Why Not Woodstock?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, Live the life you’ve always imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Without going into any woe-is-me sob story (which is not my style, anyway), many of you know there have been challenges sent my way over the years.  I don’t think these events changed the way I already thought and acted or reacted, but maybe they just magnified the who that I am.  I can tell you that they gave me the power to not be afraid of:

  1. being alone (not that I want to remain so forever, but if I do, I will survive)
  2. doing things by myself for myself
  3. putting myself out there, either by writing or travelling or whatever opportunity presents itself.

Why have I gone on with this preamble of sorts?  Because I must explain how the hell I ended up in Woodstock, baby!  I cannot honestly say it was ever a destination on my “bucket list” (if I were to have one, that is).  Yes, I adore the music of that time and love the idea that 400,000+ people could gather in the conditions that they were and not turn to violence… you know like rioters do now when their team friggen WINS

Anyway.

Last February, I “met” a blogger on another blogger’s blog (say that ten times quickly 😉 ).  We exchanged miles of comments until it was suggested by moi to chat elsewhere.  Good thing because I am quasi-positive there is some sort of blog etiquette on hogging another’s comments section.

Our exchanges – via text, voice, video chat – occurred almost daily.  We discovered that we had so many things in common and felt we could share pretty much any and everything.  A true friendship was born.  We started joking that it would be great to meet in person.  Little snag was we lived about eight hours apart by car.  Still.  What about meeting half-way?  Great.  We did talk about New York City which would have had a coolness all its own though is not quite an even half-way point but I was willing to do the extra.  Problem was, who in the name of all that is holy wants to go sweat in NYC in July?  Besides, there was nothing available hotel-wise.  So that was that.

Looking at maps, one place than another was suggested until he said:  Why not Woodstock?  A true half-way point for both of us, easy access, lots of places to stay plus the potential of visiting THE musical site of musical sites of all times…

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
~ Carl Jung

And so, in May, Woodstock was booked.  Now we had to wait until July 16th.

So. Far. Away.

Till it was here.

We had discussed the official meet-up, who would bring what – I was gonna introduce this Yank to Clamato… welcome him to the Canadian Bloody Caesar (rare are the Canucks who do Bloody Marys).  Not only that, I was making my special “Garden mix” vodka. I warned him I would probably ruin him for future Bloody Marys… He was bringing beer and stuff that comes to mind when one thinks of Woodstock – and what we would do.  We had checked out the surrounding areas and found there were various places to hike so that was definitely on our agenda.  Plus, of course, visiting the venue.

We aimed to meet at the Airbnb for 1 pm on Monday.  Excellent.  We would then go for lunch to break the ice and then do some grocery shopping for some of our meals, eat in on Monday night and then go with the flow and the weather.

Yesterday’s just a memory, tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be.
~ Bob Dylan

The morning was perfect.  My bags had all been packed, the booze, the crepe mix, my clothes.  According to Google Maps, if i Ieft by 8:15, I would arrive at my destination for 1.  I left at 7:55.  Got to the border at 8:50 – record time as there was zero traffic, stopped off at Duty Free for a coffee, some water bottles and made my way to the border itself.  One car ahead of me.  The border guy asked where I was going, of course, and wished me a fun time.

Set my cruise control to 118 kph (73 mph) because I am a lead-foot and need to be restrained and off I went.  My first pleasant surprise was when I filled my gas tank.  Down to 1/4 tank, I don’t mess around and stopped as soon as I could.  I forgot that trick of using the three digits in my postal code and adding two zeros because the stupid gas tanks ask for a zip code… so I had to pay inside.  The cashier asks me how much, so I say “fifty bucks”.  She says not to worry, whatever amount I use is all I’ll be charged for…  Cool. Press the lever and it pops at $23.38.  What?  Press again and a few cents’ worth is added.  Holy moly!  Or rather… FUCK!  We pay way too much for gas in Quebec!!  3/4 of a tank would have cost me at least $45…

Continue on and arrive in Woodstock.  GPS tells me to turn into the driveway and I can’t see the address but trust it. It is 12:55 and no one is there.  Not even the owners.  Hmmm…  So I sit on the porch.  It feels like it’s 100 degrees.   I walk around and feel that maybe this isn’t right.  Hmmm… I can’t remember there being a pool in the pics.  I do remember 3 doors on the carriage house but don’t remember the colour.  That should have been my first “Hello? may be at the wrong place?”  Just as I am about to jump into my car and drive a bit further, I get a text.  “I’m here.”  I respond, “Me, too”.  “Huh?”

