top of page

Thirty years and counting

It's a snowy day at the farmette. Got one and half inches overnight and it's still coming down. It's not blowing, though, so I think we'll still be able to go to the big double birthday celebration over at the Thornton's later on. Rob turned 72 yesterday and Rachel is 24 on Wednesday.

Today's another auspicious day. It was exactly 30 years ago that I met Rob for the first time. Yikes. Feels like a couple of years ago. But, when you tote up all the adventures, you can't really stuff it all into that short of a period.

Our first meeting was in Toronto. He was editing a magazine with Maclean-Hunter at the time and had an office down the row from my roommate, who was also editing a magazine. She did the matchmaker thing and invited the two of us out for dinner with her and her boyfriend. Funny, I wasn't really looking for anybody at the time. I was 26 and had already figured I'd be by myself forever. Silly bunny.

We got along pretty well right away. So well that when the other couple wanted to toddle off home, we toddled down Yonge Street, walking from Lawrence to Eglinton, yacking and getting to know one another the whole way. In February. In the snow. We wound up at Fran's, a 24/7 restaurant that was kind of an urban institution at the time. Over rice pudding and coffee at about 2 in the morning, I fell in love.

Our early years in T.O. were spent in a fantastic apartment in the east end, and we moved to Guelph in 1996 when my job moved there. We spent a lot of time traveling and visiting and celebrating and gardening our wee plot (okay, it was mostly me gardening) at our house on Foster Avenue. That's where we sped up our cat habit, too. Katie the brown tabby came with us from Toronto, and over the years, we adopted Nick and Nora Charles, then Lily Hellman and Beatrix Potter. Hobbes came with the farmette, Calvin was adopted last year, and of course, Fred and Wilma have recently joined the family.

We made many trips to Scotland to visit Rob's relatives and just mooch around in the highlands. One journey that stands out for me is when we went with our dear friends Jane and Dana. Starting in London, we took the train up to Edinburgh, seeing many outstanding estates along the way. Our little apartment was centrally located and we toured the whole downtown - the Castle, the Observatory, the Royal Mile and all the shops and nooks and crannies in between. We also got over to Nairn, where Rob's cousin Catriona lived.

Over the years, we've also been to the west coast of Canada, the east coast (including L'Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland), Prague and Sorrento.

Things bumped along in a fairly even-keeled way. But we lost family. Rob's dad, then his brother Iain, then his mom and sister Anne (within a year of one another - yikes). Just last week, Bill died, so Rob's the last Wilson of his generation. My mom passed in 2009 and Dad just a couple of years ago. We also lost our fur balls to the ravages of time - Katie, Nora, Nick and Lily.

Eight years ago, we lost our minds. We bought the farmette. Rob retired from Reuters (yes, he commuted to Toronto for 16 years). I quit the public service job I'd had for 22 years and started a new business. The decision was partly about needing a change, partly about wanting to move closer to my sister, partly about needing space to grow a proper vegetable garden, and wholly about falling in love with the farmette. So, we packed up the four cats and moved north to Grey County.

While it hasn't all been balloons and unicorns, we've had a pretty darn good run, supporting each other through thick and thin. Working hard and laughing harder. We're a bit more wrinkled and bit bigger around the middle, but we're still together. I couldn't be happier.


bottom of page