Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quebec, parte deux

My Grandfather and Jeannette on their wedding day August 1962

The cocathedrale in Old Longueuil

Typical old stone house of the region

I am happy that Claire and Louise let me have the picture of my grandfather and Jeannette. I had not seen it before. You can see what a beauty she was and she aged very gracefully. I had more wrinkles than she did at 90, the price of my sun-loving ways. But as you can also see, my grandfather was no beauty although he did age well. Small pox had not been kind to his skin. (While having it, he had to live by himself in a cabin on the edge of town and food would be left on the doorstep.) My grandfather was very charming however and was able to win Jeannette's heart. Longueuil, on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, is a very old community established in the 17th century. Lots of these beautiful stone houses. Later we went to another community, Beloeil (beautiful eye or view), to eat in a creperie in an old stone building such as this complete with those thick, oak beams inside. It was too dark to take pictures and there are none on the web of it. Very good crepes however and very French or Breton, the area of France (Brittany) that crepes came from. One difference is that every table had the Quebecoise staple of choice, sirop d'erable (maple syrup). The Quebecoise love their maple syrup.
After Jeannette was buried, we all returned to the funeral home where there was a reception. I got my wine shower, got too close to my brother while he spoke wih his arms. Good thing I was wearing black.One of the relatives was on the first ship that went down the St. Lawrence Seaway when it openned in 1958 so I got to hear all about locks. The man was happy to practise his English with me (my attempts to speak French are too pathetic to record here). He spoke of a friend, a new French speaker, who would say 'je suis decedee'instead of 'j'ai decidee'. I have died versus I decided-who knows what silliness I would could come with? But people were very nice and treated us as family. After the lunch, I went to town to take some pictures and then visited Claire and Louise at Claire's nice apartment. Later Andre came over and we all went out to dinner. Jeannette had left a box for us in her assisted living place but when we went to retrieve it, the place was crawling with the 'pompieres' i.e.firemen. Look at these pompieres! We only hire the good looking ones!! Claire told me. Indeed they were pretty cute. Although they were just investigating a fire alarm, they needed alot of bodies in case the residents needed to be hand-carried out of there. The elevators don't work during a fire and the wheelchair bound would be out of luck.By the time, we retrieved the box, just glassware, and went back to Montreal, it was quite late. I fell asleep during the openning ceremonies trying to catch a glimpse of my son's friend's little brother. He's reported that each athlete receives unbelievable amounts of swag, video cameras, fancy this and that. It cost his parents $1100 each for the openning ceremony tickets.

I am home now. I had no time to run in Montreal though the weather would have been OK. The bikepaths of Longueil were ice covered but I thought I'd run along the waterfront in Old Montreal. Never happened. I tried to make up for my 3 days of sloth today. Still catching up with unfinished business here.

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