We pass the winter by downhill skiing each weekend. I count crocuses each spring. But it is summer that provides each year's highlights.
My mother and I on a lake in Quebec.
In August, we went with Morrie's parents, sisters and niece to eastern Canada. Our first few days were in New Brunswick, around the Bay of Fundy. Our feet sank into the murk of the red, fine silt of the ocean floor at low tide. At high tide, we explored the magnificent coast from sea kayaks. It was a very different experience from lake explorations by canoe. Paddling into a headwind was still difficult, but in the sea kayaks we also lurched up and down, as waves washed over the vessel and smashed against the rocky coastline. Our children were surprisingly fearless.
Sarah & Morrie, Bay of Fundy.
Fearless Alex, aged 7.
We explored beaches and coves around Halifax and southern Nova Scotia. And took two giggling cousins on a night ghost walk of Halifax's citadel.
Peggys Cove, Halifax
Bayswater Beach PP, Nova Scotia
The rugged beauty of Cape Breton reminded us so much of northern Scotland.
We sang, clapped and stamped our feet to the fiddle and guitar at a ceilidh, and inspired Alex to hike for three hours across a windswept cliff in the cold drizzle with jelly babies. Every 10 minutes, the phone's timer beeped and trailing Alex ran to the head of the hikers to receive his treat. We did encounter a large moose; and a bog filled with carnivorous pitcher plants.
Anna, aged 14, reaches the summit.
September arrived with the return to work, to school, to drama classes for Nate; to cello, flute, and piano for Anna; and to electric guitar lessons for Alex.
Before the end of the year, I took a quick trip to Australia. I met Olivia, my youngest sister Elizabeth's and husband Anton's daughter, born in January 2016. Already a people person, Olivia delights in dancing to music, sharing toys and food.