This is the Labour Day weekend, the time that we celebrate the passage of summer into fall. Mornings and evenings are cool, skies are big and blue, and afternoons warm and dry, just right for harvesting if you are a farmer.
This is also the time of the summer lament, the period in which no matter how warm and wonderful the summer has been some people say it should be longer and should have been warmer and what is the world coming to. But most of us love the four seasons, whether we realize it or not. Planes fly in and out of our city daily so if we need a warm interlude during the winter we can have it.
The summer of 2008 has been a remarkable time for me and my wife, Merle. Our son Paul, daughter-in-law Mona and grandchildren Emily and Aidan have moved from Vermont to Edmonton where he has taken a position with Grant MacEwan University. They now live minutes from us, and we are delighted to have them back.
The move gave me an opportunity to fly to Ottawa and drive back to Edmonton with my son who wanted to see northern Ontario rather than ship his vehicle. Driving across this grand country is a great experience at any time, but travelling with my son through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta was a once in a lifetime experience. We kept our friends in touch with our trip by using Twitter and Facebook, ate in fine restaurants and fast food emporiums, drank Tim Hortons coffee in Ontario, and had our first meal on the road in a Don Cherry's Sports Bar. Only prairie folk think that driving 1100 km in a day in northern Ontario constitutes a normal day on the road.
Merle and I spent the first two weeks in August travelling in Ireland with our daughter Heidi and son-in-law Dale. The photographer Frederic Sommer said 'We never go to strange places'. Indeed, Ireland seemed like home to me, although I have no family connection to it. I loved the landscape and history, the art and the literature, but mostly I loved the people. I'll continue to experience Ireland with the photographs and the stories we brought back with us.