Aunt Louise Visits Peter and Betty

This week I was going to write about stupid people commenting on things in general and Facebook in particular, but it has been so hot this week that I decided to write about something more pleasant. Besides, stupid people commenting will always be with us, so there’s no great hurry to write about them  😉 .

Loyal Reader, this week I will write about one of the best days of my life, last Tuesday, and a joyful time with my dear aunt Louise. 

Aunt Louise is one of my Dad’s two sisters, and has 5 children, who all live in the Windsor area. I should note that Dad apparently also had two brothers, who died in infancy, according to what I heard in passing. 

Dad had one other sister, Marie, who had 8 children. Her family is spread across the continent from Windsor all the way to Louisiana, with a “whistle stop” in Indiana, and that doesn’t include the “grandchildren”, some of whom are heeding Greeley’s advice and “going West”. 

This week I will concentrate on aunt Louise and her story as it relates to my current situation.

Growing up in Orillia,I didn’t know very much about my grandparents as they lived in Windsor. We had no car and long distance calls were made on “cheap time” unless it was a dire emergency. Hence, every Sunday night “the cone of silence” descended over the house on Franklin Street, as Dad caught up with the news of his sisters and their families. 

As a result, contact with them was infrequent. Dad would go there, his two sisters would bring their families up to Orillia every summer for a few days, I even remember my grandfather coming up to Orillia once. We had a great time with him, proudly dragging him off to see our school. He seemed to enjoy the whole thing.

While I had little contact with my cousins for years, things did improve when I got on Facebook. I was able to re establish a connection with the whole crew and got brought up to date on some of the changes in their lives, both major and minor, and I have continued to travel down to the Windsor area on occasion.

One of the results of the restoration of contact with them is that I am in telephone contact with my aunt Louise. We speak on a regular basis, and I enjoy not only speaking to her, but hearing her poetry. She can display a very raw and emotional way with words in her work.

I was thrilled that she decided to come up to London and have a brief vacation. Betty researched the inn she was going to stay at, and aunt Louise booked a room. We were advised of her ETA at London and were at the train station when she arrived.

I am going to interrupt this narrative to point out that aunt Louise, Betty and I have all had both our COVID vaccinations. On a personal level, I had my flu shot every year, since I worked with the public and wanted to protect everyone I came into contact with, as well as myself. I have always washed my hands and if need be, I will be more than happy to have a “booster shot” to enhance my protection from COVID. 

Therefore, we approached personal contact during aunt Louise’s visit with a great degree of confidence.

Betty and aunt Louise got on famously, and after lunch, we returned to “Chez Montreuil” for a brief interlude before taking aunt Louise to her inn to check in. She was very much at ease at our apartment, which was a relief to me as housekeeping is not our highest priority. CoCo the Fashionable very quickly adapted to our new guest as well. 

All too soon it was time to get aunt Louise installed in her room. The process went very smoothly, except that I had a slight problem unlocking aunt Louise’s door. The key wouldn’t turn, and I was preparing to go to the front desk and be the annoyed nephew when Betty pointed out that there were, in fact, TWO locks on the door. Abashed, I was able to get the door open, grateful that I had avoided being an annoying nephew at the front desk due to the timely intervention of my beloved.

Aunt Louise has a beautiful room, and some pictures were taken and posted to Facebook. To my chagrin, I put up some  cringeworthy captions to describe these pictures. Anyway, there they are on my timeline et al. 

Having settled her in, aunt Louise then took us to dinner. At the front door of the restaurant,  we met a host. After we had passed our COVID protocol, she said that we could “scan” the menu. We professed ignorance in that particular operation, so she offered to demonstrate the procedure to the class.

Well, Betty couldn’t get her phone “working”, for some reason. I attempted to get mine set up twice without success, and, the lesson apparently over, our host said that she would get us a “hard copy” of the menu. She returned with one and led us to our table. I couldn’t help giggling.

I have never heard the phrase “hard copy of the menu” in my 66 trips around the sun. I was also reminded of a phrase I used to say to a co worker when she and I were saved from an embarrassing technical situation due to the timely intervention of a techie. I used to say “I will save you a spot on the ice floe!” alluding to the Inuit “practice” of putting the old and infirm onto the ice when they had outlived their usefulness. 

Anyway, we had a lovely time at dinner. Afterwards,  aunt Louise then talked about going shopping. However, she had been up since 4:00 A.M., so she opted to return to the inn. Betty and I “crashed” pretty soon after we got home ourselves. It had been an excellent day.

Aunt Louise is currently spending time with her first husband’s family. She checks out on Saturday.

Idlewyld Inn Spa

Betty and I will pick her up at the inn and take her to lunch at our favourite restaurant, Mother Hubbard’s. (Great food and locally owned, to boot.) Then it’s back to “Chez Montreuil” until time for her to catch her train home.

If we run out of things to talk about, she can always clean our apartment, just as long as she doesn’t run the vacuum while I am trying to watch the ball game.

See you soon. 


A confirmed Cat person, Peter dabbled with being a water boy, a paper boy and an altar boy before finally settling on a career with the Canadian federal government.  Once, in his youth, he ate a Dutch  oven full of mashed potatoes to win a 5 cent bet with his beloved sister Mary’s boyfriend. (Of course he was much younger and a nickel went a lot farther!))

He has retired to palatial “Chez Montreuil”, which he shares with his little buddy CoCo the Fashionable. He is blessed to have the beautiful Betty in his life. He is not only a plastic aircraft modeller, but a proud “rivet counter”. Military aviation and live music are among other interests of his, and he tries to get out to as many shows as he can. He will be here for your enlightenment whenever the stars align. Profile photo courtesy of Pat Blythe, caricature courtesy of Peter Mossman.

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