Here’s today’s musical inspiration, from Van Morrison …
I arrived back at the trailer on Thursday afternoon and am happy to have one more month here before putting the place to bed for the winter. Unfortunately, no regular internet connection again, but I hope to use this time wisely in preparing a panel discussion I’m part of for the Calgary Public Library in October, some editing for a friend, reading, and cracking open my own novel for more rewriting. I brought with me a load of DVDs, a few CDs and several books to add to my trailer collection. The weather here in the Kincardine area is decidedly changing to autumn temperatures, at least at night, but that’s a welcome relief from the constant heat, lack of rain, and sweaty, sleepless nights I experienced on Bequia.
While I was away from here, Dennis enjoyed a kind of Busman’s Holiday, fixing things on both the trailer and car, supervising the planting of a row of black cedars along our property line (because Good Fences Make Good Neighbours, as Robert Frost so wisely noted . . .), moving the fire pit, staining the deck, installing a Carbon Monoxide alarm, hanging my brother-in-law’s painting of the Bequia Regatta boats that I plan to use as cover art for my third novel, and getting to know the friends I’d already made in the park. Dennis had so much fun, in fact, that I worried I wouldn’t be able to convince him to trade places with me and go back to Bequia. I’ve heard from those friends that he plans to come to Canada much earlier next year and open the place for the summer. Hey! Wait a minute . . .
But I have possession now for this last month and I hope to make the best of it!
As soon as I arrived on Thursday, I was making plans with a friend to drive to a Mennonite community fundraising dinner. Now, I was particularly anxious to attend this event, because for many years Darcie Friesen Hossack, author of Mennonites Don’t Dance, has been waxing poetic about the glories of “cream gravy”. And there it was – a huge vat of it, right next to a tub of the creamiest mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten! What a feast! And incredible sausages that everyone wanted to buy in bulk, but the Mennonites are prevented from selling due to regulations. There was a large table of baked goods set out for sale, as well.
They couldn’t charge for the meal either so we made a donation before plating up. I wish I had been able to eat more – because the food was so good, but I couldn’t consume another bite after that piece of Sour Cherry Crumble Pie. I was eyeing my friend’s Dutch Apple slice, but just could not do it, or I would have ended up like Mr. Creosote. Sometimes I’m too practical for my own good.
Following the dinner, the Mennonites held an auction of farm equipment, tools, and handmade quilts. The entire annual event, and this was their fifth year, had been organized to raise money for the community’s health fund. It was great to see such a large crowd out for the evening, eating dinner, then staying and participating in the auction. I wish I’d had some spare cash to be able to bid on one of the quilts. Most were going for very low amounts, sadly, considering the amount of time, quality of work, and the cost of the fabrics used to make them. The one I had my eye on, #16 Log Cabin, proved to be the most popular, however, and was purchased for over $1000.
The crowd was diverse, with people like us from the trailer park, farmers from the surrounding area, a few dealers, perhaps, from Kincardine and beyond, as well as many, many Mennonite families. There were kids of all ages, running around, playing, getting muddy and dirty (it had been raining most of the week and this was a farm yard where the auction was being held), but not being chastised or reprimanded. Just kids being kids, and also being respectful of the adults. Many young fathers carried smaller children and babies, while their mothers were busy cooking and cleaning up after the dinner.
And everyone was happy! We tried to thank the Mennonites for holding this great event and inviting us, but they couldn’t thank us enough for attending. It was a most enjoyable evening. The weather held. The event was well-attended. And I believe a sizable amount was raised for a worthy cause.
Now, though, I’m dreaming of cream gravy and wishing I’d also eaten a piece of that Dutch Apple Pie.
I’ve saved the best photos for last … This was the parking area designated for horses and buggies. Two flatbeds had been covered with hay so the horses could feast and visit with neighbours while their owners did the same.
You are most welcome here! Enjoying the view with me from my trailer or verandah.