Travels With My Aunt – seeing our island anew
I borrowed the title for this blog from an old movie which some of you may recall. It doesn’t really apply to my recent weekend in Victoria with my mother and visiting aunt recently, but somehow the title kept reverberating through my mind.
My aunt Dorothy is 80 years old. She swims 40 laps a day, talks virtually non stop and doesn’t even need to take a nap. She still likes to have a drink or two, favouring lite beer and white wine. She used to like gin, doesn’t drink it anymore (but has several bottles on hand from all her trips across the border and her quest for taking advantage of a good deal).
She told just about everyone we encountered on our trip that she was from London Ontario and had never been to the island, and how beautiful it was here – especially considering that fact that they’ve been having a lousy summer in Ontario and our weather has been great.
My aunt has travelled a great deal and enjoys telling (and retelling) the stories of her trips to Europe, Hawaii and to the southern States and northern Canada. She also loves to talk about her six grandchildren and her two children and all their accomplishments and foibles. This doesn’t mean that my mother and I found her to be in any way annoying. On the contrary, she was entertaining and a joy to be with. And we both knew that she would return home and tell everyone she knows with equal enthusiasm about her trip to the island and the time she spent with us.
Visitors are great, because they always help you to see anew this amazing place we call home. We had her over for dinner and treated her to local prawns and lingcod we brought home from our last trip to the Thurlow Islands, black cod my son caught on the west coast and sockeye salmon from Gold River. We had salad and sautéed vegetables from my garden to complete the meal. For three days, she talked about what a fantastic dinner it was, and I agree. We are so lucky to have this bounty from the sea at our doorstep, and to live where it is so easy to grow our own food.
As for Victoria, I enjoyed the weekend there in the company of my mother and aunt, and discovered why Butchart Gardens has such a fabulous reputation. If a garden like that could be created from an abandoned quarry, then perhaps there is hope for Catalyst Mill – could we make it into an amusement park?
Anyway, it’s great to be home and sitting under the stars in quiet and balmy Storries Beach, after a great swim in the ocean, knowing that a happy and healthy future is only a few laps away.