Today my Dad turned seventy. He is a youngish Dad, for a woman of my interesting years. He still lives in the house we grew up in, in Bracebridge, rattling around with just his two cats for company.
I drove up (and it was a batshit crazy drive on those roads) to take him out for lunch. Moose and I started out about 9:30, and for some reason, a Peterborough OPP cruiser tailgated me all the way from Fowler’s Corners to out past Manilla, across three counties. I felt like I was on the lam, although I don’t know what I was on the lam from (or, from what I was on the lam, more correctly, I suppose). Was he waiting for me to do something, or do they just think it’s fun to freak people out when the roads are bad? Or was it the red car? I’ve heard the cops have a thing about red cars. Jesus, sue me, it was the same price as the grey one so I let the kids pick. They were 8 and 10 at the time, so the red one made them hot. I blame testosterone.
Funny, there’s a pharmacist in town here who makes me feel the same way, like I’m trying to do something illegal when I’m filling a prescription. I finally confronted him about it, and he swore up and down that I was a good customer and he NEVER had any doubts about my the validity of my prescriptions. Ri-iii-iiight. I don’t go there anymore, he made me feel really weird, when I hadn’t done anything wrong.
Anyway, I digress. There are only two restaurants that Dad will go to, and Number One Son took him to Swiss Chalet earlier in the week, so we wound up at the New Haven. I love the New Haven. Aside from the fact that I don’t think the Seto family owns it anymore, nothing has changed. It’s like skipping fourth period and going for eggrolls. Same carved wall mural, same weird flagstones in the entrance, same cheesy red lanterns.
I like the placemats too. I am a Rabbit, Dad is a Snake, and Moose is a Dog. Apparently I’m talented, vain and fussy. Umm…yeah. Okay…
So many businesses have changed in Bracebridge. Campbell’s Yard Goods is a vacant lot with kayaks in it. I remember going in with my mum a million times and playing with the stuffed Humpty Dumpty while she poked around. Only the New Haven is the same!
So, you can’t go home again? Wait, yeah, you can. You can go home and take your old man out for lunch at the New Haven.
And it’s good.
Happy Birthday Dad. Namaste.