Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

How many invitations to morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner can be graciously accepted in just one month? And how can a reasonably trim waistline be maintained after being exposed to wonderful gourmet meals almost every single day in July? Never mind answering the questions, let's just relax and enjoy what a fabulous summer this is turning out to be!! All our good intentions of gardening, hiking, biking and just generally keeping fit escaped us, and we easily fell into the habit of outdoor barbeques, summer cottage indulgences, and long, leisurely visits. But then isn't that exactly why we came home - to join friends and family in celebrating life and enjoying these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?

In our defence, we did make a short trip to the Cedar Hill strawberry fields early in July, and managed to turn a basket of the luscious fruit into delicious strawberry jam - one of our summer 'must do' activities. One of the things we miss most on our trip in the van is being able to garden - not necessarily a major enterprise like the Herb Garden, but just some plain old grubbing around in the dirt! Promises to spend several hours working in various friends gardens were easily made....and even more easily broken when we arrived back in Ottawa to constant sweltering temperatures in the mid-thirties throughout July.

Herbfest 2005 had been highlighted on our calendar for the past six months or more, so we arrived bright and early on July 24th at our old stomping ground, after having already met with Gerry and George, the new owners of the Herb Garden, several times during the month. Perhaps for the first time ever, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the festival as we leisurely strolled through the grounds with nary a responsibility. Most of our day was spent greeting old friends, customers, and vendors - catching up on their lives and sharing lots of hugs! The throbbing beat of the African drummers, and the antics of the Junkyard Jam performers thrilled the crowds amidst the well-remembered aura of magic of this special day. As we sipped a glass of wine with the Ottawa Valley Herb Association members at the end of the day, we felt immense pride in drinking to the continuing success of an event that we helped to initiate just ten years ago.

Although the summer of 2005 has been and continues to be a time of happiness and laughter, mixed emotions prevail as we are often poignantly reminded of Mike's absence. He should be there on the deck, skilfully turning the steaks at the precise moment; he should be there at the Duddings cottage, laughing as he dunks our canoe; he should be there as we celebrate our birthdays - something he never ever forgot; and he should be there at Herbfest, flying overhead and taking photos of another successful festival. But we take comfort in knowing that he continues to fly with the eagles, confident that his spirit lives quietly on in the thoughts of so many of his and our friends.
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