Wintering in Canada’s Capital Region

Sporadically throughout the past eight months since our precipitous and unfavourable return from Longboat Key to Canada on March 21st last we’ve canvassed journeying as far east as the Atlantic Ocean in Nova Scotia and as far west as the Pacific Ocean in New Zealand. For the moment – at the very least until our medical insurers agree to cover our aging and pandemic needs – we’re resigned by default to linger here. As romantic or exotic travel may normally be, the current situation makes adventure far less appealing and maybe perilous.

By contrast this afternoon – a spectacular Indian Summer – I motored as usual along the undulating ribbon of highway from the Township of West Carleton to the County of Renfrew.  It was quite impossible not to be moved by the scenery. I had opened all the windows as well as the landau roof. The vast tilled fields with their harvest stubble spread to the horizon where was a yellow orb strangely surrounded by a wintry haze.

It took us years of repeated 6-month annual visits to Hilton Head Island and Longboat Key to acquaint ourselves sufficiently with the territory to dispel the very natural caution and reluctance peculiar to a new and distant surrounding. I mention this because frankly I’m close to exhausting whatever inconvenience I may. Increasingly my preference is for the familiar. In addition we have by design devoted ourselves for the past seven years to distillation of our material comforts.  This means we’ve endured a punishing downsizing. Yet what remains – just as I am compliant to our current dilemma – is unquestionably what we would wish to have and no more or less.

To this indulgent smugness I feel I ought to mention the addition of one new ingredient – Laudanum. Or what – apart from the whimsical Sherlock Holmes literary allusion – is in our circumstances more accurately called THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Lest I be misconstrued in this ambition, I dilute any putative addiction by advancing – as the patients no doubt did in the 16th century when Laudanum was socially acceptable – that I do it for my health. Never having been one to suffer pain (or any other intolerance for that matter) it was the work of a moment to convince me to investigate what was once a nefarious combustible. I had already experimented with Tylenol Arthritis 650 mg and some other prescription medicaments. My sleuthing first included prescription marijuana, some with predominantly CBD (“pain killer“), some with predominantly THC (“psychedelic“). Paradoxically the CBD caused me noticeable anxiety; and its pain relieving features were less than desirable.  The THC on the other hand seemed to afford more an anodyne with the advantage of some limitation of apprehension.

The closing curtain of this aimless account was the wafting smell of newly prepared and cooked Jalapeño cheddar cornbread! The Sacrament of Heaven!