Friday, May 23, 2014

The Best Things in Life are Free

It was a holiday Monday and promised to be the warmest day of a chilly May long weekend. We looked at each other over breakfast and my husband asked that dreaded question.

“What are we going to do today?”

We looked at each other some more as we struggled to come up with a really great idea. I was beginning to think we might end up tackling the endless chore list for want of something better when I had a sudden inspiration.

“We could take our bikes and bring a picnic along,” I suggested.

It was decided. I started making sandwiches and Bev went to get our bikes out of the rafters in the garage. It would be our first ride of the season.

We wanted to see some new territory so we settled on biking the first part of the Caledon Trail which is a Rail Trail stretching from Terra Cotta all the way to Tottenham. We planned to get as far as Caledon East which would be a 19 kilometer ride one way.

By 9 am we were at the trail head in Terra Cotta, geared up and ready to begin.


Dappled sunlight dancing through the vibrant greens of newly sprouted leaves. The trail stretching empty before us.



The musical sound of water gurgling and splashing along tumbled streambeds competing with the chorus of birdsong overhead.


The chance to stop at the river crossing to watch the minnows dart in and out of the shadows under the bridge.



The forest floor carpeted with trilliums in all their glory.



Even the swamps are beautiful in the spring.



Wild strawberries blossoming all along the trail, the promise of sweetness to come.


Our destination reached in time to relax on a park bench and eat sandwiches that somehow tasted better than they would have if we’d eaten them at home. Chai Latte from the local coffee shop for dessert and it was time to begin the return journey.
More stops on the way back as we noticed things that we missed coming out. Ice cream at the General Store in Ingleside to celebrate the day. 

Finally, after 38 kilometers, we were back where we’d started, our strength depleted and our spirits filled. Not bad for our first try. We drove home in that warm and comfortable silence that is the fruit of years of easy companionship. When we pulled into the garage at last Bev turned to me with a smile on his face. 

 “This was a really good day.”  

Yes, yes it was.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Moments to Treasure / by Robin Livingston

I spent a few days this week looking after my 3 year old granddaughter and having adventures. Not all adventures are huge and breathtaking. There is plenty of excitement in the ordinary little things that fill our days when you see them through the wondering eyes of a child.  Spending time with Evaine brings out the inner child in me though I can’t quite match her boundless energy. I may be weary when I go home tomorrow but I will be richer by far than I was when I arrived.


Arms outstretched and a shout of welcome,

“Come play with me, Baba!”

Plastic cookies served with make believe tea and grave politeness

Towers of blocks carefully constructed and gleefully demolished

Shrieks of laughter as we chase a purple ball back and forth across the lawn

Heads bent together as we examine and count the leaves on a sprig of clover

Waving at our shadows as they stretch out in front of us in the morning sun

A wagon load of treasures discovered and examined along the way to the park

Rocks and pine cones and flowers and seeds, wondrous “stuff” to show Mommy and Daddy

Endless games of Hide and Seek and Follow the Leader

Marching and jumping and flapping our arms as we try to fly like the geese overhead

Absolute trust and joyful abandon

 “Can I see? Can I come? Can I help? That was FUN!!”

Kisses that heal and giggles and hugs

The first fuzzy caterpillar seen this year

Warm snuggles and sleepy yawns as we say goodnight at the end of the day

It doesn’t get much better than that. I’ll carry the memories home in my pockets and take them out when I need reminding.  Every day is a gift.