Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Dorchester Mill Pond, watercolour by Hilda Markson
My youngest brother is Neale, eleven years my junior. What were my parents doing spacing their children apart so far, five years between my brother Murray and I and then this substantial gap to the youngest? Neale was twelve years of age when Christine and I were married in 1967 – Canada’s Centennial Year. On Sunday afternoon I drove from Port Stanley to Dorchester where Neale and Kathy have lived for over thirty years. They live in a home located nod a across from farm fields which after all these years now contain a Shoppers Drug store on a far corner and will soon have a senior’s assisted care facility directly in front of them. The immediate country view will be gone but the drive to and from work will still wind through fields of corn and other grains.

Dorchester is rural and agricultural yet it serves London as a bedroom community for people who prefer to live away from the urban urgency and willing to make the 20 minute commute. Nonetheless, Dorchester has its own distinctive identity. I walked many of its streets this morning in the warm Ontario AM sunshine at 6:45 and I loved it. Brick is the exterior building material for most homes and I love the look and the durability as compared to the wooden exteriors of most of the BC homes with which I am now most familiar. Husky’s gas station sold me a Globe and Mail as I walked and Tim Horton’s sold me a coffee and a sausage and biscuit which I did not share or reveal to Christine or Neale and Kathy when I returned to their home. But they got me again with prying questions I could not deny. The three slept in until 8:30 AM and we are about to go out for breakfast. Neale’s and Kathy’s daughter Amy and husband Chris Hollywood will join us.

Last night at Neale’s we hung out for a while, enjoyed a great dinner of ribs and potatoes a la crock pot and then went for a walk to the Mill Pond to look for turtles and frogs. How invigorating to walk past bulrushes, to see families of wood ducks, a soaring crane coming in for a fluid splashdown. And then sleep in the darkest of nights, without city lights.

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