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Life in Rockburn, eh?
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“It appears to have arrived yesterday, but it's too soon to tell.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha !!!
Do ya think it will have arrived in time for Canada Day?
Yeah.....yeah, too soon to tell.”
“You'll be our sunshine Canada Day, MarkO.
I'll have a longer post here Monday.”
“I just hope I don't bring the jungle heat with me.”
“Any flooding in Rockburn like there is in the Adirondacks? Stay off the trails this weekend.”
“I have a brother-in-law who just headed up there for his annual trip......don't know where.”
“If it floods in Rockburn I'll be too busy loading the animals two by two into the big boat (where ARE those unicorns?).”
“I think the unicorns are hanging out with Sacco and his menagerie.”
“How are the road conditions in the Dacks now?”
“Any turkey hunting going on up there?”
“Good one, Redneck, and so true.
Spring is finally here; the pub is now on summer hours and my blackthorns are in blossom as are the dogwoods and hawthorns in the hedge rows. The trilliums are out and soon the orchards and the lilacs will be in bloom.
My buddy and his cousin both got their turkey - 19 and 20 lbs. Gilles hasn't got one so far.
I'm waiting for the water to go down enough for kayaking and fly fishing.
That's about as crazy as it gets round here.”
“The blackflies are just starting to bite here. It's going to be a bad season I think with all that rain we got. Keep your children and pets indoors!”
“I love this song! We saw this waaaay back in college as part of a Canadian animation festival.”
“Well it's been a while, but internet access is spotty for me in the summer.
As you all prolly know, the Canada/Independance Day week-end is devoted to the Rockburn Rib-Off, a cooking contest among the yahoos (a limited number of women are also invloved.
Three years ago, Chili helped me with pulled pork instructions (cf. somewhere above). This year I made cole slaw, one using white cabbage and mayonnaise and one with red cabbage and vinegar. We had about fifty people with 14 cooking.
No-one will be able to even look at a pork rib until about Christmas when the boys start testing secret recipes and trash talking each other all over again.
MarkO came up from Baltimore to be a judge and a good time was had by all (we think) - people walked home or camped. For once I took pics and will try to post them later this week.
MarkO, Giles (the crazy Frenchman) and I took a three day b'packing jaunt to the Seward Range in the Northwestern Dacks the following week, which was great.
That's about all till I get the pics up.
Take care, eh?”
“Fookin' eh !”
“I hope all is well in Rockburn. I haven't heard much about damage north of the boarder.”
“Pretty much just lots of rain and some flooding. Nothing like Vermont, apparently.”
“Glad you're safe”
“I just got word through a number of boards that the Eastern Adirondacks are closed indefinitely. I e-mailed DEC to see if that included the Santanonis that MarkO and I are hoping to do this fall.
Doesn't look good.”
“Everything I've seen about the Adirondacks is it is bad. Think Hurricane Floyd, but worse. There are new slides on Wright and Cascade. Route 73 between 9 and 9N might not be open until winter. Keene Valley is cut off.
The dam on Duck Hole (the trail past Bradley Pond Lean-to goes there) breached and drained the entire pond into Cold River.
I would expect a lot of erosion and a lot blow down.
Hopefully we will have more info as more people are willing and able to venture into the back country.”
“Yeah, it looks bad. DEC replied to my e-mail to say the Santanoni trails are not blocked, but to expect bad blowdowns and washed-out trails.
Pics on VFTT are pretty shocking, especially Marcy Dam, the new slides and Route 73.
Gonna put up a FYAO XII thread now.”
“My daughter texted me yesterday. She had a tumour removed from the top of her femur and a plated pinned on last year. She will be followed for several years to check for necrosis caused by possible damage to the artery.
She has been experiencing some pain and we have all been worried about that. Well, the news is that there is no necrosis and the pain is nerve damage.
We are all breatheing a little easier now.”
“I'm glad she's doing well, Gremlin.”
“Wow! It's been a while, eh?
Life has been pretty crazy and I'm working my way back to some kind of normality (such as I can imagine such a thing).
This is Armistice Day (I think you guys call it Remembrance Day) and I have been visiting schools all dressed up in my Royal Canadian Legion blazer, tie and beret for various school 'celebrations' of the day.
Once again, I have been impressed with the appreciation and the presentations put on by the students. Of course, this being a rural area, just about every family has or knows a soldier who served in Afghanistan over the last ten years.
I sold poppies with my dad and my grandfather starting at the age of seven (oddly the same age I started winter activities such as camping and ski-ing). We would freeze on street corners and stand in the entrance of shops.
My grandfather was already in Canada and joined the Canadian Railway Construction Corps (his army number was 7 - seriously) of the Canadian Expedionary Force and he fell in love with an English girl and took his de-mobilisation money at the war's end to marry her and stay in UK (they moved to Scotland). Both my mother and her sister were born in Dundee. They immigrated in 1925.
