I’m in Ontario as I write this article.
A place called Brantford, visiting my brother.
Of course, along with the brother comes a Doctorate in Theology (and all the great discussion that brings us!), a sister-in-law who teaches in the public school system (actually retired and doing substitute teaching – knowing more than one, two or more languages makes her attractive to principals). Add to that two of my brother’s children (and their families) arrive for a supper together – which entourage includes teachers, mathematicians, veterinarians and young kids who speak well and actually get my jokes!
Continue to add to that (remembering that math is part of our family heritage) a visit with another set of relatives.
First, the ride along Ontario “super” highways (401 and 403 for those who know the system). Three cars abreast at 120 kilometers an hour! Inches to spare as you switch lanes. I call this exhilarating, some would call it stressful! The ride was just under 3 hours long of excitement and constant attention.
Arriving in Trenton, Ontario, the in-laws join together at a local restaurant. Two children are around 10 years old and their favourite colour is red. The 16 and 17 year old males are considering cars, getting licenses and usual teen talk.
I decide to challenge the younger set to add numbers and divide in fractions. No problem! Then the teens decide to flip over their place settings and, with pen in hand, begin to explore angles and trigonometry (which flabbergasted the waitress).
Meanwhile, us older ones (who no longer do math tricks at the table) sit and chat. The matriarch is now over 90 – her hearing seems to be tuned in to all of us today. The two siblings (each over 60, and perhaps a few more years) tell stories and reminisce along with chat about an upcoming days’ activities.
We laugh, take a picture on a brass railed staircase and exit the restaurant to our respective abodes. Perhaps this will be the last I see of my mother-in-law. When we part, we know there is a sweet sorrow. The meeting was well worth the effort, the cost and the time.
There is a saying – one which I have suited to this reunion.
Two birds in the bush (being able to connect over internet, Facebook and phone) is not quite as refreshing as one bird in hand (hugging, shaking hands and talking face to face).
I’m glad the opportunity arose!
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