Dumbass.  I was at the house next door.  Way to make a great first impression, Rogerson.

Drive into the nice and narrow drive where I was supposed to be…

A smile and a nice long hug and a glad we made it, we left my stuff in my car because the house wasn’t ready for us.  Using his car we made our way into town for lunch. Our chatter picked up exactly where it had left off the night before.  We knew it.  The comfort level was exactly what we had expected/hoped it would be.

We chose the Oriole 9 which had a fabulous selection of salads and sandwiches and beers… we were good!  Enjoyed our lunch (I was starving), found a grocery store, picked up some items and back to the carriage house.

The sweet owners, Emy and James, were the perfect hosts, made sure we were well-connected to their smart TV and that we lacked for nothing – then we never saw them again!   We connected to YouTube and focused on everything Woodstock.  How neither one of us thought to do any research before hand is beyond us both.  This turned out to be a good thing.  We were able to absorb everything together.  Cooking supper, enjoying each other’s company, watching videos.  We were good.

And seriously, how ironic was it that we were there from July 16-19 and 49 years earlier, the famous concert of concerts was held August 15-18?

The spell had just begun….

 

Canada Day in Quebec

I have a love/hate relationship with my province at times.  Especially on Canada Day.  I am blessed (thank you, Mom) to be perfectly bilingual.  I like to say I am what P.E. Trudeau wanted our whole country to be…as comfortable in English as I am in French.  Plus, look how much my father looked like him at a certain time of his life – in a handsomer way, of course…

I went to both English and French schools so I got different history lessons… History being that “unbiased” retelling of the past… I used to joke that I could not remember which were the “bad” Indians because I got both sides of the English/French history – just so I’m clear… there are NO bad Indians…  Who lost in the battle of The Plains of Abraham in Quebec?  Well, that depends on which side you were on… I can’t claim one or the other, frankly.  The English/French thing has been going on since… I’m a Square Head Frog, or a Bloke Pea Soup…

I get frustrated because St-Jean-Baptiste Day – exactly one week prior, is a Quebec holiday and everything under the sun is closed; come Canada Day, not so much.  St-Jean-Baptiste cannot be moved, Canada Day can – I mean for companies giving you the day off… if they fall on a week-day, St-Jean must be taken on that day but Canada Day can be moved to the Friday or Monday, whichever is closer.  Banks and such are closed but you may have to work.  I don’t agree with this.

My friend Joe shared this beautiful pic on Facebook yesterday, so I snagged it for my post.  Our parliament building beautifully lit up.  I apologise for not giving credit to the photographer (still waiting for Joe to tell me if he took it or he himself snagged it…)

I love where I live.  It’s a beautiful province within a beautiful country.  We have wild extremes when it comes to climate, which is normal, considering how vast a territory we have.  There are issues, yes.  I think pretty much every place has.  Here in Quebec the language issues and desire for separation from Canada drive me nuts.  The Separatists come and go and each time they try to rally the troops, they fail. (Thank God.)  It would break my heart if they ever did succeed.  While I don’t want this to be a political post, it kinda sorta is.

It’s Canada Day!

I thought I’d share a few little funnies with you… coz, that’s how I roll.

From 2010… so different Prime Minister but still same old story…

I have been trying, for three days now, to find a text I read a long time ago about a Quebecer on vacation.  When asked where he’s from, he says Quebec.  The other person says, “Oh, that’s a country?” To which he gets the reply of “no.”  So the first guys says, “Then why not say you’re from Canada?” And it goes on and on about trying to explain that the Quebecers like to call Quebec a Nation because they are distinct.  Sadly, I cannot find it to save my life.

And this little spoof from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” from 2014 – shows how this separation issue goes on and on…

And, of course, as many of you are Americans… must have a little funny between the ‘twixt of us… ‘coz ya know, we really do love you guys and we do share the longest undefended border…

So to all my Canadian peeps, I say:  Happy Canada Day, eh!

And, let’s take Rick Mercer’s advice… Go out there and visit this beautiful country!

Oh!  How could I forget to add this!!

