We had our first bonfire last night.
It had been tentatively scheduled about a week or so before but with our weather lately I wasn’t sure it would happen.

Mother Nature looked kindly on us and it was a beautiful, warm day. My sister-in-law Linda and her kids were in town for the weekend (to celebrate Father’s Day) and most family were able to drop by. Alistair, Denise and Sara popped in during the afternoon but couldn’t stay for the evening ~ and we missed them!

We missed the other family members who couldn’t be there and I definitely thought about Kristen. She was enjoying herself in Ottawa so I hope she doesn’t get too homesick looking at these pictures I’m putting on below.

Mathew participated for the whole day once he woke up. His cousins Grayson, Callum and Jack came over shortly after noon however Mathew was still sleeping. They went out on the lake with the canoe and kayaks for a couple of hours. The sun was intense enough to burn a few shins where the suntan lotion didn’t get slathered on… the lower legs kind of looked like cooked lobster and hopefully the boys aren’t in any pain today!

By the time the sun set the first bonfire of the year started and we gathered around the firepit. This first photo shows Harry’s jeep by the fire; Poppa and Mathew both got rides down the side of the house to the backyard; neither could manage the stairs well and so they got a lift down and when later on, back up to the front of the house.

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Harry dropping Mathew off at the bonfire

John is bringing some more chairs down off the back deck to go around the fire. In the background, Jack and Connor are preparing to take the canoe out on the lake for a paddle around. They were out there for a while and appreciated the warm fire on their return.

In this next picture more chairs are fitted around the firepit and Harry is parking the jeep off to the side.

This is our backyard. We are about a 2 minute drive from the main street in the town we live in and a fifteen minute drive from the city of Saint John. It is my favourite hang out back here where I can watch all the wildlife go about their business.

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Family gathering around the bonfire

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Sitting around the bonfire

Once the sun set it chilled off quickly. We pulled a bunch of blankets out of closets and brought them down to wrap ourselves up. It was a beautiful night – no clouds and a full moon. That is Poppa and Nana enjoying the get together; we celebrated Father’s Day a little early since a lot of us were present with Harry Senior. Jean/Nana and Harry Sr/Poppa are the greatest in-laws and grandparents you could ask for. I was so pleased they were able to join us.

The seat with the blankets piled on it is where I sat, next to Mathew. Ben and Hannah are to the left of my chair. Ben and his girlfriend, Hannah, purchased their first home about two months ago. Can you imagine? They bought a beautiful two-storey home and had a welcome bbq about 2 weeks later ~ and everything was put away, no boxes strewn about…and it looked like they had lived there for a few years already!

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This handsome guy is our nephew Connor. He joined us after his work shift ended. He ended up sitting at the receiving end of the smoke until we noticed his discomfort and shift all the chairs over so he could get out of the smoke. It wasn’t until later that evening when I walked through the smoke myself that I realized how potent it was!

I’m not too sure what John and Harry have going on at the Jeep behind Connor. John was probably dissing the Jeep again; all in good sport though. Harry makes fun of our Honda Ridgeline and John likes to repay the compliments. For the record however, both vehicles handle the hill at the side 0f our home just fine!

DSC_0951John checking on everyone and the fire. You can see the full moon rising just above our deck. The night was lovely with a clear sky and full moon but it got downright cold once the sun set!

The two younger ladies that look thrilled in the back there are two of our nieces. True to today’s youth we could see them on their cell phones throughout most of the evening. They did roast some marshmellows for willing recipients before retreating back to warmth of blankets.

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John enjoying the fire

Grayson in profile. Behind him is Callum. I was trying to take a picture, unnoticed by either of them but that very slight red light you see is something in my camera bouncing off of them giving me away. Rats. I’m going to have to explore all the functions on my camera more closely!

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My brother-in-law, Andy, enjoying himself. He grew chilly last and I asked one of the nephews to grab something from the house for Andy to warm up. I suggested checking Kristen’s room for blankets, etc as that was closest for a quick search. He brought the sheets of her bed and Andy got the lovely pink one! He is always a sport about these things and after I took this photo he actually pulled the sheet up and made himself a pink ghost! I’m not sure if his daughter, Ella, noticed ~ or what she said if she did. She’s a teen now and antics like that can be a little embarrassing to a young lady. I thought it was funny.

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Andy in all his pink glory!

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The party broke up around 11 pm. In this photo (below) Harry is driving Mathew back up to the front of the house. It is one level on the front so Mathew doesn’t have to use any stairs. When we purchased the bungalow, walk-out basement we never dreamed how it would ease our life when Mathew got cancer in his spine and couldn’t walk very well!

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Harry driving Mathew back up at the end of the evening

Earlier in the day just as the three nephews first showed up, John and I had been discussing putting the sun gazebo up on the deck. It hadn’t been warm enough prior to yesterday and luckily for us, three strapping young men showed up in the nick of time! They helped carry the parts up to the deck and then helped build it. Everyone spent the afternoon and early evening sitting under the shade it provided and it felt like summer finally arrived.

Yesterday was such a welcome reprieve from the heaviness that our hearts have during this most difficult of times. The poignancy of the day was not lost on John or I and probably not on anyone else either. We are aware, Mathew included, that with the prognosis of months to live, he might not be here to enjoy this next year.

It makes me treasure these moments ever so much more. I am so grateful for family and friends who are stopping in to visit. It means a lot to Mathew and he is well enough to enjoy it.

Good night all and Happy Father’s Day to my side of the family ~ I hope you were treated a little extra special today.

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