Thursday, September 20
Got up at Rosemary and Nick’s in Long Sault, did a bunch of exercises, taught Rosemary a couple of my favorites, and presented myself in John’s dental office at 11:15 am. I got a clean bill of dental health, but my jaw will need a nighttime splint to keep It from slipping, which is sometimes quite painful.
Then I was back on the road and made it into the center of Montreal, where the Ternis live, in one hour, instead of the two it took to get to Cornwall. The whole city is a construction zoo (not a typo). You never saw so many cones and detour signs. Even the people who put them up can’t cope with it, so there are signs missing, all over the detours. People get lost and make matters worse, etc. Add to that the fact that Montreal has a new mayor and she likes pedestrians and bicycles far better than she likes cars. Not only can you not turn right on a red, you can’t even turn right in the first 30 seconds of a green, in case you might hit a pedestrian. You’re a car. You have no rights. You can’t drive over the mountain any more, either, because someone killed a cyclist with a car. My friends tell me it was the cyclist’s fault. The car was, of course, blamed.
You can, however, pay to park, and pay, and pay, and pay. It’s $3 an hour outside the Ternis’ door. Elvon would be pleased, though. Manulife Financial are sponsoring the bicycles that you pick up in one place and drop in another. The Manulife logo is all over the place. Elvon was on the committee that selected it, probably 30 years ago. He likely chaired it. They had names for the various logos presented by design firms for their consideration. Elvon was the proud parent of the one that won. He christened it “The three Sperm.”
I spent about an hour at Ternis. I showed Paul Elvon’s slide show, which he liked, but it was late in the day and he was tired. I had to leave, anyway, as I had an appointment with the Royal Bank of Canada at 5:00 pm. The only way they would accept Elvon’s death certificate, close his account and transfer the money to me, was if I showed up in person, with an original and a copy of his will. We got stuck on the fact that the will was a copy, but I have never had an original, and it would have cost me lawyer’s fees to get one. I had cleared this with them on the phone last February, but…oh, well. It got done.
I just made it out in time to meet Marilyn and Ted Salhany in St. Laurent at Il Boccalini. They look great, which was nice to see. I am having quite enough of dying, this year.
Friday, September 21
I had managed to pick up a 6-pack of wine, between Ternis’ and the bank, on Thursday, but I needed a few more things. So, I did a little shop and got to Ternis around 2:00 pm. I offered Jennifer her choice of dinner out with me, or a date night with her husband, who had driven up from Worcester, Mass, where they live. She took the date night. I spent some time with Paul and walked down to St. Catherine Street for a bottle of wine and a couple of Montreal treats. Andrea had some nice salmon to cook, so we three back at the apartment were all set. Jennifer and Phil saw “Crazy Rich Asians”, and brought back take-out. The night out was good for them, and nice for Andrea and Helen, too.
Saturday, September 22
I was up at the crack of dawn to have my hair cut by my old coiffeuse, at her home on Bellechasse. She’s a teacher now, but she still sees a few old clients. I had a little time before I had to be on the South Shore for Dim Sum, so I drove down the street where I lived from the time I came home from the hospital until I got married. It’s a very ordinary Montreal neighborhood, but it’s clean and pretty, with nice mature trees. We lived upstairs on the right in the stone one and downstairs in the brick one, which is twice as big. These are triplexes, one flat on the ground floor and two on the second floor. It’s typical Montreal housing, with outdoor staircases, in one of the fiercest climates in the world. Go figger.
The best Dim Sum in Montreal is now in Brossard, where the Chinese population is centered. It’s a lot richer Chinese population than it was forth years ago, and it’s reflected in the food. Oh, yum. Roslyn and Real and I pigged out, like we have been doing for more years than I can count. We bought a bunch of extra dumplings, spare ribs, spring rolls, char siu, etc. for the Terni house. Jen and Phil were delighted, and Paul was happy to eat some, too.
Andrea was coming out as my dinner date. We ate at Le Margaux, a yummy BYOW (bring your own wine) restaurant on Park avenue in Outremont. Rosie Morgan and Patrick Brunet, who have been feeding Elvon and Helen tirelessly for years, chose it. I was paying back. I also invited Jean Paul and Ellen Morneau, for the same reason. We are all friends because of the Ternis, and JP and Ellen have extended plenty of hospitality to yours truly, too. The meal was terrific. I had foie gras three ways, pork at least two ways, and three profiteroles for dessert. We drank Sancerre for Elvon, and three other bottles, for ourselves.
We talked travel, as I had invited Andrea to share my cabin from Buenos Aires to San Antonio, Chile, December 23 to January 6. I figured that Andrea would need serious distraction at Christmas, as it was Paul’s birthday, to make matters worse. It’s pretty good, 3 days in Buenos Aires, with a nice Tango Tour, already booked, followed by 14 days on Celebrity, Buenos Aires to San Antonio, around Cape Horn, then a 3-day wine tour. The Chilean wine valleys are above and below the straight line that connects San Antonio and Santiago, from which the planes fly out.
I am going to be able to deduct that meal come tax time. Both the Morneaus and the Brunets are going to join us and help us widows over our first Christmas alone. What fabulous friends. The Scalbergs are considering it, too. Anybody else?