Temujin – What Pegman Saw

Good Sunday night, my peeps.  Between cleaning house, attending 50th birthday parties, opening my house to potential buyers, I have started and re-started this Pegman Post.  I’d leave a few lines, come back…  Nope, have no idea where I was going with this.  Start over, leave again…  This is what you get.  A quickie history lesson!  Thanks, always, to Karen and Josh for hosting this lovely prompt!

This week Pegman goes to the Great Wall of China. Feel free to choose from photospheres you find anywhere along it’s length. This link will get you started, or you can venture off on your own. No need to stay with your tour group on Pegman tours 😉

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by your tour of the location. You’re welcome to write fiction, essay, poetry, or anything you choose. Once your 150 words is polished, you can share it with other Pegman contributors at the Linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Temujin

Born to poverty, Temujin survived kidnappings, abandonment by his tribe, murder. and yet became the fiercest of warriors and a natural-born leader.

He put strong allies in positions of power instead of family, ignoring tradition. He granted religious freedom, abolished torture, encouraged trade, created an international postal system, abolished inherited aristocratic titles, forbade the selling and kidnapping of women yet caused terror wherever he went.

Temujin grew his army – up to one million soldiers – by killing the leaders of the enemy tribes and incorporating the remaining members. He used those not expert enough with horse and bow as human shields. The Mongolian empire expanded to over 11 million square miles, including parts of China, breaching the Great Wall as none other had ever succeeded in doing, not once but many times.

And yet, Genghis Khan, proclaimed Universal Leader, was no Superman. Thrown from his horse, he died of internal injuries.

 

 

All the Rage – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday Fictioneers Day, my peeps!  Today I have attempted a “Rochelle-esque” story.  Plus, it’s my photo and I swear, when Rochelle asked me for it, I knew exactly what I was going to do.  Well sorta-kinda exactly.  I also swear, I did NOT read her story first.

Should you like to attempt your own 100-word story based on my picture of the New-ish Montreal Symphony House, then click on the blue frog and add your link.  Easy-peasy.  If you want the official rules and regs, click on Rochelle’s name above….And THEN add your story 😉

Click here to get the link to your blog

©Me, Myself and I

A “Rochelle-Style” Historical Fiction

100 words

All the Rage

Charlotte looked at the metal contraption warily.  “It looks heavy.”

“Oh contraire, Mademoiselle.  It is actually going to reduce the weight of the dress as you no longer need to wear so many petticoats.  Now turn around and lift your arms, s’il vous plaît.”

Charlotte did as Monsieur Milliet requested as he lifted his invention and placed it over her head.  He then tied a ribbon around her waist to hold it in place.  “Voilà!  Is is not magnifique?”

“Oui, Monsieur.  Let’s try it with my dress.  It would be scandalous to waltz about in just my petticoat and hoop!”

Originally created by Mr. R.C. Milliet

Story Time – Friday iFictioneers

It’s Thursday, so it’s Friday Fictioneers time – one day late or one day early, you choose!  It was the perfect day to clean out my garden (I’ve the scars to prove the roses resisted my efforts) so I forced myself to stay away from the computer.  This came to me as I soaked away my aches and pains.  Good thing I had my cell nearby to type out my rough draft!

So… Thank you Rochelle for both hosting and providing this second-hand photo (first for me, though).  Any of you want to join in, click on Rochelle’s name for the how-to.  Or, just click on the blue frog to read more wonderful stories!

Get the inLinkz Code

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Word Count:  100

Genre:  Memoir with extras

Story Time

Though still light outside, Mama lit the oil lamps.

“Night falls so quickly,” she explained.

Turning to my grandmother, I begged, “Oh, Mémère, raconte-moi une de tes histoires. Je t’en prie!”*

“Chérie, you already know them all off by heart!” she laughed.

“Surely not all of them – please!”

She patted the seat beside her, beckoning me. I ran across the room and snuggled next to her warm, comforting body.

“Which one do you want tonight, ma ‘Grande Bardiche’?”

“Tell me one I’ve never heard before, like the one where, to help put food on the table, you were a bootlegger!

*Oh Granny, tell me one of your stories. I beg of you!

