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An Uncles Perspective - Guest Post :)

Now that a week has passed, and I've had time to reflect on the magical appearance of my sister's family rolling through Ontario, I can finally fulfill my blog obligation (blobligation?)!

Camper in tow, and stuffed to the brim with kids and dog and fun and energy and LEGO and board games, not to mention great food and better wine, the arrival of the Cyre family adventure was a welcome respite to the busyness of living and working in a small tourist town in the summer.

My time with Shelley and rest of Team Cyreiously Canadian began in the morning at their campsite in Rideau Acres, just north of Kingston. It was a great spot where we were able to enjoy the lake, frisbee on the beach, riding bikes to the pool, hunting for tadpoles in the duck pond and getting lost in search of 'hole' 1 for a round of disc golf. The highlight of the afternoon was experiencing the gentle patience of Evan as she sweetly endured her uncle's attempts at hitting the posts with a frisbee. Thank you Jeff for rolling through and throwing over that bag of gummies to keep our energy up!

A fantastic campfire dinner, silly games with Officer Wyatt, obnoxious singing (perpetrated by yours truly), lessons on s'more perfection by Riley and long chats into the night around the campfire with my favourite sister and brother in law brought a relaxing end to a wonderful day. After a midnight walk and stargazing with pitch black Midas in the pitch black darkness of the woods, I was ready for bed (a bed masterfully prepared by Shelley and Wyatt in the greatest tent I've ever used!)

I was lucky enough to be awoken by Riley and Wyatt and to be greeted by an expertly prepared campsite breakfast (if I were cooking it'd be handfuls of dry granola and not perfectly cooked eggs). After a morning of relaxing LEGO spaceship and robot making assisted by Riley it was time for lunch and then I had to get back to reality; thankfully, not for too long!

The next day, after finishing work, I was able to rescue Team Cyre's convoy from making a wrong turn (u-turns are hard when you drive a boat and are pulling a trailer!) before heading out to Murphy's Point to set up camp. After doing three loops through the site, for firewood, then the proper firewood, then snacks (the guy at the park store must have thought I was a bit... not all there), the kids were loose playing within earshot, and we were able to set up camp, with gentle birdsong punctuated by the occasional call and response of, "MARCO!" and "POLO!" to assure us my niblings were still breathing.

Then it was off to fish and chips! Apparently my rival bartender at Stirling Lodge makes the perfect Shirley Temples, and I'll have to concede, Curtis knows what's up! We went on a quick tour of Newboro, and learned all about the history of the Rideau Canal and the locks, then it was time to part ways again.

On our second-to-last day together I was able to get all six of us plus dog onto a large pontoon to explore Newboro Lake. Captain Jeff was our fearless leader and guide as Shelley was absolutely slaying it on the lake pulling up sunnies left, right, and centre! The pike and bass must have been scared off by Shelley's Amazonian prowess with the rod, as they lived to fight another day.

Another evening together brought a final terrific meal by grillmaster Jeff and more great fireside chats ensued. In the morning we played my favourite childhood game, Labyrinth. Riley's precocious machinations clinched a certain victory, while Jeff put up a good show, and I fared... poorly. Wyatt's a great cheerleader though, and Evan sure does know how to keep the peace when Uncle Jon tries to take back his silly move!

Finally, it was time to say goodbye, for now!

It was a true delight to experience the glowing health and fun-loving spirit of the Cyre family on their epic Canadian adventure! I've always admired my sister for her strength and tenacity. Shelley's gentle leadership and persistence in taking this risk with her family, in seizing this opportunity presented by unfortunate circumstances, is the definition of making the best of a bad situation. We can all learn a heartfelt lesson from Team Cyre's example when it comes to facing the scary unknowns of an uncertain future, fret less about what you can't control, and cherish every moment while you're in it.

However, one thing is for certain: when I look to these admirable Albertan adventurers, I see something Cyreiously Canadian!



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