Week 42 – South Too

The Long Trek Home

We planned to leave on or about October 10 to head back to our southern home.  Once again there was another hurricane that decided to come in and skirt by us bringing with it a lot of wind and rain.  Luckily, our area only saw rain and enough wind to bring down some branches and lots of leaves but nothing major.  Just messy.  Our property is strewn with small branches and twigs and lots of pecans and acorns that are uncomfortable if you are walking in barefeet which I often am.

We spent the beginning of the week putting up the winter porch – well John did most of it – and I supervised.  I did help with getting it out of the garage attic and also in holding the larger piece while John secured it.  Some may ask what is a winter porch?  It is something that I think is peculiar to our area of the Eastern Townships.  It is a temporary enclosure that is put up in front of the front door to block the wind and snow from coming right into the house.  If you don’t have a vestibule with an outside door and an inside door then a winter porch is very helpful.  We had this one made for the house many years ago and it has proven very useful over the years.  Not only does it provide a barrier between the outdoors and the indoors but it provides an area where we can move the recycling to for the winter and free up room in the hall for all the winter coats and boots.  I guess when we designed the area 15 years ago I didn’t really think it out quite right.  However, it has worked for us and the winter porch has helped.

We packed up bags for ourselves and for the fur crowd, packed up the two cars and had a goodbye drink with a few friends.  The weather got rather warm for a couple of days which was unusual but then it went back to normal and I hear they are calling for some snow later next week.  Well not here!

Anniversaries, Birthdays, Celebrations

We celebrated with my brother and his wife as they marked their 40th wedding anniversary.  It was a lovely party with good friends.  Adding up all those years that my brother, my sister and I have been married it comes to 125 years.  We have lots to be grateful for.  We had always planned to stay in Canada until after my mother’s birthday which is October 10th and Canadian Thanksgiving.  We did a proper toast to her on her birthday so I share a picture taken of her last year on her 93rd birthday.  It is just a wonderful picture of her and believe it or not, she had just come out of the hospital after having a bad fall.  She loved her wine and cake!

Driving with Bean and Wyke

The drive was fine on day one as we only went as far as Avon Connecticut to our favorite hotel there.  It is a short five hours but it rained, no it poured the whole time.  With think it was the remnants of the hurricane.  Not a pleasant trip but at least it was short.  The next day was awful.  No other description will suffice.  The roads were dry and the sun was out.  Not really warm but in the 50’s.  We went from Avon to Lexington, Virginia.  The traffic was absolutely terrible and for me, in the car with the dogs, it was miserable.  Bean was fine, she curled up on her blue pillow and slept but Wyke just couldn’t get comfortable.  He sat up and panted the whole time.  He had lots of room, or at least I thought he did but he wasn’t happy.  Finally I ended up moving him from the way back of the car into the back seat with Bean and he seemed a bit happier.  We had stop and go traffic for hours and the trip that should have been 9 hours turned into 11 hours.  John seemed to be doing well with the cats and we kept in touch a few times but never did bump into each other.  We were often surprised to find how close we were on the trip.  At one point I think he was right in front of me after I made a brief stop.  It is amazing to me how that happens to us.  We earned our delicious dinner and adult beverage at our favorite restaurant in Lexington, Bistro on Main where Jackie welcomed us like long lost friends.  That helped a lot!!!!

The final day was much easier.  I moved Bean into the front seat of the car (with her seat belt and blue pillow) and gave Wyke the whole back seat to himself.  Either he was resigned to spending the rest of his life in a car or he really was much happier with this arrangement, I am not sure, but he was a much better traveler.  We, the dogs and I, listened to a great audio book called The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton.  It is 17 hours long and we finished it as we entered the driveway in Dataw.  That was the only thing that saved my sanity on this trip.  The dogs do not have an opinion.

Walking Some Days but Not Others

After my big walks last weekend, this week was pretty slow.  I didn’t walk on Monday because it was pouring rain and I don’t like to walk in the pouring rain.  A mist or a light rain is one thing but this was not good walking weather.  I managed a couple of walks before we left even climbing up to the third level which is a pretty good hike.  No hills in South Carolina so I was glad to get a couple of good ones in before I left.  The village is really spectacular in the fall and the colors were definitely at their peak over the past week.  I was sorry to say goodbye to North Hatley when it was looking so beautiful but we will be back soon.  Now I have warmer weather and flatter land to walk on as I get ready for the big 3-day walk in two weeks.  Will hope to get lots of longer walks in as I prepare.  It is very different walking here but still good.

Another Blue Zones Recipe

Here is an easy soup for fall.  I would use either black beans or kidney beans as the canned beans.

Pasta e Vaianeia

1 15-oz can beans, drained and rinsed (black or kidney, or dried beans, soaked and rinsed)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 medium zucchinis, chopped
1 medium tomato
1 tsp dried basil (or 2 tbsp fresh basil)
1/2 package durum what pasta
2 cups green beans
1 cup chopped carrots
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

Boil beans until they are tender.
Add cut carrots and green beans with pod to the water and beans, boil for 30 minutes.
Add potatoes and boil for another 15 minutes. Then, add zucchini and a whole tomato, boil for 5 minutes and then smash the tomato and remove the skin.
Add garlic, basil, olive oil, and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente.