Heading out to Prince Edward County from Toronto on a Friday afternoon in late spring is a little harrowing. But our little book group was determined, so we piled in the car to visit a good friend at her farmhouse, have dinner, discuss a book and spend the night. Of course the two-hour drive turned into three but with the threat of rain receding and the early evening light of the peninsula greeting us, our mood was jovial. After a couple of wrong turns, we finally arrived at a quintessential 200-year-old Canadian farmhouse set on several acres and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Given the time of year and teeming insect life, we could not linger admiringly outside but had to rush on to a screened porch, disappointing a good number of mosquitoes.
Our hostess had prepared a luscious meal with locally grown ingredients and perfect for a warm evening. We had wine and shared summer stories and childhood memories and laughed – heartily.
Although we’ve all known each other for many years and have spent endless hours in each other’s company, the fact that we were away from our usual place in the world made us more relaxed. We had a lively discussion about the book that most had tried to read and some had finished, listened to one of us play the piano and sing, and stayed up very late.
Blissfully, we each had our own bed and bedroom so we slept untroubled that we would disturb our friends in the night. We agreed that this is an ideal arrangement for all travellers but especially for those of a certain age.
The clear, warm morning smelled of all that was growing outside and we walked the grounds ‘oohing’ and ‘aaahing’ over the vegetable and flower gardens. Some of us are better, or at least more attentive, gardeners than others.
Our brief visit ended in the late morning with everyone wishing we could stay longer. The drive back took less time and soon we were negotiating six lanes of traffic. We had unquestionably relished our little respite from the city that had made us all ponder how full-time ‘country’ living would really suit us.
– Miria Ioannou
– photos: Minda Sherman & Schuster Gindin
Details of county life
Cat paw prints in the concrete of the sunporch floor.
Bird’s nest built in the handlebars of the bikes hanging in the shed.