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A beautiful day

Posted by PlayGroundology on July 1, 2008


It was the first day without rain or threatening thunder for the last week. Hot sun baked our tracks as we rolled down the 133 flanking the Richelieu River. We’ve got a picnic on board and the 2 little ones are getting rocked to sleep, car cradled coziness. Original destination Mont St Hilaire but the beautiful weather urges us on to the source of the river and we track all the way south to Venise-en-Québec a tiny community hugging the shores of Lake Champlain.

It was just before our picnic on the big bowl of a bay stretching to Vermont and New York state with cotton ball cloud collages dabbing a sun soaked sky that I saw it. It, was complicity in spark. I was in line at the local épicerie check out to pay for a shovel, pail and other sand toys when right there in front of me it happened. The spark was almost visible, the complicity delicious. It was a smile, a glance, a sparkled eye, a shift of shoulder, a tilt of the head, an inflection, a last lingering look – all speechless but speaking volumes. Not sure if the young check out woman and her would be suitor were lovers, strangers, or somewhere in between but quietly, almost imperceptibly they sparked right before my eyes leaving a smile in their wake.

Down the road a couple of miles we pulled into a private beach – $10 to park . It’s the waterfront adjunct of a camping ground across the road – full of urban refugees like us seeking open, halogen-free skies. A front end loader – big bonus for heavy machinery crazed Noah – had recently finished smoothing a fresh batch of sand along the 200 feet of lakeshore. This was our open air home for the next couple of hours, our first beach since California. We spread our blanket, lathered on more sunblock, made sand castles and dipped our feet into the water. The only minor annoyance were seados and speed boats buzzing like horseflies across the bay. Nellie-Rose and I found a remedy for this in a 4-seater garden swing where we glided in the shade with her cooing in my arms for what seemed like a welcome eternity. Just before hitting the road, I took the plunge in the water which was a lot warmer than California in early May. The sandy shallows extended 100s of feet from the shore. We might try and get back to this spot and at the very least, we’ll be sure now to carry bathing suits and towels with us at all times….

Chillin\'Earlier in the day, Noah-David and I sortied at our usual just after 6 time for another in the continuing episodes of early morning adventures. I drove some new roads in Sorel and after juicing up with 2 timbits and a coffee we took rue Victoria to the end of the line. Where the street ends a farm begins – there is really no transition, a manicured hedge and then the symmetrical row upon row of corn now pushing 2 feet out of the black earth. There are 4 large horses on this farm that were gathered together unhurriedly eating as we approached the fence penning them in. As we came closer, each in turn lifted its head in our direction and sauntered over. They must get lots of visitors and be the darlings of the neighbourhood children. These huge horses have a solid presence like sentinels silently proclaiming their strength.

We rolled east along the St. Lawrence passing by palatial homes until we were in full blown country – farms, woods, churches, the occasional store, baling fields and tractors. We turned around where the tour boats for les iles de Sorel dock right next to a dinner theatre and le Survenant restaurant. It was getting time for the girls to be up. We quickly slipped into Presse Café to check the wireless and I was able to get a little MacBook netblast. Noah-David was able to check in on his 2 downtown fountains, 1 of which has 2 waterfalls that continue to keep him spellbound. When we got home, Nellie-Rose and maman were ready to rock ‘n roll – so we did right on down the highway.

Grandpapa We had a great ending to our day – a double celebration. Grandpapa Raymond had a happy 61 birthday and Mélanie’s sister Stéphanie and her love, Jasmin, just bought their first home. We had a delicious meal at their new place and got back to rue Hébert sated, satisifed and ready for sleep. Noah-David stayed behind with Grandmaman Nicole and Grandpapa Raymond to have just a little more fun. By the time he got home, Nellie-Rose and I were already away in the land of Nod.

I still had that smile from just before lunch. I was reminiscing on all the arcing electricity that has sparked Mélanie and I, la fébrilité as she calls it, and looking forward to all the current that still has its course to run. Yes, Mélanie was the hottest woman on the beach, filling my dreams, shaping our tomorrows.

A beautiful day.


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