Canada entered into WW II on September 10, 1939 and my father, my mother's father (his own father was dead) and his three brothers enlisted the next morning.
One brother was too young to 'fake' it and later worked in munitions and thus was ineleigible for duty. Another brother was an executive in the insurance company that later stored the Crown Jewels in their vaults. He was involved in the planning and was refused on those grounds. He travelled to Halifax and joined the Royal Canadian Navy, but was found out and warned he would spend the war in prison if he tried that again.
My uncle Noman served in the Royal Canadian Regiment (many young friends here serve in that regiment now - some with three tours
in Kandahar Province) and served through North Africa and up the boot of Italy.
My father married my mother on December 7, 1940, a year to the day before Pearl Harbour. It was a Saturday in 1940 and he left Monday morning for Halifax to sail to UK and eventually serve in France (he landed on Juno Beach on D3), Belgium, Netherlands (which he loved - and the Dutch love us) and finally Germany.
He returned in 1946 and I was born in 1948.
They do not grow old,
As we who are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years contemn,
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.
Binyon, Laurence: For the Fallen (exerpt)”
“Wow, it's been a while.
Not much happens in Rockburn, except Giles, the crazy Frenchman, tried to commit suicide this spring by jumping in the Châteauguay River in full spate. Both he and the SQ (SQ=state police) officer are lucky to be alive.
My daughter flew down from Toronto to say adieu to us all. She is moving to the West Coast (British Columbia) and is Regional Vice President of a pet store chain - no dogs or cats (no puppy mills), just high-end pet products. She got he MFA in Documentary Film and instead of working at McDonald's actually got a Production Assistant position at a Doc. film company. She hated it.
She had kept working for a previous boss doing graphics (grafix) for his chain and he hired her to go out west to open four shops. Her boyfriend is an illustrator and works on the 'net and will go out with her.
They are both thrilled and have rented a vacation property in Powell River until they can find more permanent accomodation.
I am a little troubled about them being so far away, but they have their life to build. Also, it will be a great road trip. I took them backpacking in Kananaskis when she was seven and my son was nine. It froze all three nights (July 7 to 9) and we saw a grizzly with her cub.
Her birthday is coming up and we went to MEC (www.mec.ca) initially to look for sunglasses. We got her an MSR Base 2 cookset , along with two MSR bowls that fit in and two GSI cutlery sets. Back home we checked that they all fit inside, along with an MSR stove (I have the Whisperlite and I bought her the Simmerlite).
Some years ago she broke off with her boyfriend and lost half her backpacking gear and that gave me a list of stuff to give her at Christmas, et c.
Saturday (it's the Queen's Official Birthday here - your Memorial Day) my buddy Paul (the one who stole the pig at the Ormstown Fair) had fiteen hundred apple trees to plant and his two guys weren't available. Bob (his cousin and my buddy) and I gave him a day. I wanted to either fly fish or kayak yesterday, but my arms wouldn't do it.
It's rainig to-day, but we'll get the rest of the trees in to-morrow.”
“Your daughter's got an amazing opportunity there! Good luck helping to plant the rest of those trees. That's a cool thing to do. Glad you're hanging in there!”
“In the next few years orchards will never again look like the beautiful places they once were. Luckily I have an 24" X 36" laminated photo of an orchard on my living room wall.
Several years ago they started planitng dwarf trees, but they still looked like trees, just shorter and closer to-gether.
Now they are all planting 'super' dwarfs on metre apart. Yeah, one metre. In a few years orchards will look like f*cking vinyards (we have thos too, I live on the Route des vins.
I needed a haircut last week, but my barber, Jean-Guy Barrette (you can't pronounce it and don't try), died. He was 84 and working in his garden and his wife found him there. He never stopped working, but don't think there was a lot of stress - things are pretty laid back in my part of the world. When his shop was empty he would sit in his chair and watch the village of Ormstown go by. Every year he and his wife would go on a cruise or a group tour of some part of the world.
And so I needed a barber. Now, I don't go to hair salons (WTF is a hair salon anyway?). I went to the other village, Huntingdon, where I am now. I went to Yvon's where I used to go in a previous ante-Rockburn existence. There were, I guess, five old guys (like me) there.
'I'll come back later.' I said.
'No, no, you're next.' he replied.
They were there just shooting the you-know-what (pulling on each other's pipe as we say in French). Well, they were talking about prostate exams. They mostly have the same family doctor as I, Jeannie, married to a local farmer. She likes to brag that she has the smallest hands in the business.
The conversation got a little raunchy and we all had a good laugh. I got a thought. How about a reality TV show about rural barber shop conversations?
“A bunch of old guys talking about prostate exams, who wouldn't want to watch that, eh?”
“Don't people watch things like Jersey Shore? Could it be any worse?”
