Monday, July 2, 2012

Sudbury, Ontario, by Margaret Ullrich, part 8, Transplanting

Last night.

Happy 145th Birthday, Canada!!
Since July 1 was on a Sunday, today is also a holiday.
Nice to have a day to recuperate.

Riding Mountain is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from our home.
Some native Winnipeggers have told us they could make the drive in 2 1/2 hours.
The best we've ever done was 3 1/2 hours.

Yesterday we had a fine time in Riding Mountain.
The odd thing for me was seeing ghosts everywhere I looked.
No, not like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.
It's just that, after going to a place for over 30 years, one has a lot of memories.
Everywhere I looked, I saw memories.
For example, a few years ago we'd taken my parents to Riding Mountain.
Yesterday I could "see" them looking at the museum exhibits and the lake.

At 5:00 p.m. we decided to head back home.
It was hot and sunny in Riding Mountain.
According to the records, Manitoba has set records for the first half of a year.
It was only warmer in 1946.
So, this was the hottest we've ever experienced in our 40 years in Canada.

We stopped for supper at Dairy Queen in Neepawa and got home at 9:00 p.m.
We were just in time to watch Canada Day in the Capital on CBC.
As we'd gone there for our 40th anniversary, it was nice seeing Ottawa again.
I didn't see ghosts.
I just remembered where we had gone and what we had seen.

Oh... about the fireworks.
As Winnipeg is further north, Winnipeg's fireworks display was over an hour later than the celebration in Ottawa.
We were able to watch the local show from our bedroom window.
It was nice to just go to bed after the fireworks were over.
No hiking to our car.
No looking for our car in the dark.
No driving home at a snail's pace on packed streets.
We'd had enough driving for one day.

Forty years ago we were on the road, too.
We left Niagara Falls at 11:00 a.m. and drove past Toronto.
For some reason Toronto smelled like Cheerios.
Well, it did to us in 1972.

Since we'd grown up in New York, we thought all cities were pretty much the same.
We remembered returning to New York from the Poconos after our honeymoon.
We could see the murky sky of New York City even when we were miles away.

Toronto was a revelation.
It smelled clean.
The sky over the city was so blue.
Paul was amazed at how close the residential area was to the business area.
it was a city where people could live.

Another surprise was the sky.
We'd never seen so much of it.
At 4:00 p.m. we passed under a huge stretch of cloud.
It was dark grey and solid.
There wasn't any other traffic.
We'd never felt so alone on a highway.
New York was a constant traffic jam.
This was space.
After a few miles of driving, the sky was clear blue again.
We also saw clouds with the sun streaming through, as if they were sheer curtains.

We stopped at a Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch.
Paul was getting better at steering, but it was still a hassle to get the car and trailer out of the KFC parking lot.

Canadians kept putting little extra touches in what, to us, was basic food.
Maple instead of chocolate in the fudge.
Bacon and a salad in the burger.
We didn't see bacon burgers on the menu anywhere else.
Maybe the chef just wanted to add his own touch.

Carol Campgrounds in Sudbury was perfect.
We were camped by the shore.
The site was much prettier than Niagara Falls was.
So much for all the hype.

As Sudbury is north of Niagara Falls, it was still light by 10:00 p.m.
We went to make our check-in phone calls to our parents.
When my Pop answered the phone, he couldn't believe that we still had daylight.
In New York it was dark. 

I wonder when the folks in Sudbury had their Canada Day fireworks last night?

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