8:08 am

The enthralling stimulus this dazzling sunny morning in Mississippi Mills in the County of Lanark is the celebration later this afternoon of Erin’s 31st birthday. The dinner foregathering is at Heron House, Erin’s childhood home in the Village of Aston along the Jock River. The event is especially gratifying for us as longstanding friends of the family including the former alliances as legal advisor (for my part) and family physician (Erin’s father Franz). Over the past four decades we’ve been acquainted as well with Erin’s mom Karen, her brother Marco, her husband Julian and their daughter Sofia. Considering that the familiarity spans as many decades and extends as far abroad as the South Pacific where Erin et famille now call home, it is understood to be a singular and in many respects paramount familial relationship.

I knew last evening when checking the weather forecast that we’d be blessed with sun and clouds this morning. And we were!  It was the toxic start to the day. We as quickly prepared ourselves for the constitutional bike ride which today was invigorated to extend moderately beyond the usual Carss Street limit affording in the end a total distance of 7.28 Kims. In keeping with my customary self-approbation I fashion the modest outing conveniently reflects my age almost to the fraction!

Our early morning excursion was diverted by visits with dogs (Paris and Gabby) and their owners on the Ottawa Valley Trail and at the Farmers Market adjacent the Elizabeth Kelly Library and the alameda.

The serendipitous conjunction of time and place is clearly the consuming element of this brilliant day. In an age blandly denoted by masks and social distancing it is a rush beyond description to unite with such important and guaranteed scintillating ties.  The prospect of the evening’s alliances – and what is assured to be a repast nonpareil – certainly augments my otherwise forlorn and sadly repetitious car wash detail this afternoon. I prefer to account it a needed spark in life’s mundanity. Shamefully perhaps I assess the combination as rewarding overall and completion of the puzzle.


Sofia Karen Choquette’s First World Tour,
Mother Erin Ferraris’s 31st Birthday and
Dad Julian Choquette’s unending pride!

The Gathering of Family and Friends
September 25th, 2021
at Heron House in the Village of Ashton

From Australia to Canada to the United States of America
They launched Sofia’s first world tour;

Of exquisite design, made of features very fine,
To the grandparents it had unimaginable allure!


The enchanting nexus of the South Pacific
to the other side of the world
Afforded a charm literally oceans away
That highlighted ineffable swirl.

It may however have crossed their minds
When planning the events that followed
That the urban and rustic were embedded traits
Insinuating the familial hollows.

The country gentleman and the metropolitan socialites
Were headed for predictable collision
From swimming in the meadow to dodging traffic in the city
The contrast seemed to define the mission.

Into this hectic mode the infant child duly rode
As the parents accommodated change;
All parties determined that evolution was certain
To carry the family to yet another historic page.

We recall those salad days in Vieux Montréal
When nothing seemed destined to fail;
When chance and desire were the mixture required
To ensure that no prospect would pale.

To mother and father and their new baby girl
We extend our heartfelt pride;
To Erin on her birthday we wish you all the best
And to Julian we’re with you as you abide.

Best wishes to you on your return to the sea!
May godspeed you in all that you do.
We embrace you with love and sweet dreams from above;
May you come back with little ado!

Bill Chapman and Denis Arial
Town of Mississippi Mills, Ontario