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And a Happy Saturday morning from the North Woods. Brilliantly the sun burst through exactly at dawn – that was a first for the week. All week, day after day, it was heavy rain, spitting rain, a London foggy rain, or just low hanging mist. The clouds formed a cocoon around us. The temperature struggled mightily, but gave up trying to clear out of the sixties. Finally, we too succumbed and found ourselves becoming more and more brooding, morose, and sullen.

That is now all ancient history. This morning the world itself is brilliant; and I’ve been sucked right along. Yes, it’s a Happy Saturday morning from the North Woods.

So, now with the outside temperature still at 53, a hot coffee is what’s needed. Soon the temperature too will rise.

”Weather forecast for tonight: Dark.” ~ George Carlin

It was a colony – When still just a Territory and a British Colony, newspapers ran advertisements that focused on young Irish and Scottish folk with offers to migrate into these parts and make something of themselves. And slowly they, following the paths created by the earlier French speaking Voyageurs in their birch-bark canoes, began to settle these woods (4 canoes could carry 3-tons of supplies, paddlers, and new migrants).

In 1867 Queen Victory changed matters by releasing Canada as a colony and thereby creating the Dominion of Canada. This year, Canadians throughout the country celebrated their 150th year as a nation.

150 – This summer, we too have been participating in the festivities. Much like small-town America on our 4th of July events towns throughout these parts held and continue to hold a myriad of gatherings. This week we went to one such event held in the little town of Little Rapids (maybe a population of 100 with one General Store which was established in 1890). LR General Store

The small town hall (it was moved indoors due to weather considerations) burst at its seams as probably 125 of us filled the place.

It was an evening not to be forgotten, great little skits painting a portrait of the history. And there was music, yup, then the music.

We had it all, from old dances dating back to the 1600s with fiddle, keyboard, and tin flute. The air was filled with old Airs, Reels, Step-tunes, and other melodies.

IMG_20170713_194512728

In the small space of the little community hall it were the Pipes which made the windows rattle and brought a lump into many a throat when Amazing Grace and Danny Boy gave remembrance to the losses and times of WWI.

Eventually there was homage paid to some of Canada’s most noted singers, folk like Sarah McLachlan, Anne Murray, and Leonard Cohen. The evening ending with the powerful Cohen masterpiece; Hallelujah.

The chorus opened up as the whole hall burst forth:
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

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Repairs continue – Even, in between rains, and wearing my Baffin ‘Wellies’ (rubber boots) some outdoor work continued. The west facing outside wall of our ‘Bunkie’ had a section whih had rotted. So, some demolition and rebuilding, and now a wait for three or four days of heat and sun and it’ll be ready for paint.

IMG_20170712_184309643            IMG_20170713_164357992            Dirk in work gear

Animal Planet – Yes, even with the weather as it was we did manage to fine a tiny window of opportunity to hold an “after-dinner-coffee-and-desert cruise” around the lake.

And, I managed to Kayak around the lake and in so doing survive an attack by some Red-winged Blackbirds trying to protect their turf. I even provided Marcia with an opportunity for full-throated laughter, when, getting out of the kayak I slipped on a rock and overturned the beast.

Red-winged Blackbird

Finis – Again, happy Birthday Pieter. Tonight it’s dinner at Wakamata Resort with the rest of the family, Donn and Marlene, and Paul and Dia. But before all of that, it’s an Auction held at the town’s Ice Rink.

Then tomorrow afternoon in the small village of Wharncliffe the 150 continues with their Strawberry Jam (fresh strawberry deserts and music).

Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers.

Dirk

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