Monthly Archives: April 2015

Golfing Down South

We had our first golf game of the season Sunday. Each got a par on a par 3. Won’t talk about the rest of them. Only played 9 holes, so it could have gotten better, maybe!

Back at Cedar Glen in Williamsburg, our golfing playground for quite a few years. Less than an hour’s drive down south from home, but still worth it, even though it is a lot smaller this year. Owner Dennis Casselman had to sell the back nine to a farmer neighbour, so now it’s back to nine holes, like it used to be years ago.

A family enterprise totally, with loyal following of golfers mostly from the Winchester region plus stragglers from the big O. (Ottawa, that is).

We use a power cart, mainly to avoid pulling weighty golf clubs, and walk when we can. Have done 18 holes in 3 ½ hours on a normal day.

Dennis, the hardest working golf club owner we know, has done much of the heavy grounds work himself, with help from others, operating an amazing variety of tractors that keep the course in top condition over the season. Asked if there is anything he doesn’t do around the club, he has a ready answer: “Just about everything, except play golf.  I don’t have the time.!”

Friendliness of Dennis, Kathy and other family and staff characterizes Cedar Glen, which is why we love to go there even though we don’t take part in its many competitions or special events. We drop in for an after game Smirnoff on ice once in a while, but usually drive off for home along highway 31, or on side roads when not in a hurry.

That longish drive tempts us sometimes to check other courses closer to home, but none come close to Cedar Glen’s modest senior couple membership and cart rental rates. The extra kilometres are well worth it.

An added bonus is access to the cheapest gas prices charged in the whole area. Every second golf day finds us pulling into the Pioneer gas pumps at Winchester, topping up the tank at prices as much as 10 cents lower than the top rates charged in Ottawa. The Pioneer dealer prides himself on beating competitors all along the highway. The answer, he says, is “location, location, location.” It is near the highway 43 intersection, and the main road into Winchester. Lining up there is the nearest thing to a traffic jam in that area.       Golf_9828PDennisW P1010054PfrontW P1040488PcW slides2003328P2ScenicW

Cats Can Keep Us Human

Hardly ever see cats prowling around our neighbourhood any more.

Plenty of barky dogs. A few imperturbable rabbits. Lots of squirrels. A few pesky mice. The occasional and sometime scary raccoon. Thankfully a very rare and never welcome member of the skunk family. It’s a pretty placid part of town, and that’s the way we like it. But I miss the cats!

We had them in our home for years, but they liked to go outdoors, and we gladly let them do so. It wasn’t frowned on mightily in those days. Letting the cat out in the daytime was quite the normal thing to do. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the outdoors, we wouldn’t have had them in the first place. Our feline families came to us as strays, deserted or forgotten by unfeeling folk who presumably had no use for them. So we took them in.

Our first and longest lived pussycat earned an androgynous name, Sammy, because initial observation somehow failed to determine its gender. It was early days in the neighbourhood, with homes under construction all around us, and stray cats a not uncommon sight on our dusty streets. Our kids spotted this handsome creature, its coat a happy blend of white with tiger stripes, and contrived to feed it at the back door. A few more feedings ensued until, inevitably, they begged – can we keep it? – So, inevitably as well, we kept it, and got more than we bargained for in enjoyment for years to come.

Sammy’s name underwent an inescapable re-christening as Samantha when, a few months later, she was clearly pregnant. Banished to the basement at night, she in time delivered a litter of six kittens, sheltered in a hastily installed cardboard moving carton close by the oil furnace.  Transplanted into a handy wicker basket, the cuddly sextet was proudly, well, sheepishly carried upstairs for a closer look at what our unplanned feline boarder had bestowed upon us.

Then came the tough part as we had to find homes for most of the litter. This was happy enough in most cases. Tommy went a few doors away to our neighbours, the Bells. Tigger went to my sister, Mary Brown, then living just a few blocks away. Puffin found a home with Viviane Jennings, who worked with me at Fisheries and Oceans and lived south of the city. Scampi, claimed by our friend Fred Werthman, moved with him a few times, finally all the way to Newfoundland where a friend of Fred’s agreed to adopt him. Buckholder went to an acquaintance living in the city but regrettably strayed away soon after and was not heard of again. With that lovely coat, we had been so tempted to keep her with us, and were sorry we hadn’t done so.

We did keep Muffin, the last of the litter, as a companion for his mother, and for his sheer entertainment value. He gave us many good laughs at his antics, especially when he showed a most uncatlike fondness for water. He teased Samantha constantly but shared many leisure moments with her. And he proved a cuddling family favourite, stretching out full length on whosever lap presented itself.

Both cats loved to go outdoors, usually confining themselves to our backyard but occasionally visiting the neighbours. Most often they sheltered under our cedar hedge, scurrying toward the back door when feeding time beckoned. But wandering off at times did have its hazards.

Alas, Muffin found this out the hard way, coming to a tragic end as he fell victim to a rare car accident on our street. Our good neighbour, John Bell, picked him up and kept him for us to bring to the vet for disposal. Many bitter tears mourned his passing.Cats060W CatsP01604BurkholderW CatsP02102PW Cats036W

 

 

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