a weekend visit.

by the time i left work on friday,
she'd already arrived and taken my husband out for lunch.
she'd also bought us cookies
and placed them lovingly in my glass cake stand on the kitchen counter.
that's my auntie...
she's a force of energy, fun, and love.
we got to spend this past weekend with her,
and we made sure that not a minute went to waste!
friday i took the subway in the rain
to rendez-vous at our favorite ethiopian restaurant,
which we'd been raving to her about
since she said she'd be coming for a visit.
we ate lamb tibs, lentils, and spinach
with our hands, using the warm spongey-sour bread
to scoop up the delicious, incredibly spicy food.
in the morning she joined me for my weekly st. lawrence market trip,
and i loved hearing her exclaim
"oh this is so wonderful!"
as we walked past vendors selling
their own canned jams and pickles
massive piles of red, yellow, green, orange, and purple peppers,
adorable mini squashes,
thousands of varieties of homemade mustard,
and so many more beautiful things.
after a brief stop at home to unpack,
we took a streetcar to the far-east of toronto
to visit the india bazaar.
there we perused indian fashions
(beautiful saris in every colour and pattern imaginable)
indian cookware
(shiny copper pots and dishes just waiting to be filled with spicy curries)
and shops filled wall-to-wall
with carefully carved sculptures of deities,
heavily-scented incense,
and yoga books.
we stopped for lunch at a restaurant recommended by a shop-owner
for a buffet with some of the best curry i've ever tasted.
then we were off again to our next location...
kensington market
where people command the traffic
and independent shops filled with handmade goods
spill out into front yards and onto sidewalks.
we relaxed for awhile at moonbean
where i enjoyed, and then purchased a pound of,
some amazing fair-trade sumatran coffee.
clutching our purchases
(hand-carved mustard spoons, holiday-scented spices,
sticks of heavy-scented incense, a silvery-gray pashmina,
a dozen silver bangles, an icy white decorative pillowcover)
we left the unofficial hippie capital of toronto
and found ourselves in chinatown.
she'd lived in china and gushed about how much she missed it
as we browsed through shops with unique foods,
cute little toys,
and inexpensive accessories.
seeing her happily making small talk
with the shopowners in chinese
and exclaiming over the perfect gift for her grandson
made me so happy.
we finished our multi-cultural weekend
with dinner at a korean barbeque
(where we ate more meat in one meal than
we probably would in a normal week)
and then crashed at home on the couch.
walking her to the coach station the next morning,
i knew i'd miss having my auntie around.
with her, no conversation is off-limits,
and she's the easiest person in the world to talk to...
no wonder i'm always hearing that growing up
(and even now), her kids' friends
think of her as a second mom.

because we live so far away,
we hardly get to spend much time together,
so i will treasure my memories of this weekend
for a long time.
i will remember because of the new & interesting things
she kindly left for us in our kitchen...
lemony spices, strange asian fruits,
heavenly cookies, a delicate glass mug for loose tea...
i will remember because of the wonderful conversations we had...
and i will remember because of the lingering feeling
of unconditional love that still remains,
even after she has moved on to her next adventure.


  1. Sounds lovely. I love the way you write.

  2. you are a great writer

  3. Sounds like a great visit!!!

  4. Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon pennsylvainia.I was just passing though and thought id say hello. Richard from Amish Stories.

  5. Wow, makes me sound quite interesting! I loved my visit and will miss you both very much! I also love the way you write. This edition will be pasted into my memories book!


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