Pandemic Journal — My visit to Tamworth, Ontario 30/8 – 2/9 22

The Reunion

Hans and I meet after 48 years: we haven’t changed a bit!

Forty-eight years after after our last meeting, Hans and I rendezvous in Tamworth, Ontario, where he lives. (Thanks to my dear friend Habib who ferried me from my yoga retreat at Bloom, a mere 45 minutes away.)

I feel such profound pleasure in experiencing this Ontario landscape. The hills and trees and streams and lakes and rocks and villages and towns. Not to mention the cities. My return to Ontario is a homecoming. While I was born in Manitoba, I grew up in what was then rural Pickering. Toronto was home to me for most of my adult life until I moved to Edmonton in 1987 where I took up a position in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta for the following 32 years until my happy retirement.

We recognize each other, Hans and I..

Late in life, we think we know more than we knew then. Bookends in life.

I remember Hans brought me a rose when he picked me up from the airport in about 1973.

Poor judgement then: I left Hans for the man who would become my husband and abusive not long after we married.

Today: Hans and I perform the present very well. It is enough that we feel loving friendship with healed hearts this many years later.

I experience all of this awakening in a split second as we talk and talk.

Bon Eco Suites where I stayed…

In Tamworth, Hans, an architect, and Carolyn, a designer, have established a fascinating and successful business inspired by their creative work. They collaborate on all of their projects including the three lovely apartments located on Tamworth’s main street. Carolyn, an excellent host, runs the B&B Bon Eco Suites. I stayed in The Observer suite with a spacious living area, bedroom, kitchen/dining room, and bathroom. Very quiet and well-appointed with many original and beautiful inventions. And lots of room for morning yoga. If I lived in Ontario, I would travel here for wonderful writing retreats.

The town

Hans, an architect who restored many places in Canada and around the world, pronounces Tamworth’s main street as the only one with five corners in the country.
The hotel with ornamental porch added after the fact

The Tamworth Book Shop

Life in a small town can be limited. However Tamworth has a very special amenity. (I grew up near a then small town and yearned for this.) The owner of the Annex Bookstore that I used to frequent in Toronto moved to Tamworth many years ago.
A rural Ontario town of 500 inhabitants with an excellent bookstore is a rare gem.

A swim in nearby White Lake

Carolyn (bobbing in the distance) led me to a nearby lake for a skinny dip. The day was warm and welcoming — the water, soft and cool.

My swim was rudely interrupted when that I dove in with my glasses – encore! The water was deep enough that they were nowhere to be found until Hans arrived with a diving mask and we fished them out in a flash. Great good fortune.

The Dark Sky at noon

On the way back from the lake we stopped to visit a space that is being redesigned by Bon Eco. The ancient rocks are especially wondrous. (When Hans and Carolyn finish their redesign, I’ll post the new iteration of this space.)

On the Salmon River

Such a beautiful site where these two co-created a little paradise with lounging spaces protected from the elements and perched on the river like water birds. A beautiful place to congregate or just rest alone.

The approach
My generous hosts Hans & Carolyn


When I told Hans I had written a short blogpost about my visit to Tamworth, he asked, “Are you including the part about me looking for your vibrators?”

So I thought I should explain this comedy bit: After I left Tamworth, Hans kindly drove me to my mother’s farm in Lakefield, Ontario, where I continued my wonderful holiday. When I unpacked at the farm, I was quite sure I was missing my small bag with vibrators. With some embarrassment, I called Hans and sent him on what became a wild goose chase through my recently vacated Bon Eco Suite rooms.

Eventually, I found the small bag in my suitcase. Crisis averted!

P.S. This is one of my favourite vibrators.

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Journal — My visit to Tamworth, Ontario 30/8 – 2/9 22”

  1. We just missed you, we were in Sharbot Lake, another rural Ontario town close to the same time. Nice to see you are enjoying your retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh so good to be in touch Bruce. Sending love and good memories of you and your family. Our parents and our families shared so many good times together….


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