Sunday, August 13, 2017

CHARMS OF HASTINGS COUNTY

There's no denying Prince Edward County is one of my favourite go-to spots. It's a hop-skip-jump over the bridge away from my home and loaded with great places to eat, visit and just relax.


But this past weekend I checked out the charms of Hastings County, my very own backyard. And I must say, they can give the County a run for my money!



In my early 20s Corby's Distillery was still a very functioning industry making whiskey and had been supporting the community for over 100 years. I remember taking a tour and watching the bottles whiz by the ladies sitting there with their hair nets. The smell of molasses was sweet and heavy in the air. In 1991 the factory closed down and Corbyville grew quiet and sleepy. 



But it's hopping (pardon the beer pun) now! Richard Courneyea, a local businessman has refurbished and opened the Signal Brewing Company. The place is beautiful taking advantage of the location.




The patio was nonstop with staff providing friendly and prompt service to the thirsty patrons.



Our friend Theo checked out the local offerings made on the premises.


His favourite was the dark ale.

And we snacked on nibble size portions 



These yams were a hit at the table


Then we headed over to the Air Force Museum in Trenton.


Loaded with artifacts and information on  War lore, the centrepiece is a Halifax Bomber pulled up from the bottom of a lake in Norway in 1995 and fully restored. Being a history buff I was fascinated. I even sat in a few cockpits and tried out my signature "pew, pew" sound as I shot down the Red Baron (in my mind). 

And who says the County has all the good restaurants? We finished off the day with dinner at Linguine's in Belleville.


My pasta with grilled salmon was delish with lots left over to take home. 

I will always be heading over the bridge to take in the delights of Prince Edward County, but from now on I'm keeping my eye on the Charms in Hastings County too. Bottom line, the Quinte region is a great place to live!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

THE SUMMER OF '77

The two young girls looked about 13 or 14 years old. They had stopped to shake a pebble out of one of their sandals when I passed them on my walk. A little heavy on the make-up but still young and innocent.

And suddenly I was back to the summer of 1977, the summer before I started High  School. 

And I remembered.

I remembered hanging out with my girlfriend Lynda. 

Lisa, Laurie, myself, Bernice and Lynda on Grade 8 Graduation

We were determined to wow them when we walked into that high school so we spent a lot of time pouring over 17 Magazines and trying makeup and hair products. Blue eyeshadow was all the rage. So was "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific" and "Short and Sassy" shampoo. 

I would either bike to her house or, her to mine. We would have sandwiches and  Koolaid and sometimes if we had any money, buy a popsicle. We were still so innocent.

But life was about to teach us a lot in a few short years.

That summer would bring the death of Lynda's father. I would sit outside the hospital on a bench in the hot sun while Lynda would visit her father inside. Little did I know in 10 years I would be doing the same thing in the same hospital with my own sister before she would pass away from cancer. 

High school brought experiences with working and making my own money. With the loss of other friends through foolish accidents or suicide. It brought the intoxicating experience of falling in love, a much too heady potion for any teenage heart to bear. It brought independence and many, many mistakes with drugs, addiction and sex. 

I passed by those two young girls, little heavy on the makeup, and wondered how they would fare through their High school years. 

Life is an incredible journey. Full of wonderful and fearful experiences that mold us into who we become and even though I felt I had lost all my innocence by the end of those 4 years, I had not. It is still there, still hidden away inside the little girl within me. 

You just have to remember.