As for the ‘Grande Bardiche’ – my grandmother called me that and could (would?) not give me a proper explanation.  Thanks to the Google, I have found out this is some kind of pole weapon, which now makes sense as I once was a tall string bean of a girl…

Friday Fictioneers – Participating

 

Friday Fictioneers time already!  The weeks sure do fly.  Just so happens there will be lots of stories of war, heroes, Remembrance Day; as well there should.  I was going to resist, but I could not.  Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers weekly and to J.Hardy Carroll for providing us with this thought-provoking photo.

Should you wish to add your two cents’ worth, please, click on the blue frog.  Should you simply want to enjoy reading fabulous 100-word stories from excellent writers, click on the blue frog!

©J Hardy Carroll

Word Count – 100

Participating

Today marks Remembrance Day or Veterans Day, depending on where you live.

All over social media are commemorations of loved ones who’ve participated in one war or another.

I feel so strange that there is not one member of my family, on either side, to my knowledge, who has served in the military and/or given up their life for my country.

Though I’ve graves to visit, none are for this type of hero.

Yet I wear the poppy.  And I volunteer at my boys’ school where we celebrate veterans.

“Lest we forget.” Words repeated the world over, as we should.

 

Walktober – Old Boucherville, A Second Look

walktoberrobin

Robin, over at Breezes at Dawn, celebrates October with a Walktober.  Lucky for me, she decided to extend the dates so that I and a few others could join in.  I was positive I’d be able to write my post by October 25, the official deadline, but no, I have been living in my kitchen.  Got a few busy days ahead of me so I figured it’s now or never!

Here’s where I admit to being even later than planned but lucky enough to be included on this November 2nd post!!

I truly enjoy walking around, with my ever-present, dog, Zeke, my hometown of Boucherville, a suburb of Montreal with a population of a little less than 41,000.  I’ve lived here my whole life (minus about five years when I foolishly left) and have trouble believing I’d ever live anywhere else.  Well, except Tuscany, as I keep threatening my family.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

 

Most days will find me walking about Boucherville, either towards “my” river, or to “Teletubbie Park”, or to the industrial park, or to the Parc des Coutances, way over on the other side where, if I’m lucky and early enough, I run into the ladies and their dogs and can stand around chitchatting whilst the dogs chase each other.  This is an unofficial dog park to us and only when the cranky old broad comes by do we re-leash the dogs!

Last year I actually did a post on my walk in Old Boucherville and was going to choose another of my walks or a mish-mash of the ones done in October, but by the time I had sorted the pictures, I realised that Old Boucherville would win again!

This particular walk was actually on October 1st, which explains the lack of fall foliage colours!  All walks start from my front stoop…. The roses were still blooming beautifully and I just had to snap one more!

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As I turned the corner, I was struck by one single leaf in a bush that had decided to stand out.

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Walking along Industrial Boulevard, there were just a few trees showing off.

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By the end of the boulevard, I decided to walk down to the special pathway that brings me directly into Old Boucherville and was pleasantly surprised by a family of Canada Geese.

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Unfortunately, Zeke also noticed them and decided he would like to join them.  They disagreed with the idea and hightailed it down the stream!

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Before arriving at Louis-H. Lafontaine’s house (if you want to learn more about that, click here), there are lovely trees aligning the stream.  This one in particular called me.

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Couldn’t resist Zeke as he posed so prettily in the old Fort ruins.

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We decided to cross Marie-Victorin Blvd. and walk along the St. Lawrence River’s edge and were treated to a few mallards swimming by.

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I got all excited because I thought I saw an eagle!  Thanks my Facebook friends for setting me straight by pointing out it was not a majestic eagle but a huge turkey vulture!  It was teasing me by swooping around and around… I was impressed, anyway…

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A little further on, there seemed to be a party going on in which the seagull was a little shy in joining the ducks…

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Crossing back over, I noticed two lovely old houses that I had never paid attention to, and each had a plaque explaining their original inhabitants.

The first one, called La Chaumière was built around 1742, as a dependent to the Seigneurial Manor.  At the end of the 19th century, it was transformed into a summer residence and it was at the time that the “oeil de boeuf” (small round window) was created.

The Seigneurial Manor was built around 1740 for the third Seigneur (Lord), François-Pierre Boucher of Boucherville, descendants of the founder, Pierre Boucher.

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I foolishly cut across at this point, on my return home and did not get close to the grand church.  How, oh how, did I think I could do a walk in Old Boucherville, skipping a whole section?

Guess I’ll just have to go back and continue!

I hope you have enjoyed my walk around a section of Old Boucherville.