John Denver.

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Spent a lovely time at the cottage (big ups to Jackie and Hughes for the invite, and props to Ali and Chase for the company and food). Key words: Beer, archery, reading, fire, eating. Not necessarily in that order.

I’ve only rediscovered this summer that I quite like driving in the country. During the day, you see lots of marvellous things, of course, but my trip back was a night drive and I kind of loved it. Tried to find a Tim Horton’s to perk me up, but the 60 is lacking in such amenities, so I did without until Renfrew (big mistake – I had the worst sleep of this most recent bought of insomnia).

Because I was tired, I turned the music right up, drove at a reasonable (yet still over the limit) speed, and kept a very close eye out for deer (the only creatures I saw were the fastest housecats ever and a dead muskrat).

I wanted to kick myself for not stopping to take a picture of the sign for ‘Dairy Freez’ and the ‘Baykery’ in Barry’s Bay (hard to do a uie on a dark, windy county road). I made sure to listen to Andrew Bird as I drove through Wilno, because I listened to him almost exclusively on my first trip to Poland. I laughed when cars that had been following me for ten minutes finally gave up and passed because I was only 20km over the limit and slowed down for blind turns – locals used to those roads don’t put up with such nonsense. I tried to see if I could spot the craft store where my mum bought me a necklace made of seeds in Golden Lake when I was about seven years old. I listened to ‘A Talk with George‘ on repeat, because it’s pretty much as close to reading a self-help book as I will get. I wondered why I used to thinking driving home via Eganville was somehow exotic (probably because the 17 is dull) and why they didn’t seem to have a coffee shop open. I wished that I had brought a proper camera so I could have captured some good snaps of darkened lakes. I realised I was doing 90 through Douglas and finally got down to an in-town speed just as I saw an OPP patrol car, then wondered what people in Douglas did for a living – do they all work at the Bonnechere Caves?* I tried to wail along with Wanda Jackson. I pondered the number of funerals and memorials I’ve been to in Renfrew (at least five, probably more).

Things got far less philosophical as I approached the 417, though I did find out that you can get a Sweet Hydroponic Garden in the ‘Frew. In my parents’ day, locals just got hammered.

By the time the two and a half hours were up, I was hoarse from singing aloud, but not yet irritated (as I am now) that I had to return to the reality of work. The cat tried to make out with me last night and to wake me up this morning, a nice change from trying to destroy my possessions.

I already have my first work crisis to deal with (even though I’m not due in for an hour) and it’s a doozy. I wish I could just hit the road again instead.

* (A place I don’t think I’ve been, despite having seen signs for it my whole life.)

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