After returning home we showered then drove to the golf club in the Village of Appleton for breakfast. Though the parking lot was not as congested as we would had anticipated on the holiday, the dining room was active with congregations of people in a festive mood, some sporting preposterous clothing adorned with a red maple leaf. An atmosphere of merryment prevailed and the cracks from opening beer cans could be heard repeatedly.
Fortified by my predominantly protein breakfast (two eggs, bacon, sausage, pea meal, cheddar cheese and tomato slices) and purified by the theology of exercise, I gleefully indulged myself in the routine of a car wash in Stittsville. Driving is my shameless custom and one which is always heightened by a clean windshield. The drive along the ribbon of highway between Stittsville and Carleton Place is likewise a guaranteed pleasure. Sometimes I listen to music or just the mechanics of the vehicle.
Our principal objective was a reunion with my friend and erstwhile physician at his country seat. After having drifted from Almonte magically along the newly paved Appleton Side Road and then having swung through the Village of Ashton we arrived at Heron House in the black sedan shortly after 4:00 pm on the afternoon of Canada Day, July 1st. Except for several cotton balls of white cloud the sky was clear and oppressive. The temperature reached 35℃ and the crystal water of the pool was irresistible. Finn, the family dog, barked and wagged his tail as usual and immediately began his ceremony with his toy ball, urging either of us to throw it into the meadow for him. Our generous host - after exchanging the customary welcoming words lingered by the pool only briefly before pursuing his agenda of duties concerning the property and preparing for the evening meal. Though we naturally advanced assurances that we were only too willing to help whenever needed, essentially we never lifted a figure throughout the entirety of our six-hour visit. Instead we lay on the chaises longues and our imaginations were quickly swept away by the balmy breeze and the soporific tunes of the countryside.
The repast that followed was the acme of barbecue - spicy shrimp, filet mignon, salad with an extraordinary vinaigrette. The dessert - a homemade ice cream - was the Sacrament of Heaven. It reportedly consisted of frozen whipped cream, salted almonds, honey and a splash of maple syrup. Frightfully Canadian!