Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gilbert and Dad in Ottawa

The Westjet flight with Gilbert to visit my Dad while my brother was in Italy  visitting a museum that had chose to display his nature photography went very well, indeed.   Because Gilbert had flown before, he didn't appear at all shocked by the experience. The first time he'd been saucer eyed and hardly stopped licking me and dancing about when I collected him from baggage. This time he was an old salt.  Westjet really does care for pets.
With a terrific new  Ford Fiesta rented from Alamo,  we drove out to Stonehaven Lodge. . Gilbert  became excited a block away. At dad's room his tail began going a mile a minute.  Best Buds Forever, (BBF) he leaped into Dad's open arms. . "We've always had dogs, " Dad said ,happy to be reunited with Gilbert who was ecstatic to see him.
Gilbert stole the show at the lodge too.
My brother lives in Ottawa and watches out for Dad day by day.  He'd planted tomatoes on the balcony which Dad duly watered.  Ottawa weather was sunny with blue skies. Dad has a great view of the grounds from his balcony, I had the first tomato of the season and it was delicious.
The next day my geologist nephew back from the bush was kind enough to recommend we drive to Pinhey's  Point on the Ottawa River for an outing.  I got us lost only getting found thanks to the gps in the ipad maps. We did stop at a fruit market and get a box of Ontario blueberries.  Dad loved always to pick blue berries and these were especially delicious.
We had lunch at Lone Star Restaurant in Kanata with the young waitress and waiters giving dad and Gilbert special attention. Gilbert liked it very much that the waitress cut his burger up into bite sized  chunks, 'just the way he likes it."
That night,  Graeme , Andrew and Tanya came with Dad and me to Wild Wings in Kanata. Allan was slugging it out at a softball game.  We ate our fill of spicy boned and boneless wings.   Gilbert was left to "guard' the Hay home.
Next day I drove into Ottawa swinging by the Parliament Buildings for a patriotic peek.  We stopped at the new Freedom Harley Davidson to show Dad  an electraglide. He likes that Gilbert rides on the back of mine with me.
"That's a big bike. It's so heavy.  You couldn't lift that yourself." he said. I explained how the weight kept me from being blown about on the highway and that indeed there was a technique for one person to lift a fallen bike. However when I'd dropped my previous smaller Harley Roadster at a stop sign (it just fell over when I was stopped slipping on wet leaves) two teen age girls had run to my rescue and helped get my Harley Roadster up, no damage done.
We stopped for lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant on Riddeau. It had been voted 'best african restaurant in Ottawa'.  I like Ethiopian food.  Dad remembered it was Ethiopian nurses who had cared lovingly for mom so well in her final year.   Gilbert was able to sit beside the outdoor verandah dining.  It was another sunny day.
The routine was breakfast with his cronies in the morning at Stonehaven. A nap after that, then the drive, then lunch. Then it was drive back to Stonehaven for another nap before getting dinner.
My brother and his wife returned from their Italian tour that night, having been up since 5 am for the Atlantic flight.  W e joined them with the nephews, Allan, Andrew and Graeme.  Andrew had brought Tanya and told us about his time in the bush and their exploration of their mutual scottish pasts in a scottish store.  Andrew had pictures and rocks with various metals to show us.  Graeme and Ron talked of photography. Ron had seen his picture in the museum in Italy, one of the reasons for the trip, his natural photography being honoured by a place in a world class museum.  My brother, the photographer!  Allan talked of psychological studies at university and summer work as a Lone Star chef.  Adell provided cultural insights on Italy. As I'd just been myself the year before as had Graeme it all made for great dinner conversation while we enjoyed the barbecued steaks.
Dad just loved being in the company of his family. "I'm glad you had a holiday, " he said to Adell, "You always work so hard."  Gilbert was taken off to the field by Tanya, Graeme, Andrew and Allan where he was chasing ball to exhaustion.
I drove Dad and Gilbert, both tired, back to Stonehaven. This morning it was breakfast with the three men that Dad usually shares a table with in the dining room. They're all really admirable men, veterans of the three services, and kindly men who were married and raised families and contributed so much to their communities.  "Now we're waiting to meet the Big Guy," one told me.  They all liked Gilbert and fawned over him too.
When I told them I would be back hopefully in the fall, if not the early winter, they said, "Don't forget to bring Gilbert!"
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing your family