A sweet taste of time
by Sandy Lindsay

March 21, 2016


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Yesterday, March 20th was the first official day of Spring.

Each year, at this time when the maple sap begins to run, my thoughts turn to a very dear friend.

Bob checks the consistency

I met Bob Trelford when he and handful of others started the Propeller Club and undertook the mammoth task of renovating Chantry Island's Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters and gardens.  Once the entire house had been rebuilt by hand from the ground up by a small group of 'seniors', our work crew would head out in the little Tilbury boat every morning in the summer to the Island.  There, we each had our jobs.  Mine was the gardens, Christine Champion's was the composting, Joan Rigby was in charge of cleaning the lighthouse inside and painting, Mike Sterling and Bob Trelford did almost everything else.   There were many others too as the years went on.

I digress ... but that is how I met Bob Trelford.

Bob and his wife Faith  lived on a 'farm' outside of Southampton and, every spring, meant one thing to Bob .... maple syrup time.

I mentioned to Bob one day that one thing I had always wanted to do was to go 'maple sugaring' in the time-old traditional way.

One day, my phone rang and it was Bob.  "Sandy Lee (he always called me that) I'm going to be out in the sugar bush why don't you come out?"

 I didn't have to be asked twice. I jumped at the chance.

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Bob, like his father and grandfather before him, loved to be out in the sugar bush.  "It's quiet out here," said Bob, "and it's something I like to do ... to make sweet syrup for family and friends."

That day, we tramped together through the maple tree forest on Bob's land, collecting the sap that drips so slowly from spigot into pail and then carrying it back to the 'sugar shack' to be boiled.  It made me realize and appreciate just why pure maple syrup is so valuable.

We had great long conversations ... about a lot of things.  Back at the sugar shack, we kept the fire going as Bob showed me just how complicated it was.  Then, we sat and had the mandatory 'rum toddy' before I left.

It was a wonderful day that I will always remember.  Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Bob died on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2014 and it seems like eons ago.  But, each year, when the weather turns to Spring, I think of him and our trek through the sugar bush ... and the sweet taste of time that he left.

For 'our' day in the sugar bush, Read Here

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Monday, March 21, 2016