yin yang, summer hols version


Allow me to use these ancient principles to illustrate the way that just when something annoying happens and just as you’re in the middle of being annoyed, poof!  the yin yang thing kicks in and makes lemonade.

(No metaphors were [unduly] harmed in making the above sentence.)

Maybe everything is yin yangly but it seemed even more so on a recent getaway, which begins early early in the morning at Toronto’s Pearson Airport where the two people sitting behind me cannot shut up about how there is no smoking area inside the airport and how they don’t feel like walking all the way outside even though the entire return trek might take 20 minutes. They’d prefer to spend an hour moaning about it instead. Also everything is apparently the government’s fault. Everything. Then I overhear one of them say something that tells me they’re on our flight. Yay. Always nice to be in the company of conversational wizards in nicotine withdrawal. = ↓

But… they don’t sit anywhere near me on the plane. ↑

dsc06988↓ Rental trailer not ready on arrival. Will be 45 minutes to clean.

↑  It’s a blue sky day and we’ve been on a Rouge  plane for hours and are therefore starving and possibly semi permanently scrunched up (thank you inch and a half of Rouge  leg room!) so decide on a walk, maybe find a bite to eat.

dsc06996↓ The only place, we’re told, is a Timmy’s just up the road, through the industrial park, next to a gas station.

We head in that direction but, before getting to Timmy’s, we discover another place and wonder why no one mentioned this oasis of deli with ten thousand options for the best snacks ever. AND a patio overlooking a zen garden of smiling bees and giant purple sage.

dsc07007 dsc07008 dsc07013↓ Is this our trailer???

dsc07015↑  Uh, no.

↓  The place where we get our fruit and veggies is out of garlic because we are told the farmers are asking too much for it. Too much?  How much is too much? And why is everybody willing to pay ridiculous prices for green tea coconut milk lattes but not locally grown garlic? Here’s the thing:  if you can, please pay farmers whatever they want for decent food decently grown so that they too may have a decent life. (And the answer to the coconut milk latte is *because they are frigging delicious*.)

↑  They do have lovely onions. Also pears.

dsc07019↓  The place we get our happy ethical meat and eggs from has moved and is now impossible to find even though we have the address.

↑  After a kind of Laurel and Hardy show involving calling the place three times because I refuse to use GPS, we find it. We buy ethical chicken wings and other delights then drive to our favourite IGA for staples like olive oil. Our camping rule is that we shop once. Whatever we run out of, tough. It’s an iron man camping challenge to use only what we have and to not buy more or have leftovers. It’s not possible to express how much I love this part of camping. Or this IGA.

dsc07086↓ The pub we always stop at for lunch is closed. As in forever. We aren’t surprised. The guy was a bit of a schmuck. And the patio was always closed.

We start a new schmuckless tradition.

dsc07023 dsc07028↓  At our remote campsite there is a copse of chokecherries. Also a mother bear and two cubs feeding on them.

↑  We move to a very nice trailer park.

dsc07035↓  We are warned about rattlesnakes in the area. Oh sure, we say. Pull the other one, hahaha! But on a walk we hear what sounds like a rattle. We don’t stick around poking shrubs and rocks to see what it is.

↑  We feel wise to not care to see what it is.

dsc07121dsc07131↓  The lake we are on is freezing cold.

↑  It’s also clear and sandy bottomed and shallow and the sun comes up over the hills that surround it. And the moon too. I swim every day.

dsc00042_1 dsc07137↓  We go to lunch at a swanky place but the sun is so hot  on the patio….

↑  Oh suck it up already.

dsc07168↓  I’m lost trying to find a road around the lake.

↑  The nicest people work at the Carmi Motor Inn. And they know directions.

dsc07081dsc07083↓  I go to a small town tourist info place and ask what there is to see. “Not much,” the guy tells me. He’s 81, he says, and has lived there for thirty something years and not much goes on and that’s the way he likes it.

↑  In the same town I find a small museum which is really just some pioneery things in an old house. My favourite thing is an old journal from the area that reads: “March 16th Not much to do all day… March 17th… Not much doing all day, not even basketball after school…  About a week ago I heard a meadowlark but haven’t heard one since… March 18th… A fine day but not much to do…”

dsc07095↓  The Honey BooBoo family moves in to the camp site next to ours. The children throw stones at ducks and are so addle minded that their poor addle minded mother must yell at them constantly to do the simplest things, like not fall into the fire, etc. When we suggest they do not use ducks as target practice the mother chimes in with YES!!! RILEY AND DAYTON!!! THAT’S VERY INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR!!!!  Everything they say is at a strange heightened volume as if perhaps they are used to living many kilometres apart and must communicate via open doorways and wind currents.

