Saturday Snapshot invites bloggers to share photos. On January 14, I wrote: “My Nanny Hunter died this morning of pneumonia. She’s my last living grandparent. My other grandparents died before I moved to Nebraska…. Nanny and Poppy Hunter were my dad’s parents and lived in Ontario.”
My husband and I didn’t get to attend the funeral, but earlier this month we did get to attend the burial. What follows are some photos and details about our trip to and from Ontario, as well as about the burial itself. I’ve also included some candid family photos too.
The first decision Andy and I had to make is whether to drive or fly. Driving would take longer but cost less and allow us to see more sites. And so drive we did! Adventure began in Michigan, where we saw three juvenile sandhill cranes crossing the highway. We also encountered snow flurries and even woke up to ice on our car windshield. Perhaps, the only expected event, was getting to see a ship being put into a lock across the road from where we stayed at in Michigan. We’d picked The Long Ships Motel with the hope that we’d see this very sight! Unfortunately, at the time, we didn’t get to really appreciate the monumental event due to the cold. The ship we saw was the Paul R. Tregurtha. At 1,013.5 feet long, it’s apparently the largest vessel on the Great Lakes.
After we crossed the border into Ontario, we looked forward to spending time with family. Besides attending my Nan’s burial, there were special sights we wanted to share. We visited the grave of my dad’s mom in Blind River, as well as a church where his father has pastored. (My dad’s mom died when he was a youth. Nanny Hunter was his step-mom and the only grandmother on my dad’s side that I knew.) Later on our trip, we drove to the lakefront house where my grandparents had stayed during their senior ministry years. The sight brought back fond memories and all of us spent time in reflective thought.
We also shared some unexpected sights. During an evening walk, we saw Canadian geese on the roof of the hotel where we stayed and then later at the back of some restaurants. And, en route to the lakefront, we saw our first porcupine in the wild.
On Monday, May 16, we attended the burial of my Nanny Hunter. It was on Manitoulin Island, which is located on Lake Huron, the largest freshwater lake island in the world. A long-time friend of my grandparents spoke and shared memories, especially about how much my Nan liked to host. At the grave was a bouquet with Scrabble tiles. A friend of Nan’s had made it for the burial, in memory of how much Nan enjoyed this game. Next, the pastor talked. After that, pallbearers lowered her coffin into a grave. Family placed roses on the coffin. Hugs were exchanged. Then everyone headed to the local church. A spread of sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, and sweets awaited.
The next day, Andy and I said our goodbyes. Then we headed back to the Midwest. Along the way, we stopped in Ontario to pick up Canadian maple syrup. We bought 8.5 liters of maple syrup: 4 liters for us, 4 are Andy’s dad, and .5 for a friend. And, of course, we couldn’t resist purchasing cheese (and souvenirs!) in Wisconsin. And, on May 18, we arrived home to return to the “real” world.
Saturday Snapshot #77: I’ll Miss You Nan