Hey, it should have worked, but instead we were like molecules with like charges rolling slowly around Bracebridge in sundresses and sandals, each in our own random orbits.
It all started when Halina suggested that she and Jackie and I leave our separate homes in Sprucedale, Emsdale and Orillia and meet up in Bracebridge for lunch. Jackie added that it would be a good opportunity to see the “Bob and Joe” show at the Chapel Gallery. It was a special occasion – my birthday. We planned to met up at the Riverside Inn, park Halina’s car and then use mine for the rest of our jaunt. It was a wonderful afternoon: lovely luncheon on the airy, tree-shaded patio at Inn at the Falls, leisurely stroll up and down the main street of Bracebridge, and then a bit of a rush to get over to the gallery and see the paintings before closing time.
The works were by Roberta Haviland and Mendelson Joe, on an environmental theme, many showing the effects of four-laning on the Highway 11 corridor communities. (Although the reality of the deaths on the old road makes me strongly in favour of the project. More people alive and well to revitalize the villages. They need loop signs like in New Brunswick.)
We were delighted to see that the people who had signed the guest book right before us were Jane and Randy, our friends from Emsdale who live across the road from Len. What a coincidence, we exclaimed.
When we returned to the Riverside Inn we had a little surprise – a gallery postcard on Halina’s windshield saying, “Sorry we missed you, sad face.” Our speculations ran wild. It had to be Jane and Randy. But how would they know Halina’s Lancer? Well, Lenny must be with them. Didn’t sign the book, but spotted the car on the way out of town…
Then we went home. Over dinner I said to Frank, “Too bad we couldn’t have gone a day later so MaryAnne could have come with us.”
An hour or so later, MaryAnne arrived for a visit, having driven from Regan’s cottage near Bala. Now to summarize the rest of the story:
1. M.A and R had called Frank that morning with a view to meeting up with our original trio. He told them we were meeting at 12 not 12:30. They got tired of waiting at the Riverside Inn, had lunch at the pub and went to the gallery, signing somewhere above Jane and Randy. Never saw anyone they knew. They left the postcard on H’s window.
2. The next day, I ran into J and R in Huntsville. They had been to the Bracebridge vet and the gallery, didn’t see anyone else. Len was not with them.
3. The next day Len came over for dinner and we regaled him with this improbable story. He replied, “Tuesday? But I was in Bracebridge, went to the gallery that morning.” By himself, didn’t sign the book.
So there we were, all eight of us, roaming around this small cottage town, all at the art gallery, all within the span of a few hours – and not a glimpse of each other. You know it will probably be New Year’s Eve at Len’s traditional party before we all get another chance!