Black Cloud Chronicles ~ Day 2: Parry Sound

Our first night in the camper for this journey across Canada went by peacefully. Jennifer didn’t seem to mind the kitchen table made into a bed once it was covered in a sheet and paired off with a pillow and blanket. She said she slept well as did the baby beside her in a portable bassinet. The usual 4 o’clock a.m. feeding went off without incident. Later, Jen would tell me that her bed in the camper was more comfortable than the bed assigned to her in the hospital for labour and delivery.

For breakfast we had frosted flakes cereal. For lunch, standard pork and beans.

For dinner, we finally got to have on our steak and asparagus.

We tried to stay upbeat to offset our mud brown surroundings and sloshy roads. Meanwhile, the interior of the camper became immersed in a routine of meal preparation, baby bottle washing, sterilizing and preparing infant formula.

In the afternoon Jen and I enjoyed a card game of rummy. I’m embarrassed to say that she beat me quite soundly in spite of years of experience playing rummy with my father who had taught me to play when I was around six years old right along with Go Fish. In the end it was all great fun of course.

For the majority of day two in Parry Sound, we spent the day inside the camper due to cool temperatures.

Towards the end of the day Frank got out the propane fire ring which would be our obligatory evening campfire.

We wrapped baby Ginny up in the plush velour brown blanket and carried her to the picnic bench where we bounced her on our knees best we could. It wasn’t long however before she tired of that as did our knees.

It was lights out at 10.

Tomorrow we would head for Sault Sainte Marie.

Black Cloud Chronicles ~ May 10, 2019


Day One

At 11:47 a.m. on May 10 2019 we loaded up our Jayco C Class motorhome with groceries, clothes, camping chairs, various stoves, ovens and barbecues, pots, pans, cooler, kayak, propane tanks and bear spray as we launched ourselves into the trip of lifetime that we had been planning for over nine months.

Finally, husband Frank, Bobby-Dog and I were heading out west, as far as the road, motorhome and our money would take us.

On board for the trip was our eldest daughter Jen with her new three month old daughter Ginny, who would be travelling as far as Winnipeg with us.

There, she and the baby would be visiting with her sister, my youngest daughter Aria and her husband for a week before flying back home.

The first leg of the journey would be an easy one. After a little over four hours of driving we arrived at he KOA camp-sight in Parry Sound, not so much a campground as a mud pit. We would be here for two nights content in the knowledge that we would make the best of our new surroundings and cool mid May temperatures knowing that there is still so much ahead of us. At least we weren’t hopelessly stuck in the mud like some of our camping neighbours, the ones who came with their ATVs, apparently not expecting their trucks to sink in a lake of mud before even reaching their camp sight.



For dinner, we just kept it simple, turkey sandwiches on rye and mushroom soup. The steaks and asparagus would have to wait until tomorrow.

It was a good first day, and I have no doubt there will be many more.

First day down, and at least another hundred more days left to go.



Daily Grace ~ June 4 2018

All these smiling faces are brought to you courtesy of Oma and Opa’s love of photography and their fore site to ensure that there was always a camera at the ready.

“Wit müssen knipsen!”…

Or in English…

“We must photograph”…

was always Oma’s rallying cry when she found herself surrounded by family and friends.

Which happened quite often…

This is how we are able witness their legacy from the 1920’s to the present.

I feel so blessed.

Daily Grace June 2 2018

The address of Grandfather’s church was 257 Euclid Avenue, Toronto.

In the top left corner you can see Oma, another church member then Opa standing by the entrance of their parsonage.

Looking at all the dresses and suits, this photo gives me a keen sense on how serious the men and women of the church were about being part of a sharply dressed congregation.

The photo in the middle is, left to right, my Father, me, my Grandmother, my aunt and then her husband and my uncle holding my cousin Veronica and then lastly Opa.

In the bottom left photo is Opa Scherer proudly standing at his pulpit. In the right photo is the church’s congregation. That’s me sitting on the ledge between Oma and Opa in front of the parsonage door. Judging by my age I would say this photo was taken 1961-62.

If you were to visit 257 Euclid Avenue today you would find that the church has since been replaced by fashionable condos. Long gone are any traces of this church.

