August 11, 2002

Away and Back



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

August is escaping me altogether! I am suddenly surrounded by a whirlwind of activity.

Attila and I decided to take a camping holiday. He found he could arrange to leave his daily responsibilities behind for four days and three nights. Not a long holiday by North American standards, but a welcome break in the routine by our estimation.

We quickly reached a decision on which campground to visit, and began to pack our tent, camp stove, and other necessities into the trunk of the car. The morning dawned bright on the day of our departure, and by 7:30 a.m. we were pulling out of the drive and following the road to the great outdoors.

In recent years, I have suffered from back problems. Having always been quite active and very much a "do it myself" kind of gal; the transition to caution has been distressing. Camping involves sitting on awkward picnic table benches, sleeping on the ground, and bending to enter cramped spaces where one must dress in a stooped position. The question was, how well would I manage? The only way to find out was to "give it a try".

Exercising caution, I did not participate in tasks that required reaching, twisting, or lifting. My efforts were rewarded with a pain free holiday, although there was one very cold night that resulted in some morning stiffness. A quick walk down to and back from the lakeshore relieved the problem in the most enjoyable way possible.

The campground was new to us, and had a few unique features that will give my holiday memories some real flavour.

The hot sunny day yielded to rainy drizzle just as we drove up to the campground registration office. Yes, the clear skies broke at the exact moment that we arrived to setup our tent! We laughed at the ironic consistency of the natural world.

We first pitched our "kitchen tent", an open-sided affair with a roof, over the picnic table. By the time we had this shelter assembled we were both soaked, and so huddled together on the towel-dried bench to watch the rain fall gently into the lake. The view could not have been better. Our site was on a narrow peninsula, with gently lapping water on either side, beautiful.

Just before dark there was a break in the clouds and the rain ceased for a few hours. Attila took this opportunity to pitch the tent, completing our sleeping arrangements; and so the first day passed.

The night was filled with sound. My dreams were punctuated by the distant whine of transport trucks on the nearby highway. The railway line adjacent to the campground was very busy that first night; the engines throbbed, the wheels whirred, and the whistle was loud enough to convince me that the tent must be pitched in the middle the track itself. The strangest noise however, was some sort of bird. It seemed to be a seagull, and called intermittently in the night; or perhaps it was a child with a very strange squawk. In my dreams, this sound became associated with VISA bills, and by morning, quite a sizable debt had been accumulated.

On the second night, I slept through these noises, taking no note of them.

The campground was filled with happy families. Children rode their bicycles up and down the roadways. People passed by in a steady stream, on their way to and from the washrooms or the waterfront. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be alive, and to be surrounded by trees, rocks, and water.

As time passed we became more rooted to the ground, more attuned to the breezes and the movement of the sun. Our days passed peacefully and quickly, our evenings quietly as we listened to the loons call and watched twilight steal across the water. One could forget, for brief moments, that this way of life has passed out of existence.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Blooms in Absence

By the Easy Chair
The Golden Notebook
by Doris Lessing

"Dreams squashed like insects by the big shoes of fate."
Crawford MacKenzie in "The Big Tease"

6:59 EDT
Temp: 15`C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: E 4 km/h
Barometric:101.7 kPa

Sunrise 6:25 AM EDT
Sunset 8:34 PM EDT

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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