Hey! It’s Aunty Feather and Uncle Honeypie!
When my kids were little, the tones alerting me to email and Facebook messages were sounding more than usual on one day, and that’s because Mark was out of town on a business trip and we corresponded through chat and email.
Was he in Toronto? Montreal? Ottawa? Edmonton? …no, he was in teeny, weeny Trenton, Ontario. This may seem odd, but it actually is not when you consider that he worked for an aviation maintenance company that has contracts with the Department of National Defence in Trenton. His current job is as a Technical Representative on the very aircraft he worked on while we were posted in Trenton for over ten years.
While we lived in Trenton, we would regularly travel about an hour away to Havelock, Ontario, to visit with his aunt and uncle – Heather and Bill. I can still remember the first time we visited them the summer we moved to Trenton.
It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day and we all sat on the lounge chairs on their back deck, sipping cold drinks and reminiscing about their old times. I felt at home right away, and there was no doubt the kids, at 2 and 3, took to them right away.
Being so little, the kids had trouble pronouncing some words and ‘Aunty Heather’ came out as ‘Aunty Feather’.
Some time later, Bill disappeared into the house. We could hear him in the upstairs bathroom and all of a sudden, Heather called up to ask him for something, using her usual term of endearment, ‘Honeypie’ to address him.
Right away, the kids were captivated and started calling him ‘Uncle Honeypie’ and to this day they are…
Aunty Feather and Uncle Honeypie!
While living in Ontario, we spent a great deal of our time at Bill and Heather’s house in town or the family property at Mud Lake.
On one particular day, Bill decided the kids needed a task, so he told them there was a kangaroo living just over the hill in his back yard. For the longest time after, the kids would spend time at the top of that hill looking for the kangaroo.
Mark’s Dad, his youngest brother Bill (Uncle Honeypie), and his older brother, Paul had inherited their mother’s waterfront homestead property on Mud Lake after she died.
Mark’s family had owned the entire waterfront for generations, but as a result of the initial flooding of a large chunk of their property when the Trent-Severn Waterway was created, and his grandmother having to sell off chunks periodically to survive, what’s left in Bill and Heather’s hands is much smaller.
Even on the hottest days, when we’d be limp and ragged from the heat and humidity elsewhere, the property was cooler with a refreshing light breeze blowing in off the water. The lake itself teems with life – several varieties of fish, snapping turtles, frogs, etc. As a matter of fact, in a previous post, I described a ‘frog fishing‘ expedition with the kids early one morning at the property’s dock.
We went there in the afternoon to check out the property and the cabin (actually, shack). Thinking about it now, it would be a lovely place to live. At present it’s just recreational property the family uses for camping and fishing.
Yesterday, Mark spent the evening with Heather and Bill, having dinner and catching up on the news since we moved away eight years ago.
It was pretty obvious from his emails that he was feeling nostalgic. As a matter of fact, so was I, and Erin and Stu as well, from reading his emails and posts.
By the time we moved from Trenton to Chilliwack, I was begging to get out of there. Trenton never was home and Mark missed British Columbia just as much as I.
I will say though, that I would spend time on the family property again without hesitation if it were closer.