↑  When we ask if there’s another site we can move to, not only is there one, it happens to be the nicest site in the whole place. Thank you, Honey BooBoo.

dsc00052 dsc00022_1 dsc00013 dsc07117-copy dsc07071 dsc07067 dsc07077↓  We run out of olive oil. (And, in keeping with iron man rules, are not allowed to buy more.)

↑  My honey picks me a consolation bloom.

dsc00047_1↓  We run out of chips.

↑  We buy more at the canteen. Chips are the exception to the iron man rule.

↑  Then we find a little house in the woods that sells homemade perogies and once again break the iron man rule.

↓  We are punished by the perogies overcooking themselves into inedible mush. We are grateful for chips.

dsc00015_1dsc07135↑↓  On our last morning, the fridge is almost bare. (This is both good and not good.)

↓   The chips are gone.

↔  Our remaining iron man ingredients are lemons, coriander, two eggs. two slices of bread, a tiny crumble of blue cheese, onions, a few spoonfuls of yoghurt, one perfect pear.

↑  Breakfast, just before leaving — lemony eggs benedict without the hollandaise or the peameal. And a fruit cup.

dsc00050 dsc00055

Embrace the yin yang.


12 thoughts on “yin yang, summer hols version

  1. You have the gift of turning everything into an adventure. Including making a heavenly looking breakfast – out of nothing. And then you write about it in a tone that is not just enjoyable read but makes the reader feeling part of the adventure!

  2. I love this – beautiful pictures and entertaining commentary!
    Now I want to know where you are, and how you managed to find a campground where you can find perogies in the woods?
    The old journal made me laugh, and the picture of that terrible camper. :)
    The iron man rule for your food sounds like a fun idea. Maybe we’ll try it someday. But it might work better if we wait until the kids are grown. Although, I’m sure they’d be happy to eat chips for every meal. :)

    1. haha! The perogies came from a woman who lived off the highway in an unassuming little surrounded-by-woodland house with a PEROGIES! OPEN! sign on her driveway. How can you resist, right? I love what people ‘do’… I mean, who would think of doing this in the [almost] middle of nowhere? Well, there’s the highway, and a gas station nearby. Maybe that’s it, she hopes to cash in on all those people who stop for gas and think: “Huh, now if only I could find someplace to get perogies while I’m filling up…” Like me. (:

      We were outside Penticton, BC. Banbury Green was the campsite. Can’t think of what Hwy the perogies were on… the main one that runs through the area.

      1. I’ll have to look for it if I ever make it over there! :)
        You’re right – it’s interesting to see what people ‘do’ – and not always expected.

  3. Tears are running down my face Carin! Too bad you couldn’t have had crumbled chips on that delicious looking mess ‘o eggs. Of course this was doubly enjoyable for me as I could follow every single step of the way with you – except for the great deli in Kelowna? Now I have to go read it again – you got my morning going:)

    1. The deli is out near the airport in an industrial park. Called Bonanza Meats and Deli. It was a sweet little oasis when we thought our only choice would be Tim’s. (:

      p.s. Chips for brekkie!! You’re my kind of chick.

    1. Pork is the hardest to source. I don’t know why that is. There’s a farmer at the Uxbridge market that I like to buy from; he’s one of the few I know of who really ‘grows’ pigs on a small enough scale that he can do it as close to ideal-for-the-pig as possible. Otherwise, and in the winter months, I go to Healthy Meats on Brock Street in Whitby. I’m never sure just how ‘happy’ the meat is, i.e. are the animals penned or not and if so to what extent; I’ve never visited the farms that supply them but have spoken with a few people who have and while it’s not always an Anne of Green Gables situation, it’s still a thousand times better than buying the feedlot meats from the grocery store. Though I’ve heard that a few inroads are being made with some of the big chains to start providing more and more ethical meat. Which, apparently, is marked as such on the label. It’s about what consumers want, right? Voting with our pocketbooks as they say. And to ask questions in the stores about where things come from.

      1. I just realized maybe you meant where did I get our meat out in BC…. in which case, the answer is Ogopogo Meats. They’re tucked away a bit, hard to find, but they exist, and are brilliant. Top notch ethical.

  4. Lavender, cold lakes, a horizon of mountains, a campfire where you toast (almost) red toenails, pierogies, a Cosmos consoling you and the empty olive oil bottle. Good trip, no?

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