Friday, July 2, 2010

Trip to our family homeplace

I have been off, lollygagging around at our family homeplace in Ontario these past few days and leaving my lovely bride in Tennessee to tend the farm ! I returned to the US on just in time for Canada Day ! I had a great trip, and as usual I forgot my camera and only managed to see about half the people I wanted to. That's okay, as it gives me a reason to go back ! :)
Not really much to report on; the weather was fabulous (re: lovely and cool) the entire trip and everything went smoothly regarding my flights which was a bonus considering I flew to and from Buffalo, NY. I enjoyed the time with my family; my brother and his wife were up from Windsor with my niece, and as always, I enjoyed spending time with many of my old friends. I try not to rank any of my friends according to whom I like best, but I will say that it's nearly impossible to hide anything from someone who has known you since the cradle. :)
I engaged the services of Frank Stapleton, an auctioneer a few miles from home, to get rid of an old horse drawn buggy that my mother and uncles enthusiastically purchased for us at a neighbours auction some years ago. (Interestingly, Frank's auction barn is part of a complex he owns that also contains a gas station, a convenience store, a feed dealership and the post office all rolled into one.) When I discovered it was going to cost the price of a new truck to get the buggy to TN, buy a driving horse and buy tack, I determined the buggy needed to stay right where it was, though preferably in someone else's hands. As is usual in our little community when one doesn't have a long history of dealing with a person, we play the game of, "Who are your people ?" and "Who do we know in common ?" Frank started, and we didn't get past the first question before we moved to his office and he started telling me stories of dealings with my dad, my uncles and my granddad that I had never heard before. Several hours later, and much the richer for the knowledge and stories, I left the buggy to it's fate. As far as I know, it will be auctioned tonight; come to think of it, I ought to check the advert online ! :)
On the trip back to the States, I figured out that my phone also took pictures, and I have included a short selection of bad photographs (combined with poor commentary) taken between home and the American border.
Hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoyed celebrating Canada Day yesterday, or WILL enjoy celebrating the 4th on Sunday !

I couldn't believe the draconian speeding violation fines on the 407 ! Of course, this being Ontario, I took this shot while passing the sign at 135 km/h ! :)
My part of Ontario was originally settled by folks from Cornwall in England and also from Northern Ireland. To this day, Kendal has an active Orange Lodge, as do most of the small communities in my home county. Thankfully today the Orange Lodge signs are little more than a curiosity. A hundred years ago...even 50 years ago....a sign like this (posted, as this one is, at the entrance to a community) represented a real threat and was reason enough to keep moving along if one had an Irish Catholic surname. Niagara Falls ! Despite the lack of proximity, I flew to and from Buffalo, NY as it was nearly a thousand dollars cheaper than flying to Toronto. I took full advantage of the border crossing to re-acquaint myself with Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, NY.


Sylvia said...

I'm glad you had a nice trip home! I love the auction house/gas station/ post office description. I've never been to niagara falls, but I've heard from everyone the Canadian side is much prettier. Good luck with the sale of your buggy!

Jason said...

Niagara Falls is pretty no matter where you view it from, but everyone I know thinks the best views are from the Canadian side ! My photo was taken from the middle of the Rainbow Bridge, smack on the international border. The American falls are to the left and the Canadian falls are straight on.

Any time you can mail a letter, fill up with gas, buy ice cream, buy chicken feed and attend an auction all under the same roof, you know you have hit on a small town cornucopia ! The only thing missing is the telephone switchboard (maybe we need to move Shoreham Telephone to Newtonville, Ontario !) :)

Sylvia said...

Lol @ shoreham telephone. They had quite the market at one time. (still charge an arm and a leg for service!) Middlebury used to be long distance! And when I was younger, we had a party line. Kinda fun to listen in on adult conversations :)
We'll have to make sure we get to niagara falls some day.

Funder said...

I really miss the "who are you" game. That was the worst part of leaving Memphis, which is a small town of a million people. :)