“BTW, Zac, Some guys have started up a Châteauguay River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I joined it and am looking forward to participating in environment enhancement projects. Ther is a conference in Montreal nex Wednesday hosted by a young friend who participates in thos international fly-fishing tournaments.
I hope to go, but I'm still a little shaky about driving in to the city and back at night.
“Will the show have an old Who song as theme music?”
“Good idea, eh?
Hey, Zac, wanna come to Rockburn for our 4th annual Rockburn Rib-off? MarkO will be there. I'll reserve a couch at my place for you.
“Well, it's Ormstown Fair week-end and all the Anglos go crazy. Old guys who wouldn't say shyte if their mouths were full of it and their wives who would never leave the house on a Sunday drive round with a beer between their legs and the case behind the seat.
Country music in the beer tent and young chicks who stashed half the clothing their mothers insisted they wear before leaving the house are showing as much skin as possible and walking like babes.
The Clydesdales and the re-built carriages are magnificent (how much does that cost, eh?).
Huntingdon had a tornado last night. There are ripped up trees, missing rooves and a destroyed gas station. That will give us all something to talk about for a while.
The French high school where I taught for 32 years had graduation ceremonies yesterday and I represented the local Royal Canadian Legion and handed out 3 bursaries.
That's about it, eh? Looking forward to MarkO coming up for the Rockburn Rib-Fest.
Take care, eh?”
“Well, I finally got a couple of hours in my kayak on Lac St-François. Nice, but hot as you know what. It was very relaxing after a hectic week-end.
Friday evening was our cold cuts dinner at the Legion. We have a dinner every month and that is what keeps our tiny branch above water. I'm in charge of the meals.
Saturday I was invited, via Facebook to a get-to-gether of students who graduated in 1990. I feel very privileged to have been invited. It was great seeing them as we all enjoyed a libation or two on the terrasse overlooking the old canal in Valleyfield.
Sunday was our monthly Legion meeting. I should be working in the garden, but I decided to take some recreation time for myself.
Looking forward to the Rockburn Rib-off and getting into the hills with MarkO. Of course a day or so in Montreal is in order - taking in the free shows at the jazz fest and ogling the chicks.
Take care, everybody.”
A little misty.
“When I got back home the flag was up at my mail box; my daughter had sent me a Fathers' Day card. She just moved to the West Coast (Powell River, B.C.) and the card is a watercolour of the area by a local artist.
If anyone reads this thread you'll know that she backpacks and that I was lucky enough to fill in missing gear for Christmas and birthdays. I drove my kids out to Alberta in 1988 to backpack in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country - my daughter was 7 and my son 9.
Here it is:
'This card is exactly my view at the closest beach 10 minutes away. It's breathtakingly beautiful here. Every time I see the mountains I'm reminded of our time together climbing/hiking and camping throughout my life. The mountains mean so much to me. They make some people feel small, and I understand that view, but they also make me feel happy. They remind me of all the good times we had as a family, being active and appreciative of the natural world. Of all the wonderful gifts you gave me as my Dad, that one is my favourite. Thanks for always being there and for giving me so much to appreciate.'
Just had to share.”
“That's lovely, Doug.”
“Nice, Grem. Thanks for sharing.”
“Life in Rockburn is sounding pretty good.”
“Yeah, especially when I re-read what I posted on the What would you do? thread (page 1).”
“Well, I'm working on my tiny house. For the first time it will show - up till now everything was just survival. It's the Rockburn (one room) School, No. 10, built in 1830 that I bought right after my divorce.
I popped into the village of Ormstown and learned that a mechanic who works at the garage is in the hospital in Montreal with Lyme disease. It hit him hard apparently and they are going to put in a pacemaker (he's in his late 30's). He lives on the next road down.
Now, I am immune to mosquitoes and black flies (I earned it) and deer flies don't bother me if I wear a cap (my buddy Bob claims it's due to the alcohol in my blood- they're afraid they won't be able to fly after biting me).
Having to worry about Lyme disease is a bummer. I'm going to have to start putting chemicals on my body again.”
“start by treating your clothing with permethrin - but make sure to keep the cats away from it”
“Ticks are the worst.”
“I don't have any cats (allergies/asthma), but permethrine's derfinitely on my list. I'm leaving for MEC (and lunch in Montreal) now.”
“Things are getting crazy here again (in as much as things can get crazy in Rockburn - but there are always we locals, eh?).
We are on La route des vins and the Circuit du paysan and the tractors are pulling crates and portable toilets for the approaching harvest season. Soon the tourons will be blocking the roads looking for artisanal wines (ice wine - Beerenauslese) and cider (ice cider), as well as apple products and home-made delights at the many roadside stands.
It will be just about as busy as the syrup season, with its traditional farm breakfasts at the sugar shacks.
Hustle, bustle, eh?”
“You crazy canucks know how to party!”
1: How do you get 20 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
You say, 'Everyone, please get out of the pool.'
2: How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb?
None, we accept them just as they are.”
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