I’d like to take a poll…ask a question…get an answer…
I’ve asked this before and by George I’m going to ask it again:
1. How many other bloggers are crazy enough to fly to another country to meet another blogger?
2. How many other bloggers out there would provide that crazy person with a guest room once they arrive?
I don’t know many people who would give me a room with a view and drive me to my grandfather’s birthplace to romp through a graveyard, but that might be one of the many reasons that this particular blogger and his soul mate would put up with me.
As FloridaBorne, I write poetry for TV (Tom) Kapherr’s amazing pictures of Cats At The Bar.
As Joelle LeGendre, book author (who also happens to be dyslexic, etc.) the need for a 5-star editor is mandatory.
The purpose of my visit was extreme editing, Olympic cat petting, and getting to know the family behind the cat pictures.I was a bit reluctant at first, since they live in a foreign country, but I enlisted the help of my fellow blogger, Vickie, to lead me through the airports since she’d lived in Canada for over 30 years and spoke Canadian quite well.
First, let me get this out of the way. There are a couple of things I don’t understand about Canada. In the US, a pond is a small body of water. It’s small enough to throw a baseball across. But in Canada, THIS is a pond:
I know–the difference between Canada and the USA isn’t like traveling to Russia or China. However, when
- you’re trying to find which aisle the grits are hiding on (Grits? What grits?),
- the labels are in French,
- everyone around you is speaking French, and
- you’re standing in an IGA,
newsflash: You’re in a foreign country.
Looking out at the view from a guest room window there are sturdy maples, the edge of a spruce, a moss-carpeted walkway, white lamp posts, a well manicured lawn and in the distance is the soft curve of a gently sloping mountain. Between the mountain and me is a highway. Once in a while, 10 or more bicycles whiz by, startling me for a moment. That’s because where I live there’s no such thing as a bike path. If there were, it would be called the suicide lane.
Okay, so I was in Canada, but where exactly, north of the 48 states was that? Bromont, Quebec, where you can watch fine specimens of spandex-clad bicyclists whiz by on the main highway outside the guest room window for the 2 months out of the year when it isn’t freezing.
“Only 2 months?” you might ask. Remember that, for a Floridian, anything under 70 degrees Fahrenheit is freezing. In fact, one of the pronouncements I heard repeatedly as my hosts sat in sleeveless shirts, shorts and sandals was, “How can you wear a sweater in this weather?”
Yes, I was huddling in the sun wearing a turtle neck, a fleece hoodie, jeans, socks and shoes and shivering my buns off the first day I was there. I believe the high that day was 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
You might think I was cruel, dragging Vickie along only to have her sit around for 2 weeks and do nothing. But if you believe she’s the type who sits around and does nothing, you don’t know Vickie very well.
Who, besides a seasoned horse woman, would know that Bromont is horse-central? The day Vickie went with our host to meet a neighbor, Roger Deslaurier, she learned that he manages the Olympic Equestrian Park where the Bromont Horse Trials were about to begin.
That’s when Vickie, the radio show host, went into high gear, interviewed equestrians, filmed horses jumping over coffins, and dragged Tom around the cross country course as he carried the camera equipment and tried to keep up with her.
They had press passes and everything!
After the show weekend she took a bus to visit friends and horse farms in Ottawa, then returned to Bromont 3 days later to film an interview at another horse show.
My purpose was much more sedentary, I sat with EJ Geras outside or at the dining room table, listening as she read my book to me. She suggested edits and we talked about how to proceed.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m 1/2 blind and I’m dyslexic. To hand me 400 pages of chaos, including editing squiggles, is like handing a computer complete with a user manual to a new tribe of indigenous people you just discovered in the Amazon and expecting them to make any meaningful use out of it.
Additionally, seeing pictures of their cats–and Shilo the cat-dog–is nothing like being with them and watching them in action.
Take, for instance, the hours of fun several of the kittens enjoyed, batting a mouse carcass around, stealing it from one another, and taking a few chunks out of it here and there. That’s one good thing about having 25 cats–no mouse problems. Another is the great stories that can be made from it starting with
Would I do it again? I plan to. After all, the cheese in Quebec is the best I’ve eaten in years, and to my surprise I was invited back for another extended stay. Once I get over that shock, I’ll plan trip number 2. I don’t know in which century it’s going to occur, but…
But for right now, I’m still having an anxiety attack over missing the plane back home. How I managed that anxiety attack (or didn’t) is best left for another post.