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French friends in Trawna

Busy! Busybusybusy. House guests, and not just any house guests, but Lynn and Denis, guests from FRANCE. This means things need to be right. What to do with a couple who have visited most countries on earth? Visits, outings, and meals were planned and executed. And it was wonderful.
– Dim sum with Wayson and two of his own best friends
– A bike ride for Denis with Jean-Marc along the lake to the Leslie Street Spit, showing him architectural and natural sights, and then a long dinner in the garden, on the beautiful Provencal tablecloth Lynn brought, with Jean-Marc and our mutual old friend Louise, visiting from Ottawa. When Louise was ready to go, the friend who came to pick her up turned out by complete coincidence to be an old colleague of Jean-Marc’s.
– A ferry ride to Ward’s Island with mutual friend Ken, a walkabout, and later, dinner for all of us at Sam’s restaurant, with special different cocktails, or a mocktail for the non-drinker, made for each of us by the tall bartender
– Another visit and lunch in the garden with Louise and then a very slow streetcar out to the Beach to visit Anne-Marie and Jim (I joke that I have “four intelligent Catholic friends” – Lynn, Denis, Anne-Marie, and Ken, all practicing Catholics and yet – really really smart! A mystery to me) – a walk around Ashbridges Bay Park, a swim in Lake Ontario, and dinner at their place in the Beach – trout barbecued on a cedar plank and all manner of fresh Ontario produce, including, of course, corn on the cob, which my French friends don’t get to eat at home.
– A bike ride for Denis and me to the St. Lawrence farmer’s market.
– lunch.
– talking talking talking talking debating talking arguing talking reminiscing talking
– dinner
– oh – and wine. Wine wine wine.

Delicious. Except for a bit of rain, the weather has been beautiful, and except for the appallingly slow service sometimes of the TTC, Toronto was on its best behaviour.  Denis is now in Montreal, soon to depart for France, and Lynn is here with me for three more weeks, her first long stay in Canada for decades. She is currently working in the living room and I in the kitchen. We went to the Y this morning, I to do a class and she to swim. As soon as we got back, I ate a huge lunch, but she has not eaten yet. Our rhythms are different. This means that my Canadian stomach will be hungry again and want supper much earlier than her French stomach, which eats later. We’ll work it out.

Our bit of heaven last night – as you know, I like to dance around the kitchen to Randy Bachman on the radio. Last night, there were two of us boogie-ing madly around the kitchen. And then we watched a French movie on the French channel. At one point, she remembered that my childhood dog’s name was Brunhilda, Brunie for short – a dachshund – and I remembered that her’s was a mutt called Wolf-fang Leroy. We never met each other’s dogs, who’d died before we met, but they live on in legend. I have known this woman for 51 years. It’s a gift.

My daughter texted from Washington, where she and her boys are visiting her dad – his mother, my ex-mother in law and grandmother to Anna and Sam, died last night. She was in her late eighties and had been suffering from Alzheimers. A powerful woman felled.

And my aunt is still in pain; my brother and I as caregivers disagree about her treatment, which makes everything more difficult.

Would like to tell you more, but I’m full and it’s time for my nap.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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