We drove north on I-87, a direction most people would think to be ludicrous during a snow heavy winter. And it did snow, in fat flakes and sideways drifts. My brother-in-law Dave kept the speed steadily at 60 MPH even in the storm and all the while Neil, my husband yelled at him to slow down, use two hands, watch out for crackpot drivers. But Dave continued in his own vein, according to his own mental checklist of what is safe and what is not.
After 12 hours, we pulled into Thornhill, a suburb of Toronto. After shakily unfastening my seatbelt and praising some deity for sparing me a snowy-death on the side of the road, we grabbed the bags and rushed into the well lit house of our Canadian cousins, the Schliefmans. Miriam and Aimee had come home to meet us. Theresa couldn't wait to introduce us to her dog.
Food is the mainstay of any family visit. The Schleifman’s set the bar high with fresh organic salads, homemade bread still warm from the oven, and sulfite-free wine bottled by cousin Steven himself. It didn’t matter that it was 11pm. It didn’t matter that they’d been waiting around all day for us. We talked into the night, past midnight and almost to dawn. Steven retrieved more bottles from the cellar. The little dog Daisy got friendly with Dave. And although we don’t get to see each other too often, we picked up where we'd left off without delay.
With 5 hours of sleep, we woke up to a bright sun and a national holiday: Family Day!