I’m in Ontario visiting friends and family and I’m thinking I’ve already taken so many pictures I should blog a bit!

Dad picked me up from the airport when I flew in late on Monday and took me to his house for the night. The next morning we head off for an adventure.

Jeff is joining me in Ontario in a few days, and he said the one place I wasn’t allowed to go without him was to the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s market. So of course that was the first place Dad stopped. Sorry Jeff! We’ll go back!

It was a rainy morning. Best part of a raining morning is probably wearing my Gortex rain jacket that I bought about 15 years ago and it was always too small. It fits now! Woo hoo!

You know, there are just some things in Ontario that can’t be experienced in the Yukon. One of those is fresh Ontario produce.

Too bad Air Canada only allows 50 lbs in my suitcase, because I’d like to take all of this home with me.

We were headed for my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Teresa’s house near Huntsville, so we picked up some fresh green beans to contribute to supper.

Then we headed north on the backroads. Dad took me to see a wetlands area along the Grand River where he takes lots of photos.

It was still drizzling, but an osprey still swooped by to say hello.

Then Dad thought Jeff wouldn’t mind if we stopped at his favourite store, Cabela’s, without him either. 😬

Maybe it is the Covid shipping shortages, but I didn’t find Cabela’s well stocked. Dad really wanted a new pair of Darn Tough socks, but there wasn’t a single pair in his size. In the clothing area, most of the racks only had smalls and 5x’s. So it wasn’t much of a shopping spree. New socks and a cap for me and nothing for poor ol’ Dad.

We were passing Weber’s around lunch time. If you grew up in Ontario, I’m sure you know the popular burger spot along Highway 11. So popular, there is a parking lot on the far side of the highway and a pedestrian overpass to get you to the burgers!

The line was long, but not too dense due to Covid spacing regulations, so we decided to join the end of the line. They still employ a bunch of young folk to run out and take your order and payment, way back in the line, so your order is ready to go when you get to the counter.

Dad said, quick! Take a picture into the kitchen! So here you go. This is the busiest burger team around.

Mmmmmmmm – lovely burger. We ate out back at a picnic table.

Next stop was Jeff and Teresa’s and I got a tour of everything new in the last few years since I last visited. Here’s their new maple sugaring shack in progress, that my cousin Josh is camping in for the summer.

I was excited to see the solar panels and how the power is being generated and stored up at Pecker’s Knob (their homestead name).

Jeff and his son Scott are electricians and their seacan of batteries is absolutely fascinating.

More new relics have been added too!

This one is a rare kit that involved turning your car into a tractor back around the first World War. This is a car in the front, originally, and then turned into a tractor with a wooden back deck and metal wheels.

Not to many of these around anymore!

Some of Grandpa Verkley’s old milk jugs here too!

The engine isn’t even seized!

My Uncle Tom and Aunt Cathy came to visit that night too. So great to be surrounded by Verkleys !

The next morning we went for a hike in the woods. Dad had talked about these stone piles up on a hill. Some of the woods looks like it was cleared for agriculture in the past, but there is no way these are just rock clearing piles. There are so many rocks everywhere, the piles would be way higher. These are 6 feet long and all the rocks looked placed. That leaves one other option – graves?

There are many of them, and none too close together. We’re not touching them.

Dad is so good at posing for blog photos now.

I don’t know what Jeff and Josh are doing, but their stances are awesome.

Unreal how humid it is in Ontario. Close to 30 every day with a humidex near 40. I was super sweaty on this hike. Just damp and wet and feeding mosquitos.

Ever notice that red squirrels will pick mushrooms and leave them in the trees to dry?

We had a delicious lunch in Huntsville that day at The Docks restaurant and walked around Huntsville a bit to see the scenes.

Next stop was my sister’s house. I got in after my niece Selinah was in bed, but the next morning I was able to see her in person! I haven’t seen her since she was a couple months old, and now she’s almost 2!

We took a walk around the block and Selinah is the cutest little thing, waving hi to everyone, and every dog, and touching all the flowers along the way.

My mom came to join us later that day, and we went to my cousin Paul’s and wife Lisa’s house for a pizza supper.

Haven’t seen Paul in several years. Nice to see his new place in Petersburg and to catch up!

And Selinah is now best friends with their dog. She loves animals!

Back at Julie’s, I spent some more time playing with Selinah.

And then we went to visit my Grandma Stock at her retirement home in London. She’s 98 now!!

Covid’s been hard on our older folk, not understanding why people can’t visit. Thankfully restrictions are easing and family can visit again!

We picked up a lunch of Swiss Chalet close by and then signed out their shared hobby room and used it with a big table for lunch, rather than squeezing into Grandma’s little apartment that doesn’t have a dining table. They even had a high chair!

Grandma’s friends kept spotting little Selinah and stopping by to say hi. There’s something about a kid that draws in all the older people. And she is so cute she waves and says ‘hi’ to all of them and blows kisses.

We had good visit. Before we left, Selinah wanted to see the bird that lives in the retirement home.

It was super hot outside, but still lovely. We gathered outside for a bit before we left. Just like how I always remember London. Warm. Breeze in the trees. The sound of cicadas screaming from the trees.

Afterwards, there was more time for colouring!

My Tante Miep lives near my sister and asked if we would have a quick visit. YES! With Covid you just don’t know who is comfortable visiting. But most people are vaccinated now and the weather is great for sitting outside. Her daughter Jackie came by and her son Wilfred rolled the awning out over us while it sprinkled a bit.

We all had a cup of tea and Jackie made an absolutely delicious peach upside down cake. I had two pieces! Selinah was a perfect little sneaky garden robber and had fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes!

Tante Miep is now reversing in age I think. She’s my young spry great aunt – one of the last of her generation. She has a lovely home with a really nice green space behind it. She’s written some remarkable books about her life stories and has always inspired me to record my own, which I do here on my blog. I’m so glad we visited so now I can picture her new home!

Back at Julie’s place in Breslau, I could always see a trail around a pond when I look at her neighbourhood on a map. I headed out the other morning and found the trail.

Super nice path for a stroller for my sister to use on her walks. It goes around a pond which is used for storm water management. Lots of birds and wild plants.

I’m in Listowel now, visiting with my Mom. I’ve done all the things a good techy daughter needs to do, like upgrading her wifi system, teaching her how to use WordPress to help me with a family project I’m building, and soon I’m going to teach her how to earn coins in Pokemon Go so she can upgrade her item bag 😁

Last night I took a walk from Mom’s place after sunset over and around the new arena, past the new school, and back through the park. The town just keeps growing! My Dad is right – there is something special about sunsets here. This area of southwestern Ontario where I grew up is flat as a the prairies – all farm land. You can see spectacular sunrises and sunsets here.

Now about that Ontario fresh produce. MMMMMM I’m devouring my way through this basket of peaches. Sorry BC – your peaches don’t compare. There I said it.

Next up – more adventures with family and friends. Jeff’s flying in mid week to join me. I’ll post more as we go!