consequences for behaviour.  All I know is I make more noise in restaurants than Gary …. and make more mess eating…. so I am a chastened individual today.

We stopped for a smoke break by the lake after lunch and way off in the distance, I saw a man staggering down the road.  First thing I thought “Drunk off his keister.” Larry informed me that the gent had a progressive neuromuscular disease, which really put my current very small concerns into even more stark perspective, and although he did not try to engage any of us, he hung out with us and smoked a cigarette while we watched the scenery and took pictures, which I hope at some point to be able to share.  I didn’t take my camera, and now I hear it’s going to rain and blow like a bastard tomorrow, so I may lose my chance to take pics of the colour.

Larry is as good looking as a movie star, ps.  He had a full bushy beard and masses of hair until recently, and when he shaved it off Sandra went eep! when she saw him, which must have been amusing.

Anyway, we went to Vivian’s.  Vivian had all these windows left over from a reno, and some were to migrate to Larry’s place (conveniently located next door so we walked those frames over but put the glass in Sandra’s Jeep) and some here to finish up a cabin renovation.

The Lodge has had MUCH work of an improving kind done around here.  The little slough that bred mosquitoes is long gone; the number of campsites has been increased, there are various new buildings for storage and tools and boats, etc., but the heart of the place is still the same, and I am grateful beyond words to be here.

I don’t think I mentioned the breakfast Catherine made me the other day.  Four kinds of fruit, full fat yoghurt and toasted brazil nuts chopped on top.  Best breakfast I have had in many moons….

Tonight prime rib and veg.  O frabjous day! Tomorrow planting trees in the AM unless it’s really bucketing.  Then off to see Deb in Ottawa, woo hoo!