Grand Bend, Mind Bend, Grand Day

According to Google maps, it’s 73 kilometres to Grand Bend from my place, so I drove twice that this morning on my weekly tour of southern Lake Huron environs. For most of the way, I listened to CBC Radio One, and am better educated on:

– the reaction of Canadians, especially Quebec Muslims interviewed for the radio, about the murders of six men in the Quebec mosque by another pale-skinned non-Muslim angry young man; the need for Quebec to acknowledge its changing demography; and the continuing hope we have as a people that we will be better than this – that we must be better than this one small evil man’s stupidity and hatred – always.

– interpretations of George Orwell’s “1984” in light of the first days of Donald *rump’s lunatic, lying kleptocracy (my description, not theirs); the optimistic outcomes that can be taken from the novel; and the perspectives of two very erudite and articulate literature experts on the value and re-evaluation of Orwell the man and the recent, sudden renewed interest in his dark vision of a hyper-controlled and repressed society. Very cogent expressions about the divisions in the American populace, where non-urban areas have suffered more from globalization, and the observation that social media has helped isolate people from other groups and individuals, so that exposure to varying ideas in daily life among people you know has decreased tremendously. Points of view are now stretched to ends of the spectrum, leading to less respect for conversation and understanding. Comments on the vilification of Hillary Clinton, who served her government well, and the pernicious use of language used during *rump’s campaign to dismiss her value as a good public servant, a leader, and a woman.

– corporate America’s responses to the new government in Washington, in view of what ideological and social mores and changes corporations can or should be expected to fulfil – if any – and a comparison of those with the functions and roles of good government; and Canadian corporations’ cautious slowness in reacting to Washington since January 20, as evinced by a lack of Canadian corporate representation on the radio panel.

Finally, the “Bend” of my drive to Grand Bend: CBC Radio gave a short synopsis of David Frum’s recent writing in The Atlantic Magazine, after which I must confess I agree with him. There’s a shivering timber moment! He described the current administration in Washington as being desirous only of personal financial gain. And now I must go read what this arch-conservative, once the beloved of the Republican Party, bemoans about the Orange One and His Bunch of Ill-educated Pirates. It may hurt me, and I’m a little scared, but I was impressed and glad he’d written what he did, and so shall find out more.


Grand Bend, like all towns propped up by summer populations, has a distinct beauty in the quiet of winter.


The water looks particularly cold on a very cold, windy day, but the colours of the place are magnificent.


And I’m not the only one to take a look out over the lake from the warmth of my car.

The car is great, the winter tires are great, the rock stations were playing good driving, sing-along tunes during the news segments, so I didn’t have to listen to what horrible things are spewing from D.C. thus far today, and the CBC was great, too.

I spent too much money at the Super Store, but what a sale they had. What a place. I’ve got a barbecued chicken, I’ve got a fresh, half of a steelhead salmon for less than $10, and I bought a roast beef (small)(for under $13!). Chicken for sandwiches and spaghetti with alfredo sauce. Salmon to cut up and freeze. Beef for Sunday, for which I must bake bread!!

And two very nice bed pillows. Because the Real Canadian Superstore was selling one for $12, two for one dollar more.

If you knew what giggly joy I get just throwing stuff in the car, you’d want to distill it and keep it all for yourself. It’s so much fun! So common, so run of the mill, and so wonderful.

Four months in to my new life in a new place. Hurray!

BUNNY RABBITS!!!! (Maintaining mental acuity in retirement.)


Six-oh-four a.m. is a little early for most, and late for some, but it is the time I rolled out of bed this morning to a tail-wagging, front-leg-hopping, let’s-go-walking dog.

He’s happier every day about our new accommodations, and I am proud of him for making the effort to cope.

The elevator was all ours. Joy all around.

The eastern sky, dark, showed a blanket of cloud disappearing southward, and feathery wisps high in the southwest revealed the bright, waning, “supermoon”. It’s always a little damp around here, but it was the start of a promisingly pleasant day.

Down to the river walk we went. Me, trying to keep Espresso walking fast enough that I could say I’d exercised, and he, trying to sniff out the notes and scents of previous perambulators, the better to construct the complex totality of all the life and activity in this small patch of our teeming earth.

Too early today for geese, terns, gulls of any kind. Just grumpy ducks, unhappy to have to swim away from the path wall, in case of jumping, fowl-retrieving, water dog. Which Espresso is definitely not.

And then, after we crossed the railway tracks to come home, just past an art installation I call “Tetanus and her little sister, Lockjaw,” A BUNNY RABBIT! I stage-whispered it aloud, “Bunny rabbit!” as if Espresso was mentally dim, or hadn’t smelled it or seen it perhaps five minutes previously.

Please understand that Espresso has never, prior to seeing a rabbit in the same spot two weeks ago, evinced any interest whatsoever in chasing anything. But he wants to chase this little rabbit. Very, very much. He’s also good enough to sit and watch a small rabbit watching us. For a while. With just a quiver now and then, in anticipation of a run that never happens. Until a second set of ears pops up, giving the word, I guess, and suddenly two cotton-ball bottoms bounce and ping off into the shrubbery, whereupon Espresso forgets the leash for a second and gets himself yanked slightly.

Life is full of small disappointments. But then we get home and have breakfast!

The Eastern Cottontail rabbit is pictured here, thanks to Google Images. It really has a cotton-ball-like tail, and in the dark, the tail is a funny thing to watch, hopping away. A hopping beacon, in fact, for eyes attached to carnivorous teeth desiring meat. An odd evolutionary adornment, but not as disastrous as one might think. Because there they were.

Think about this: bunny rabbits. The two words sit together, comically I think, for an adult utterance. I worry that this sounds too close to “yummy,” a word used incessantly by some of my former workmates and beginner-level adult English language learners. A word I detested and continue to detest beyond any kind of rational explanation, and for which I find more accurate and precise synonyms: tasty, flavourful, sweet, spicy, hot, aromatic, tangy, cool, refreshing, gloriously delicious.

Which I hope those two Eastern Cottontails will never be. Long may they live and prosper. Ditto luscious and evocative synonyms. For the interior eye, and the well-oiled, happy humming of the active, engaged, intelligent, aging brain.