Yesterday was a gloriously sunny and warm spring day. The early sun shone on my backyard neighbours' trees. A very tall one was all red blossoms while a shorter one was shocking pink. The third one, the shortest, was all white blossoms. Today is grey, 46 kilometers an hour winds from the south and a storm seems to be brewing. All the red blossoms are gone and tender green leaves have sprung. The shocking pink is darker and the white ones are less numerous. Before lunch we had to run after our sundeck chairs blown away by the wind.
But let's get back to yesterday. We had our monthly brunch scheduled in St-Jérôme, 60 kilometers and 5 bridges away. The usual merry bunch was there and we chatted our heads off. Two, man and wife, were freshly back from Guatemala where they had spent the last 4 months as lay missionaries. Another was back, 3 weeks ago, from Mexico where he had spent the winter. That 3 weeks delay allowed us all to shake hands with him.
After lunch the wife and I made up our mind to go Ottawa, another 2 hours drive, to see the annual tulip festival, the 57th. During the last war (39-45) that is, a Dutch princess was born there to the Dutch queen then a war refugee in Canada. Our goverment decreed that the hospital room where the birth would take place would be ceded to Holland for the duration of the birth so that the baby would be Dutch. The Dutch have kept a soft spot in their hearts for Canada and Canadians because of that and our participation in the liberation of Holland from Nazi occupation. As a token of gratitude Holland, in 1946, sent thousands of tulip bulbs to flower Parliament Hill and the surroundings. Over time the Tulips spread all over Ottawa and now, each first two weeks of May, a Tulip Festival is held.
So off we went. We traveled over the back roads, much nicer than the highways, and more relaxing. Those roads move up and down along ridges and valleys, quaint little villages and summer resorts. We stopped, for some leg stretching, in Montebello. This is where my 78 years opted to manifest themselves. When I got out of the car I could barely walk straigth. Had a police officer been there he would have submitted me to a breathalyser test. After much wobbling I managed to walk reasonably well...but the wife ordered us back to base. We were about an hour away from Ottawa. Suddenly I was to tired to argue. So back we came. Well today is a grey day...but I walk straight, or mostly, and I should be chipper by tomorrow. No Tulip Festival for us this year.