A Friends-Who-Are-Family Day

Circle of friends.

Our Schneider-Dwelle Family has been very fortunate to have formed a circle of sailing/cruising friends who, over the years, have become a “summer family”. They have played the roles of aunties, uncles, and grandparents to our children as they were growing up. We treasure these ongoing relationships, spending time together in the summers as we meet up in various anchorages, as well as staying in touch during the off-season, even as we are scattered from Quebec to California, Arizona, and Florida.

Last Wednesday, a group of us took a 2-1/2 hour road trip across the border to St. Joseph Island to visit Ann and Jorma (who will be leaving for their home in Montreal soon) at their farm. Ron and I visited them earlier this summer after checking in through Canadian Customs at Hilton Beach, on St. Joseph Island. Their 19th century farm is a magical place, high on the “mountains” of St. Joseph Island with a sugar bush that produces some of the finest maple syrup I’ve tasted (or perhaps that has more to do with Jorma).

The trail through A&J's sugar bush.

What a wonderful day! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect: clear blue skies and temperatures in the low 70’s and a very gentle breeze. We enjoyed Bloody Caesars at the Tilt’n Hilton (and our friend Bud got his poutine!) and a German sparkling wine once we got up to the farm. We picked pears, apples and crabapples from their trees, heavy with ripe fruit. We rooted around and dug up wild garlic, thanks for the eagle eyes of Jorma (I THINK maybe I know how to spot it now), and we walked the trail through the sugar bush. And, oh yes, we laughed and enjoyed each others’ company for one final time this year.

As this group of friends scatters and we return to our homes, we will remember this day as a fabulous afternoon spent with friends who are like family. We are blessed.

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