Oct 5 Memories

Fall in Ontario

Fall in Ontario

I left Sault Ste. Marie in the pouring rain but half way to Sudbury I knew that the sun would come out. Seemed to me that the sun didn’t know it yet but at least I only needed the wipers on intermittent. Hwy 17 must have had some work done on it since Karma’s maps were installed because for a good 30 km out of the Sault, she showed me driving through fields and kept ‘recaluculating’ first with annoyance and then with resignation. She was very happy when we actually returned to what she considered appropriate roads. After that she was very quiet.

17 doesn’t go through many towns. I expected to see Wawa but missed it… and it even misses Lively and Sudbury although I could see the roof tops in the distance….oh yes, and the huge smoke stacks. Since I was going to Callendar to visit a long lost friend, Nancy, I was staying on 17 and not going by hwy 69. Taking 17 brought me through Sturgeon Falls.

Winding road

Winding road

I have not been in Sturgeon since my Grandmother died several years ago. Before that the road between there and home was very familiar. When I drove into town I had a sense of vertigo and loss. I drove along the street, past our good friend Vicki’s house. She died shortly after my grandmother and her house was changed but not too much. Across the street, Greg’s place had several large trucks and beat up cars parked in the driveway so I knew he had moved. I wondered if he was still alive. Memories washed over me as I drove toward the large , vinyl sided house on the corner, neat gardens and pretty verandas, at least that is how I think it looked. What I really saw was the weathered boards under the siding. Driving by I could smell the comfortable dusty smell of the shed and then the warm smell of grandma’s kitchen.  It was hard for me to see the little bungalow in the lot that used to be her garden and the gully, now green and landscaped. There was a monument on the corner of the gully. I should have stopped and  read what it said….but I didn’t. I had pulled myself together enough to pull in to the chip stand. I got out,  ordered fries and  stared down the street at the monument. I almost went back to take a picture or something but instead I sat on a picnic table and waited for them to call me for my order. I remembered when we would get the ‘chips’ in paper cones that would burn our fingers and we would stick wooden forks in the scalding, over salted potato strips and eat them with vinegar. That was a long time ago.

When I left I realized that although there are a few new subdivisions and the Canadian Tire is in a big new store, there are very few changes in Sturgeon and I really have no reason to be there anymore. The road to North Bay is not changed at all. I stopped at the view point to put my stomach back where it belonged. Karma and Vincent were both very quiet.

I had no trouble finding Nancy and although things have really changed for both of us, nothing had really changed and we laughed and giggled into the night. I know I have said this before but I am startled again by how much this trip into my future has brought me back into my past over and over.  When I get home I will have to take some time to really sit with myself and go over it all again. Decide what it all means and how it will fit into my present. Cool.

Well, the sun was shining when I passed through Sturgeon and it has stayed that way. What a beautiful night. Talk soon.

Lake Nippissing

Lake Nippissing

One Response to Oct 5 Memories

  • Janice Turner says:

    Oh my god it is hard to imagine you are so close to home.
    In fact as I write this you might very well be home.
    Relax and enjoy.
    See you soon
    Janice

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