Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Return of the Couch Potatoes

overcast, mild, temps minus 3

Not that we've actually been outside. Actually, that's not quite true. I popped out in my slippers this morning at 6:30 to open the car door for my brother Doug as he balanced a coffee, juice and water.

The family left this morning and took a lot of life and laughter and some Valentine's chocolate with them. What fun we had with Doug and the kids. Now that's the way to experience Quebec carnaval. It was loads of fun up until they arrived, as you know. But even more fun with them. Yesterday we went to Au Petit Coin Latin for breakfast...perfect. Absolutely feels (and is) classic Quebec. Not kitch. Then while Rozie and Uncle Michael returned home to read (Rozie has a book to finish by Tuesday - needed to read 100 pages a day)the guys and I went to do our some groceries and wood.

Then home - and we all bundled up well and headed out for the last day of carnaval. The main site is actually outside the gates, at the beginning of the Plains of Abraham. There must have been 100,000 people there...loads of fun. Slides for kids, skating, sleigh rides, snow sculptures...and a caban a sucre. What's known in Quebec as a sugar shack. Where traditionally maple sap is boiled down to make syrup...and if you go a little further it becomes 'tire'...which is warmed up, spread on snow and congeles...turns into a warm toffee. (not a car tire)

Oh, it's just the best! So we all went there and had a serving of 'tire'. (pronounced teer). Poor Brian...he and Charlie and I were a head of the others, we asked for 2 tickets for tire...and Auntie Louise didn't have money! So Brian jumped into the void and bought his brother and himself the treat.

Really, unexpectedly generous - and even when Uncle Michael showed up, with money!! Brian refused it.

Honestly, each of these kids has amazed us in their own way. Rozie by knuckling down and doing her reading even though it meant missing some of the fun...Brian by paying for his brother and himself...and Charlie helped make dinner two nights and did all the dishes (he"s 10 years old!) one night.

One day they'll realise Uncle Michael and certainly Auntie Louise are just in the way!

Still, we had the best time (every time I'd say we were having a 'gas' Brian would burst into laughter, so I stopped that.)

Last night had a dinner of cheese, pate, baguette, vegetables, hummus and chocolate fondue.

And they left at dawn this morning. Sad to see them go, but what a fun visit. And today we sat on the sofa and we plan to do tomorrow.

Hope you're well...hope those of you in the Melbourne area are feeling more confident. And as I wrote to each of you personally, I am so grateful you allowed us into your lives, and spent precious time and energy to let us live at least part of that terrible experience with you.

Thank you. And while it might be quite, I want you to know we haven't forgotten you.

Oh, just got the happy email we've waited for to say Doug and the kids are home, safe and sound. Honestly, I'd make the worst mother - wouldn't let them out of the home, ever! As Michael knows. He's actually a hostage, but keep that under your hats. Wouldn't want him to know.


Jo B. said...

My friends and I have decided reading your blog makes us feel like we are part of your life! You are a gifted writer for sure!

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Jo B,

Well, welcome aboard! though, as you know, some days it's just downright boring. But rarely mean. Thank you for keeping me company.

Myrna Brennick said...

Dear Louise,
I think I can begin this way because after reading ALL the books thus far and your delightful blog I feel I could have you drop by for tea. It would be quite a trip. I live in a little burg in the lower 48 called Yankton,
South Dakota. There is a small group of us here who a stalwart fans. One of us is a local libraian. When your latest book came out she immediately checked it out to one of us and we all read it on one "check out"!
It is the Best!!! I missed more of Three Pines but the plot and the poetry just struck a cord. I am in recovery from the death of my husband of 48 years from lung cancer. Our birth families were far from perfect so I can relate to the family of the book, in small measure. I am in a ramble mood!! I just want you to know how much I enjoy all of this.
Myrna Brennick

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Myrna,

And what a lovely name - for clearly a lovely soul. I'm so glad you've found the books and have enjoyed them. Every now and then I run in to someone I think actually does live in Three Pines, and you are one. There will always be a seat at the bistro for you.

I'm so sorry about your heartbreaking loss. How beautifully you put it - in recovery. The only fear I have is if something happens to Michael. So I can understand your pain and I am sorry.

Thank you for writing to me. You know, I lived in Winnipeg for a few years and loved it! That's not too, too far from you.

With all good wishes, and surrounding you in warm, white light.