Posted by: gdevi | December 28, 2013

Snow Walkers

Saturday, December 28th.

We arrived at Nusia’s house on Thursday, the 26th around 4:30pm in the evening. I will post photos later when I am back in LH and on my Mac; I need to transfer the files from the SD card of the camera and this PC does not have a port for it. We spent a lovely evening and night, and a whole day (Friday, the 27th) with Nusia’s family and extended family. I will try and remember everyone that I met. First, it was just wonderful to see Nusia, Giliane and Emery! Giliane and Emery are my age, and Nusia is my aunt’s age. I met Giliane’s three children — Loucka, the oldest who is 10 years old, and the twins, Zachary and Maxim, 8 years old. Very very sweet boys. I want to take all of them with me to Pennsylvania! Loucka wants to go fishing in PA; come and see us next summer, Loucka; we will take you everywhere. You can stay with us as long as you want. They adored Dayani and the four of them went off to play Fifa soccer video game. St-Come was deep deep in snow and the next day we went snowshoeing, but in the evening on that first day, the kids played inside. Nusia’s farm house is over a hundred years old, and the woods around it — over two hundred acres– are filled with rivers and used for all kinds of outdoor things in the summer. I saw some of it when we went snowshoeing the next day.

I met Emery and his copine, Liliane. Emery used to be slender just like Giliane and used to have beautiful curly hair twenty six years ago when they visited Trivandrum. Now he does not sport the hair and has become tall and thick set just like I remember Yvan, their father, who passed away recently. Nusia has not changed either, just a lovely, lovely woman. I have great love for her. Nusia said we can bring Jesse with us to her house. So we took Jesse as well, since Jesse’s hind legs are so bad. Thank you, Nusia. Giliane is still slender and has not changed much. Emery’s girlfriend, Liliane, is a nurse at the hospital, and just a lovely, lovely person. She and Emery had visited India a couple of years back when they were in Hong Kong, and apparently, they rented a motorcycle somewhere in Madhya Pradesh and rode all over western India on a motor bike! Lily had worked as a nurse with the Inuits up in Northern Quebec for two years and she told me everything I need to know about working in the Inuit territories. I think I am one step closer to my desire to live and work in the Canadian Arctic! Thank you, Lily! I met Giliane’s and Emery’s friend Yoshimi, who was visiting from Japan, from Kobe; a lovely person. We set the table together and did the dishes for all the meals. I also met Lily’s brother, Jean Michel, Lily’s mother, a beautiful woman in her seventies, Lily’s father, a tall thin gentleman in his seventies, Lily’s father’s second wife, and her daughter, Sandrine. Then, there was my aunt, K, D and myself. There were eighteen people in the house, in all, I think, and a mixture of nationalities. Nusia is Polish, Giliane and Emery are Polish and French Canadian (Yvan was Quebecois), Yoshimi is Japanese, we are Indian, Lily and her folks are French and French Canadian. The first evening, we made an Indian dinner, since everyone wanted to eat Indian food. We made a vegetable pulao with a garnish of different kinds of nuts, daal, raita, and a spinach and potato subzi. It was good; the boys loved it too. We had taken some bottles of wine as gifts as well. Emery lit a candle inside a “star” that was made of ice; Gilian had given him that as a christmas gift years ago. It is just a plastic mold shaped like a star. You fill it with water and leave it outside for the water to freeze. There is space in the middle for a candle. It was truly beautiful.

Emery made a wonderful waffle breakfast Friday morning, with maple syrup, homemade apple and raspberry fruit sauce, yogurt, whipped cream, and chocolate for toppings. With milk, juice, coffee and tea. It was delicious! Friday after breakfast, Emery got snowshoes for everyone and we went snowshoeing in the woods behind Nusia’s house. Nusia stayed back in the house with Jesse. It was an incredible experience, and now when I think about it, almost magical. The pine trees covered with snow, the snow up to our knees and almost to the chin of the kids, the sky blue. It was just incredible. We walked and we walked and we walked all the way to the cliff from where we could see the entire valley beneath us. If we fell from that cliff, that would be it. We were that high up in the sky! I think D had a blast. On our way back, the kids zipped and zoomed through because of the grooves we had already cut through the snow with our snow shoes. Thanks, Emery, for this wonderful experience. We will always remember it with great pleasure.

It was around 3pm when we got back to the house after snow shoeing. The turkey was in the oven, but again there was all this incredible food to eat. Lily made hot chocolate for the kids, and Indian tea for the adults, there was Polish sausage, cheese board with all kinds of cheese, breads, vegetables (I ate Jerusalem artichoke for the first time! tastes like Jicama, but sweeter), different types of hummus, the baklava that we had taken, shrimp dip, and a Polish noodle dish Kluski made with apples and poppy seeds. The eating and good conversation went on till six pm, at which time, we got ready to leave. Giliane and the boys were leaving as well. So all of sudden, Nusia had this sudden exodus from her house! It is good that Emery and Lily and Lily’s family would still be there. We made it back to Montreal at 8:30 at night.

Thank you, Nusia, for your lovely hospitality, and your lovely home, and inviting us to spend christmas with you and Giliane and Emery and your family. Thank you, especially, for letting us bring Jesse; your house has such good energy that she was not agitated at all. Thanks again for everything. Happy New Year to all of you! Come and see us if you are ever south of the border.

Later.

My cousin, Paul, my aunt’s son, and his wife Michele and their son little Merlin came over at 2pm to spend the day with us. They had gone to North Bay, Ontario to see Michele’s parents and came back last night to Montreal. Paul made a delicious Swiss Fondue for dinner for us, the Swiss way, with bread cubes. I don’t drink, but there was plenty of wine–one all the way from Neuchatel in Switzerland, from Claude’s place. Merlin is all of a year and a half years old! Very sweet and adorable. He was perfectly comfortable with Jesse, and Jesse, I must say has been a sweet dog this entire trip. So many new places, and so many new people. And she was perfectly well-behaved the whole time. It was lovely to see Paul and Michele. Paul and all of us got to talk about movies — it was great! Thank you, cuz, for everything! It was totally awesome to see you! Love and happy new year to you, Michele and Merlin!

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