Canadian flagA meandering relationship with all things Canadian comes to mind as I embark on the final leg of my Gypsy journey. Traversing through this country played a significant role in my emotional development, from childhood to adulthood to senior citizen. Each trip, with the exception of the first, provided leeway for loving Canada. For this reason I selected Orangeville, Ontario, to conclude my adventure as a way of traveling full circle in my lifespan. (p225)

I often wondered if Canadians were different from us and if their shoreline is as rocky as ours. My family told me that Canada is a friendly country, but I was skeptic after Canadian soldiers invaded our side of Lake Eerie. (p226)

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Not long after my initial exposure to Canada’s soldiers my family dragged me on a camping trip to Burnt River in Ontario, Canada. We crossed the USA/Canadian border in Buffalo, New York. The men came to fish; the women were destined to cook the fish, trout to be exact. I suppose my only purpose was to discover how much I hated everything about camping. I was perfectly satisfied living in the city; the great outdoors was not appealing. Besides, I was still wary of our northern neighbor. All the same, what I thought inside never made it to my lips, and even if it had, it wouldn’t have changed things, so off I went with my family. Deep down I was scared and uneasy–everyone else was excited. (p227) …

me and aunt jeanne at the outhouseIt wasn’t until we ventured inside the cabin that I understood there was no indoor plumbing (or maybe I was the only one who hadn’t been told). The upshot of this fostered an unpleasant thought: we would be forced to walk outside and into the woods to use the bathroom. The biggest, most disgusting part of camping was using an outhouse. I refused to go there and instead left my waste and tissues at the base of many pine trees. (p228)

Mother and I carried buckets down the steep descent to the river to collect spring water. On the way down, I started counting the days till we’d be back home to indoor plumbing. I convinced myself that after this wilderness adventure, I’d appreciate city life even more so. …

scanNow you need to know that this part of Burnt River is far from tame. Fast and furious rapids are plentiful because of the hilly terrain. Flat, bed-size rocks protrude at an angle in the fast-running water, which border the bank on our side of the river. The surface of the rocks is smooth, but traversing them on a slant is tricky.

… That’s when I spotted my first snake. It was fat and gray, coiled up in between my mother and me. When I screamed, “SNAAAAAKE!” my mother (precariously hunched over the water on a rock that slanted downward) almost slid into the rapids. I froze, unable to help her. Fortunately, she hung on and pulled herself back up, but she suffered a long, bloody scrape down the side of her leg.

When we came home that summer, I was convinced I’d never return to Canada. I also knew I didn’t like the wilderness, an outhouse, snakes, bears, and on and on. My checklist of things I despised grew. I decided to start a list of things I cherished, knowing that would be far more enjoyable. (p230-231)

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Please note: my gypsyjourneypag.com website is no longer available. I will be using this blog to post excerpts, pictures, memories from the book. Address is pag213.wordpress.com. Thank you.

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Living in a natural habitat, away from city lights and smog, a person gains a new perspective of the Earth and the vastness of the universe. …

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Come visit my 1950’s childhood Christmases in Cleveland, when I was smitten with the snow !

May peace prevail on Earth!

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The sky had turned black, and the air wasn’t moving … Tralfazz’s meows brought me back to real life.

Click on link for the rest of the story …

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Grace cabin at Cedars of Peace

Read about my first stay in Grace cabin

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Strother Griffin (on left) also known as “Shorty.” (Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky)

Ah, bear with me now for another detour in the memory lane of life, something that often occurs on a long drive such as this, when the brain has time to wander. Here comes a brief intro and dedication to Strother Griffin, my late father-in-law. (Gypsy Journey p137)

Wintering In Florida III: pics and quotes