Point & Shoot: Family life – everyday, like no other

Union Pacific freight car on an over-road bridge

It starts off innocently enough, “Good weekend?”
“Yeah thanks. You?”
“Not bad, watchya get up to?”
and you stand there vacant as a sixties flowerchild – mind scrabbling for a trace, a scrap, a glistening nugget of memory that will bring the two-day void back into focus ‘What did we do?’

This weekend was nothing anyone would call special, a mish-mash of the usual family life stuff – stuff squeezed in between dates on the calendar that reflects real life way more than any scheduled event or FB status.

All the kids were off last week with a mild fluey bug they managed to share with us before the week was out. J was particularly upset – tears, no kidding – unable at the last minute to compete in the first cross-country meet of the season. So I made her favourite cherry scones to cheer her up.


Scones cooling on a wire tray


The weather was unexpectedly warm (I thought I must be still feverish but the thermostat read 25 degrees), so K cut the grass – possibly for the last time this year – while T and S amused themselves riding circles around the car, and J and I read on the porch.  Then it was time to grocery shop.

It was Heritage Day so the main downtown drag was closed to traffic as folks meandered among stalls of seasonal vegetables and demonstrations of pioneer crafts and weaponry. A miniature train took small children for rides up and down the side streets.

There’s something about shopping that makes you hungry (or is it just our kids who announce this as soon as they step inside the automatic doors?), so afterwards we went for fish’n’chips at the truckers cafe. There the meaty, milk-colored chunks of halibut, cod and haddock (which the waitress pronounces ‘had-ock’, stressing the second syllable Forest Gump style), in their golden batter jackets are the closest to English we’ve found to date.
Plus it’s my only chance to catch up with current events in the trucking world…




The golden hour beckoned – we’d watched the sun sinking lower in the sky from the window of the truck stop – so we made for the lakeshore, parking the Jeep at Thickson’s Woods, the last remnant of old-growth white pines on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Once reserved for making the masts of the British Royal Navy’s sailing ships, the towering pines are now a haven for migrating songbirds each spring and autumn.

‘Roamin’ in the gloamin’ we ambled up to Thickson’s Point, taking in the fall colours in the blessed evening cool.

Sunday morning dawned and K was groggy from a night of sleepless coughing so I offered to make pancakes. “Are you sure? I can do it,” he mumbled, maneuvering himself at a glacial pace to a sitting position on the edge of the bed. Then, with a cheeky sideways glance, “I doubt they’ll be as good as mine.”

“They’ll be even better than yours.” The words were out before I could stop them; complete bravado with no basis in reality. K’s been the pancake king in this house for four years now, taking over my crown when we moved continents and went from English style to American.

Amazingly I produced a plateful that extracted both praise and admiration (though he doesn’t reckon I can replicate my success, “beginner’s luck” he smirked), light and fluffy, even without the buttermilk and four flour siftings (yes, FOUR!) that are an integral part of his method.


Breakfast: pancakes & coffee


The kids amused themselves while K and I embarked upon the long overdue task of sorting and filing his expenses, attacking a mountain of receipts stretching back to April *sigh* and wrestling them into compliance via an Excel spreadsheet. The things we do for those we love, eh…

So that was our weekend. How was yours?

Linking up with snowingindoors.com for Point&Shoot


By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Ours was like yours – full of stuff (and sadly work for me on Sunday). I think just time together can be really important. I think we’ll miss it when they’re too old for it! Lovely pictures here.

    1. Totally agree – ever since the day a lady told me there’ll come a time when they don’t want to show you stuff/be seen with you/have you nearby/notice if you’re watching. Until then, I’m grabbing it all with both arms x

    1. Yes, not so much quiet as unremarkable. No-one wants to hear you did laundry and ‘a big shop’ when they ask you how your weekend was, do they? But as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” It’s important not to overlook those in-between bits.

  2. I love the photo of the cherry scones with the sunflowers in the background. They look absolutely delicious. My weekend has been nice and relaxing with the kids away staying with family 🙂

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