Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Keep it simple!

Probably it has forever been so - best to keep it simple.  If nothing else it avoids the evaporation of one's audience.  Today's little adventure was for my personal benefit. I was the audience. And what I kept simple was the focus of my outing.  There is the perpetual temptation to complicate things, to change or renew whatever has been done before, as though it were the way to some relieving novelty.  Certainly pioneering is important. But at a some point in one's life (or perhaps just at a point in one's day) all we require is a simple pleasure without elaboration or singularity.  This objective I happily achieved by driving along Highway #416 from Ottawa to Spencerville, a hamlet about 25 kms north of the St. Lawrence River.  It isn't as though I have never been there before. But it is only recently that I have enlarged my perception of the small town.  And today I landed upon something entirely unanticipated - a furniture store.

I am especially surprised to have found the place because for some inexplicable reason I hadn't noticed it before. This even though it is on the main street.  The detection likely had much to do with the stunning old automobiles which were artistically arranged in front of the premises.  There was no reason other than the betrayal of the owners' vital interest to promote the automobiles.  They did however succeed to attract my attention and to lure me into the store to examine the furnishings made on premises of reclaimed wood. The products are unquestionably suited to the rural residence, being functional, durable and substantial.  I confessed to the shopkeeper (actually he was one of the designers) that I was committing an act of subterfuge by being in the store -  though I did not explain that it was four years ago that we precipitously downsized and resolved never to buy any more furniture. As I mulled about the shop (upstairs and down) I was drawn to more than one piece, including some extraordinary wall pieces (prints) and glasswork.  They also do specialty window treatments, masonry, custom pieces and refinishing. The store is immaculate and calculated to appeal to the shopper with a preference for quality.  The floors throughout are hardwood; there are Oriental rugs under the furnishings; things are beautifully displayed; the staff are helpful and unobtrusive.  It also helped that there were two martini glasses figuratively displayed on the magnificent wooden bar.

I reluctantly tore myself from the store and headed to what was my original destination - a small Italian bistro called "The Little Sisterz".  Last time I was there I spotted (but hadn't purchased) a delightful looking focaccia bread. I had also enjoyed an exceedingly restorative espresso coffee. Upon entering the shop I instantly discerned that the shelf on which I had previously seen the focaccia bread was empty.  Unperturbed I asked the clerk about the bread.  To my entire gratification she pointed to the top of the kitchen counter.  There assembled was an enormous loaf of focaccia bread just out of the oven.  Victory! I asked her to cut two large pieces.  I also ordered a double-strength espresso.  I can report that both were superb!

The Arcadian vistas which envelope the town make it the ideal venture for autumn travel. A river wends its way through the village.  There are numerous historic buildings - mostly made of stone but some are wooden.  All this within mere minutes of Ottawa!

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