Indian Summer

When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian’s Summer. The haziness of the Indian Summer weather was caused by prairie fires deliberately set by Native American tribes. It was the period when First Nations/Native American peoples harvested their crops.

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What’s up?

We knew early this morning that things were happening. The commotion had begun yesterday after we reached out to our erstwhile American estate agent for assistance following announcement of the international border opening in early November. The estate agent’s referrals were investigated and the results revealed today. Though I had hoped the outcome were desirable, it was beyond my anticipation that things proved so exhilarating. In an instant the initial devotion to particulars and certainty was settled. I have reignited my lingering affection for the magnificent barrier islands along the Atlantic seaboard among them Hilton Head Island, Tybee Island and Jekyll Island.  Contemporaneously I have revived the gusto reserved for my dearest personal enterprises; namely, bicycling, photography, writing, music and reading. My modest artistic juices are already percolating!

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Crossing the border,,,

Fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States at land and ferry border crossings starting in early November.

Senior U.S. officials announced Tuesday night a plan to begin reopening the land borders with Canada and Mexico, which have been closed for non-essential travel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

An exact date for the reopening has not yet been determined, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters earlier about the plan during a conference call.

They said a number of details are still being worked out, including the type of documentation that will be accepted to prove a traveller’s vaccination status.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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Life in the village

Following Thanksgiving weekend – which as you know spins out the familial immoderation to Monday – I began my cathartic re-entry to assignment and moral imperative by attending this morning (Tuesday) upon Mr. Sam, the  barber.  My appointment (which initially was booked for two weeks ago but I canceled when my endodontist advised of an earlier appointment) was at 10:20 am this morning.  When altering the time I presumed someone had already booked the ten o’clock slot which is my preferred time for no particular reason other than my obsessiveness. When however I arrived at the barber shop (and after maneuvering the car to align it with the yellow lines) I found there was no one ahead of me.  I was swept into motion at the shampoo station and then seated before the master’s mirror for precision upgrading. I told Mr. Sam I needed all the help I can get! I am especially fond of Mr. Sam not only because of his unqualified professional expertise but also because I have been party to some of the difficulty he has had to endure since he first opened his business about the same time COVID-19 struck the globe. I was pleased to learn from Mr. Sam this morning that lately business has been good and that he is very busy. He also spoke glowingly of his son Jude who is about to begin pre-school day care. Mr. Sam’s wife is reportedly also doing well in her studies which I believe are at Algonquin College.

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The art of living

The skill we have in the exercise of our capacity – that is, the deftness by which we do what we do – is I believe a combination of innate talent, forward thinking, visible credential and accident. The paradigm is easily contaminated by features such as subterfuge, avarice and slovenliness. On the balance though we are all seemingly dedicated by whatever power or motive to the goal of happiness. It is as native a passion as an appetite; just as deep-rooted and as clinically irrational.

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Sunday abbreviation

There is for me always a lax element to Sunday morning. Everybody sleeps in. Nobody I know goes to church (though I enjoy listening to choral classics by St Martin-in-the-Fields). Except in emergency I cling to the patently old-fashioned view that there is no shopping on Sunday. A late brunch is always tolerated.  And token exercise by walking or cycling throughout the community is popular – punctuated naturally by casual conversation.

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Thanksgiving milestones!

It is Thanksgiving weekend.  By late afternoon today – Saturday – as I smugly returned home from my leisurely constitutional automotive meander into Renfrew County, the country roads were fairly sparse apart from the occasional swirl of falling leaves. As a reformed boozer with all the gusto of a newly endorsed Christian, I maliciously conceptualized that the gentry had already retired to the drawing room and were greedily sipping the first of a succession of shots of blended whiskey from crystal tumblers. Such a warm and powerful image on a blustery autumn day! The day had not however begun as agreeably.

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Nothing to do for the rest of my life!

Though it sounds colourless it is a singular and empathic pleasure to have nothing to do for the rest of my life.  What little remains as an agenda on my electronic calendar (and perhaps, now that I think of it, for the rest of my life) is comfortably instructive rather than offensively obligatory. There is no pervading uncertainty. I believe the most urgent of my future obligations involve a haircut, laundry, housekeeping, Thanksgiving dinner, dental hygiene, flu vaccination, health card renewal, dividend payments and that sort of thing. Not exactly a latitude associated with production.

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Unblushing laziness

Life swarms with paradox.  In spite of my native though shamefully self-proclaimed allegiance to virtuosity I am occasionally inspired by trifling economy to acquaint myself with what I appraise to be the laudable accidents of Nature among them for purposes of this chronicle the purgative passage of copyright. I won’t even pretend that the posture and its dubious wildlife inference are but an obfuscation of what I fully suspect is a deeply embedded frugality within the Chapman family genes as exemplified by my late father and more recently my sister.  My sister for example rejoices in the find of a .925 sterling silver salt cellar or other heirloom at a garage sale or similar domestic enterprise. Admittedly my mother and I were affected by the feature of extravagance but always within a standard of excellence; that is, with the exception of once when she bought me an antique brass wall container for deposit of those silly candles that burn down before you get to the top of the winding castle stairs. And, yes, if you’re curious to know, I returned the oddity several weeks after Christmas to the antiquarian on Rue de la Montagne, Montréal. Laughably I ended replacing it with an equally preposterous antique mahogany box for playing cards and poker chips – neither of which I had ever used in my life! Wistfully for me in retrospect – though entirely without secondary remorse – it was that sort of wackadoodle which characterized many of our down-sizing items for auction when we decided to throw in the towel.  A small loss, granted, but a deprivation nonetheless.

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