23 October 2011

A walk in the Jordan Valley

This past Thanksgiving Monday, we went for a walk in the Jordan Valley in the Niagara Region. This was the last place my parents lived in the Niagara Region before they moved to B.C to be with 3 of their 4 children, and 10 of their 13 grandchildren. They moved just before Thanksgiving 2010 - packed up "Big Brownie" as we call their RV,and traveled across Canada one last time, retiring Big Brownie in the driveway of their new Home in Langley. As you can see, "Big Brownie" is a suitable name for that big fat mocha and chocolate striped brownie on wheels below.
On the day they were to drop by for dinner to say goodbye, I was taking something out of the oven when I heard that distinct rumble of the Big Brownie, a sound that belonged in a campground, slowly coming up the street. As I watched my dad pull up in front of our house I got that sinking feeling when denied truth finally reveals itself. 45 minutes ago they drove away from their house, their town, their people, their neighbors, their memories, their life's history. I walked down the driveway and met my father's gaze. This is it then. 
So it was with a bit of nostalgia that we decided to walk this trail in the Valley that we had walked with my parents before. We've always spent Thanksgiving Monday with my parents in Beamsville or in Jordan - often being outside one way or another to enjoy the crisp air, the fall colours and often the Vineland Arts and Crafts Fair. Though it feels empty with my parent's absence, the land runs deep within me so I feel at home without a home. Speaking of home - a last visit at my parents home a few weeks before they packed up.
We took the trail in the valley that's just past that little campground. It goes through some deciduous forest that lies along the Jordan River, passing the long stairway up to the town of Jordan proper. Jordan is a small village that is the oft found mix of restored history and rich tourist playground. But alas there are gems - here's my favorite place - the Fibre Garden, where I once, with my cousin Andrea, bought "Jordan pool green" hand dyed wool. Moths eventually ate the skeen to pieces in my spare room closet. I really should knit sooner rather than later and use cedar balls. 
Oh, and then there was the Winery - one of hundreds in this area. For $2 we tasted the fruit of the vine while the kids sat in the van. Better to sit in the van with a panting, farting dog than be dragged around all that hand-made art and squeaky wood flooring. I agreed they'd be better off. Cheers to wine without whine!
Ok. Back to the walk. It was lovely. Now a fond memory. I hung back on the path to take a few pics and pick wild asters and linger over bark and admire the dappled sun on the path...

Meanwhile, the boys were like magnets to the river...and the jumping salmon. Ruby's nose knew the salmon were there far before we even got to the river part of the path. Hence her hurrying down the path ahead of everyone. 

We walked past an old rocks and mortar building built into the side of the river valley. This is ancient in Canada years - late 1800's. We are a baby civilization after-all.
Ezra is delighted to take a load off courtesy of his older brother Jonah - Ezra will tolerate anything to get a bit of brotherly love - even being manhandled and carried like a baby. 
End of the trail. I can still smell the dankness of the path, the wild asters in my hand, can even smell the dappled sunshine on Ezra's curly head. We stand here, without my parents, who would have loved the walk. We drove past my parents old house afterwards. First time we ever did that. Different people were sitting in the living-room. But there were my mom's roses, blooming against the sun-warmed wall. I can smell them still.


  1. Ah, the Jordon Valley in the fall. Still one of my favourite places.

  2. Just read this- nice Marcella! Jordan Valley is a favourite of mine too. We too join in the thousands of visitors to walk around the Vineland craft show. It's just a tradition that can't be broken :)
    Strange how life changes- that's quite a move for your parents. But maybe now you have another reason to go to B.C.

  3. that's a wonderful scene of jordan valley.