As noted previously, I was away for the last several days. I went home to Thunder Bay to hang out with my Mother. The RANTWICK mothership is doing well, thank you, and we had a good time. I mostly drank beer and watched hockey in the evenings. Mom watched with me but skipped the beer part. In the daytime, we did various kinds of errand-y stuff and on one fine Sunday afternoon we went out to our cottage, walked on a big beach (because the water was low), tossed a stick for a dog and sat in the sun. One rantsister and one rantbrother joined us and it was really nice.
You know what else was nice? Flying. I get a little uptight when I travel, but I always love to fly in airplanes of just about any description. I am blessed, because I only fly every couple of years or so, so it stays kind of ever-new. I love take-off and I love landing. My landing in Thunder Bay was in super strong wind, and the small 80-ish passenger plane was getting kicked around quite a lot. People clapped when we were firmly on the ground. It was scary and fun. Our pilot earned his money that day for sure. My brother-in-law is a pilot, and I stole that "earned his money" thing from my younger sister, his wife, who commented on the wind when she picked me up at the airport. There's one other thing about flying that I really like. I get an inexplicable sense of happiness and/or satisfaction when I spot a golf course or a baseball diamond from the air. I don't why... that's why I used the word inexplicable a moment ago, I think.
Despite the fact that I just relayed such ultra-exciting details about what I've been up to lately, that wasn't the reason for writing this post. While Mom and I were buzzing around town, we swung by the house I grew up in. I noticed that subsequent owners had replaced a normal sized window on the back of the house with a nice new big one:
That, friends of mine, is known as the Sleeping Giant, because it resembles a man in repose on his back. I took that picture just before heading to the airport to leave town. This picture stinks because on some days the features of the Giant are really clear and he's way more interesting and "lifelike" and even seems much bigger.
Anyway, my Mom reminded me that when I was little I would ask to "Go to the Ships", which meant walk a block towards the lake (Lake Superior, for those who care) in order to get a better view of the big cargo ships that come and go all summer long in Thunder Bay Ontario, loading up on Canadian wheat and taking it all over the globe. Here's the view from that spot (no ships at that moment, sorry):
It is really too bad I didn't take pictures when it was just stunning the day before, but these give you the idea. Click on 'em for pretty big versions.
This post is mostly about the fact that as a child and for much of my youth I had something utterly beautiful just outside my back door, literally. A city spread out beneath the houses on the hill, houses that look out over the largest lake in the world and one of its mythical characters. Of course I didn't think about it that way because it was all I knew. In Southern Ontario, where I live now, a house anywhere near such a view would probably cost a couple million dollars. So, short version: wow, homesick, after 20 years. Crazy.
That's all I suppose. I guess I just wanted to mention that fit of nostalgia before it too became a fading memory. It is very likely that something bike-related will turn up here soon, I think.