Nom de Plumage

January 15, 2012

Lake Erie

Filed under: Diary,Solo Travelling,Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 2:45 pm
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When I had first rung my Aunt to ask her if I could visit, their was some apprehension in her voice before she finally decided to allow me to come. Not really knowing the reason behind her apprehension, I was to discover it when I finally arrived. Nestled at the very end of a ‘no-through’ road, my Aunt’s little white two storey home, was beautifully situated amongst trees and right next door to untouched land. Entering her cute little home, I was surprised to see clutter and boxes everywhere. It was now that it dawned on me, she felt shame that I should see her living this way. At no time did I feel disgust at her situation because I understood the reason behind it. My aunt’s three daughter’s live in Texas and with no family around her, she was deciding whether she should move to be closer to her girls. Hence the packing and de-cluttering of her home. In many ways I liked it more. Amongst beautiful French style furnishings, boxes of books,framed paintings/photo’s on the floor and pieces of antique crockery and ornaments, it was a little treasure trove that begged to be explored. I was given a room upstairs, decorated with beautiful antiques and looking out over the beautiful forest. After a peaceful night’s sleep, I awoke to share breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast and more gossips with my beloved aunt. There is another resident of the house and her name is Ursula. A huge dog with thick grey fur, a placid temperament and a deep loud bark. At eleven years old, she is deaf but appears to be in good health and spirits.
After breakfast, we go for a leisurely walk through ‘the village’ as it is so fondly called, to meet the locals and see the massive Lake Erie that is just metres from my aunt’s house. A calm stretch of water that stretches further than the eye can see, the bluish grey water gently lashes the sand below our feet as I stand and wonder at the sheer vastness of the lake. Not far from where we are, lives a good friend of my aunt’s and we go and see if she is home? Tootsie, as she is fondly nicknamed, is a widower in her late seventies. Every summer, she leaves behind the stress and crowds of the city, to come and enjoy the quiet life within ‘the village’. What a woman! If ever Lucille Ball had a twin, then Tootsie would fill that shoe perfectly. A loud croaky voice, thin yet very fit, extremely funny, wild stories to tell and with her beautiful features, she is an amazing woman. We were then visited by another friend called Shirley and between the three woman and their continuous smoking, but throat burned and eyes watered from the nicotine overload.
We walk back home and are met on the way by Alden, Aunt Julie’s boyfriend. He is the apparent dilemma of her choice whether to move to Texas or stay? At the ripe young age of seventy five, Alden is built like a former football player. Coming just under six-and-a-half feet, strong and still very fit, I was impressed with this gentle and polite giant. He was here to meet me and take us girls for lunch. We drove in his immaculately clean ford car to a town called Monroe for a late lunch. Portion sizes of food in the US is massive and something to behold. I ordered fish and chips, but it also came with a bread basket (fresh bread, cracker’s and grissini sticks), a large bowl of salad (lettuce, one wedge of tomato, one slice of cucumber, one thin slice of onion ring and a bug or two) and to finish, mushy carrots and hard peas. The food was nice, but way too much. My poor aunt order’s spare ribs and entertained Alden and I as we watched her lick and pull her way through the sticky feast. She was so embarrassed. After lunch we go for a long drive through the open country, past farms and little villages and try to make our way to a place called Irish Hills. Unfortunately, we could not get to it due to road maintenance. The end of a long, yet amusing day, we finish with a very light dinner and early to bed.

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