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Celebrating a Milestone

by Mary M. Alward

When our 10th anniversary was approaching, my husband and I talked about how we would celebrate this milestone. After all, not many people stayed together ten years in this day and age. Finally we decided that we’d like to take a fishing trip to northern Ontario and just get away from all the hustle and bustle for a few days.

We left our hometown Friday afternoon when my husband finished work. In an hour, we were to Toronto. The traffic was heavy, as always, and I wished that we had taken the alternate scenic route. Even though our trip would have been longer in miles, it would probably have taken about the same amount of time. It seemed we were forever getting through all of the traffic jams.

Finally, we were on the 427 heading north. Once into cottage country, we stopped at a little diner and had dinner. The meals were home cooked and scrumptiously delicious. The lady who did all the cooking was about 60 years old and the owner. She told us she had been in business for forty years. Her husband had died shortly after they’d purchased the business and she’d raised six children on the profits from that little diner.

While chatting, we happened to mention that we were heading into Minden to celebrate our 10th anniversary by getting away from it all for a few days. She thought that was wonderful and after we’d finished our meal brought us each a piece of fresh, homemade blueberry pie. “Happy anniversary,” she said, setting the pie before us and filling our coffee cups. “Not often people celebrate 10th anniversaries nowadays. It’s the least I can do.” We both thanked her and shortly thereafter paid our bill and continued on our way. We talked about how kind the woman had been. We were both impressed.

We finally arrived at our destination – a lovely little cabin at The Homestead, just outside of a little town called Minden. We had been there before and were happy to see our hosts once again. The area was beautiful and our cabin was overlooking the lake. It was the same cabin we had rented previously. How nice of our hosts to remember.

The next day we rented a motor boat and went out on the lake to fish. We didn’t have much luck but enjoyed the scenery, talking about events that had happened over the course of our marriage. It was great to look back at all the happy memories.

As we were heading to shore, a doe stepped out of the woods to drink and we sat quietly and watched her. She was beautiful and we were down wind, so at first she didn’t notice us. We were able to observe her for a while before she raised her head, looked directly at us and leaped into the forest.

The next morning we got up early and headed up the road to a spot where we knew otters played. We weren’t disappointed. A family of otters was hunting for breakfast. We watched them eat clams from the shell before they began a game of tag, leaping and skimming through the crystal clear water of the lake.

We spent the rest of the day lounging around the cabin and, around 1 pm, our hosts arrived to invite us to a barbecue that evening. We graciously accepted and enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon reading under the shade of a giant oak. Around 4:45 pm, we made our way to the yard of our hosts.

When we stepped through the gate, a chorus of “Surprise,” rang out. A group of people from the surrounding cabins had all gathered to help us celebrate our anniversary.

We enjoyed all types of salads, hotdogs, hamburgers, a vegetable tray and fresh corn on the cob cooked on the barbecue. What a special treat that celebration was for us. We got to know the people who were our neighbors for a few days and enjoyed their company on hikes and fishing on the lake.

The hosts at The Homestead made our 10th anniversary a memorable event. We will remember them always.

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