I am grateful that Oma and Opa left us these important historical gems for all of us to look back on and be proud of.

Daily Grace ~ June 1 2018

As you go through Oma and Opa’s albums it’s clear that it’s all about the happy thoughts…

Just take a look above. There’s a souvenir coaster from a cup of coffee dated December 26 1978, and then along the bottom there’s a familiar bible verse.

Of course, we then have the obligatory photograph showing the happy grandparents.

Then there are the postcards…

One of my favourite postcards ever is the one with the Eiffel Tower. It’s the red poppy sticker of modesty that always gets me.

And then there are the albums mysterious secrets…

The red rose appliqué is somewhat of an enigma to me. Where did it come from and how is it significant?

But never mind that…

Check out the immaculately folded paper tablecloth right next to it.

I’ll never figure that one out…

Daily Grace ~ May 31 2018

These photos of Oma and Opa clearly show their love of travel and being with family and friends.

Case in point, the dated dinner napkin at the top of the photo and next to that Oma’s resounding handwritten praise for the excellent meal she had at “Wurst Spezialitäten” which I believed translates into “The Sausage Specialist”.

Any opportunity to sit and enjoy a meal, some cake or even a cup of coffee with loved ones was always reason to celebrate.


Daily Grace ~ May 30 2018

Today’s post is special to me because it includes a gift in the form of a story that my Grandfather decided to include in his personal narrative.

And here I thought his story telling days were through…

One last story from Opa…

My Grandfather excelled at telling stories.

My love of stories began with him telling me one story each day that we spent together.

He had a collection of over 500 which he kept in a small handwritten journal of robin egg blue which he kept in the left pocket of his jacket.

I’m hoping to rediscover it as I make my way through his albums.

That would be incredible!

Daily Grace ~ May 29 2018

Oma and Opa loved music. Grandfather was always leading us in song before meals, when talking to loved ones during long distant phone calls, or even during a lull in conversation.

In the centre you see birthday wishes received in the mail written in different hands. Each signature offers their good wishes and loving thoughts.

Ticket stubs were also particularly prized as they were tangible proof of one of their joyful travelling experiences.

My favourite part of this picture is the bold red AMEN at the end of what seems to be a quote of scripture followed by his initials and the date.

No doubt, all those who loved Opa can still easily identify with this testimony of faith and still feel his joy.

Daily Graces…


I love that word because this is how my Grandmother opened all of her letters and postcards. My Grandfather always ended his letters by quoting scripture, usually from the Psalms.

Since receiving the archival boxes containing Oma and Opa’s lifetime of letters, postcards, photographs and other joyful ephemera, I’ve wondered how it can best shared with family.

I don’t know why it took me so long to think of using social media to document their daily lives.

I promise to try and keep the flowery adjectives and adverbs at bay. I know that family members have their own memories. They can easily fill in any interpretive blanks that I may leave behind.

There’s a lot of material.

I’ll try to keep it interesting, but family members know that this stuff of memories never gets old.

Please pray that God will deliver me from spelling mistakes, bad syntax as well as the other multitudes of blogging sins that continually haunt my posts.

Do check back for updates.


A Flock Of Feathers

I call this watercolour painting “A Flock Of Feathers”.

It may not look like much but painting it was a lot of fun.

My daughter gave me the idea for it when she sent me an instagram tutorial showing how easy it can be to paint feathers with watercolours.

Of course, I didn’t find it that easy.

That was lesson one for the day.

When learning something new, little comes easily. It’s all about the practice.

Experts say that when working with watercolours, one must try to stick to only three colours.

I brazenly pushed the envelope to five.

Now, on to lesson two…

Having used five colours, once I had finished up I had a number of brushes to clean up.

In the past, I’ve often wondered why a painter’s palette is always so messy looking. Most that I’ve seen are laden with both colourful and muddy mixtures and wrought with strangely inky pools.

It was while I was standing at my kitchen sink cleaning up the brushes when the answer to this question suddenly came to me.

Why do palettes always look messy?

Because trying to keep it continually clean can drive a painter crazy.

That must be why artists suffer so much….