Thursday, August 12, 2010

Famrers Markets, Puppet Festivals, and the Roller Derby

That’s how parents spend their time when their kids are away at camp, just in case you were wondering! With Jessie gone, Dan and I are alone. Seuls ensemble. In years past, we wondered whether this would be a curse (being alone together) or a blessing. We quickly learned that it was a chance to fall in love all over again, much to our surprise! And so we look forward to her time at camp almost as much as she does. There is a list, of course. A list of things we need to talk about such as: finding a work placement for her that’s near to home; figuring out what happens after school when she graduates; finding a college course for her to try; figuring out if we consider moving so we end up in a city where she can attend a college or university program such as those offered in Vancouver (Steps Forward) or Charlottetown (ACE); hiring a personal assistant/support worker, and of course, finding a place for her to live.

But we put the list aside on Saturday and just got in the car and drove. First to the market in a little town called Carp outside Ottawa. The Carp market was my friend Claire’s suggestion, after I told her that we couldn’t go to the Parkdale Market here in town because it would be bad karma. The Parkdale market is where Dan and I once had a fight and I drove away leaving him stranded in the rain with no bus fare to get home. Dan does not have fond memories of the Parkdale market.

The market in Carp was a delight of dogs and organic produce and flowers and craft stalls. We wandered and sampled and sat to soak up the sun and came away with fresh corn, a bouquet of bright zinnias, and stomachs full of home-baked goods. Feeling both sated and zenned, we slowly made our way back to the car and just kept driving down the road with the windows open and jazz humming in our ears and veins. The delight of an unplanned, unscheduled day kept us on the back roads of the Ottawa valley, leading us to nothing in particular other than our own enjoyment of each other and the day.

A turn in the road and a bridge across a river brought us to Almonte, where there was a puppet festival in full swing. We pulled over to the side of the road and wandered into the town, overcome with puppets of every shape and size. There were puppets in the bookstore and the bakery and the even hanging from the rooftops. We bought a pie, a very expensive pie, and stayed for the parade. Then wandered back into the car, ending up down the road again, at the Mill of Kintail where we paused for tea on the lawn and a short walk along the river, singing to each other to keep the bears away.
We drove home in companionable silence, a brief reprieve before the Roller Derby! Yes, friends, Ottawa has a roller derby! And we had tickets! Our languorous day ended as we watched in awe and excitement as teams of young women on what looked like their grandmother’s skates (and with names like Splat Benetar, Justine Sane, Lacy Brawler, and Platinum Bomb) raced around a flat track at breakneck speeds, jammers passing the pack to score points. (I admit I had to read the game rules to figure this out.) My sweetie even bought me a Slaughter Daughters t-shirt. Ah, true love!

It was the perfect day. A day without boundaries or schedules. A day filled with both relaxation and excitement. A day to just get out and do whatever was offered. And we were rich with it.

While work continues, Jess will return, and the car needs major repairs, we have had this day. And it was good!

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

It was a good day, indeed!

Claire had a good suggestion.

Hope you have many, many more days like this.

Thank you for the information about Canadian university programmes. It was cool to see Aaron studying at UPEI (Charlottetown).