My camera survived!


This was the last photograph I took on Sunday before going ass-over-tea-kettle into the waters of the Tay River’s Grant’s Creek at Allan Mills.

I then walked across the arched, stone bridge I’ve photographed on other occasions to get to the other side of the creek. In order to get a springtime perspective on the following photo, I needed to walk downstream along the shore, crossing a barbed-wire fence on to the next property – all of which I did without incident (the barbed-wire had hung me up momentarily over the Christmas holidays, so I knew this walk was not without risk!)

Although Craig’s partner, Claude, was with me on Sunday we were not walking together so that when I attempted to get my spring version of the winter shot, backing up to get the framing right, he only saw me fall into the river from quite a distance away.

The shock of what had happened, and of being soaked in water, prompted me to jump up with surprising agility only to stand twenty pounds heavier, soaking wet with my camera still around my neck.

I was quite prepared to sit outside the mill in the sun to dry for awhile but Claude thought it best to get me back to Mom’s, sitting on a plastic bag in the passenger seat. I convinced him to delay our arrival a few minutes with a stop at the Tim Horton’s drive-thru down the hill from Mom’s.

When we got back, hoping that Mom would be resting upstairs after an earlier long drive that afternoon (and she was), I stripped out of my clothes and Claude threw them in the washer. Then I changed into my sleep-lounge wear and we took apart my shoes (Dr. Scholl’s orthotics and all) and spread them out on the sunny driveway.

By this time Mom had come downstairs and so there was no point in sugar-coating what had happened – although I did try to make it funny. However, approaching the five year anniversary of Craig’s fall and subsequent death, and remembering that it was nine years ago that I was knocked down by a taxi which fractured a femur and wrist (the effects of which I still feel), Mom wasn’t overly amused and suggested that I needed to take more consideration of my age and abilities before doing anything so risky.

I assured her that I agreed and vowed not to go anywhere, from now on, that a wheelchair could not safely go.

As for my camera, which worried me with its water-logged works, the view-finder was fogged up and it did not respond to the “on” switch. By Tuesday, however, the fog had lifted and fresh batteries brought it back to life although the zoom function seems a bit handicapped. I’m just hoping, which I hadn’t dared to before now, that I can get some consistent performance from it between now and next month’s trip to Montréal. If not, there’s a tax refund for that.

These in-between days


One of my sisters, the mother of my mother’s grandchildren, remains with Mom and me in Perth for a few more days. I leave tomorrow evening after almost four weeks. Perth has certainly felt like home, more than Toronto, since April 24. We have all been noticing how tired we are. Hardly unexpected, that. Last night I went to bed shortly after nine and slept right through to nearly eight o’clock this morning.

We visited the cemetery yesterday morning. While Craig’s white roses are showing a little wear the mauve irises still looked fantastic.

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In what will surely be at least a pair of firsts for Scotch Line Cemetery Craig and Claude’s graves will be marked with an inscription describing them as “compagnons de vie”. Two men acknowledging their love for one another, and in French! Claude has bought a stone similar in design to Mom and Dad’s, only black and gray. My cremated remains will one day be buried in my parents’ plot which has plenty of room minus caskets.

There is also, by the way, a better, much more picturesque road – Allan’s Mill Road – to get to the western side of the cemetery, meaning everyone but the driver can blink as we go past the Kelford Road disgrace, an automobile grave yard which shows no signs of shrinking, on County Road 10 at the fork in the road which splits Scotch Line and Upper Scotch Line. [map]

The lovely stone house and, to a lesser extent, the mill on Allan’s Mill Road are still intact, as well as Allan’s General Store, although no longer operating as originally designed. Below Grant’s Creek, part of the Tay River, flows over peaceful rapids.

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The family graves are in the morning shade of a beautiful one-room, stone schoolhouse where Mom’s mother taught many, many (like maybe 65) years ago. The huge tree out front, Mom remembers, was planted during the time “Gammy” spent there.

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Claude was planning to go to this afternoon’s regular service of Camino de Emaus, the Spanish-speaking United Church congregation which Craig had been attending in downtown Montreal. It meets at L’Eglise Unie St. Jean on Ste. Catherine St. E. The second language there is Claude’s first (French).

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Tonight I’ll do a big laundry before taking an evening train tomorrow for the three-and-a-half hour trip back to Toronto.