I was sure I would never see her or the likes of this place again. I have been coming
here to this little bed and breakfast for forty years and the place mats have not changed.
The towels are frayed and at least as thread bare as the rugs. The morning breakfast, consist
of a delicious flaky pastry and a glass of Tang. And coffee almost as bad as I have had anywhere.
You know the kind, it is labeled coffee but pours from the pot the color of a light tea.
But, alas, that is not why I come. I come because this wonderful, little old lady looks and sounds like
some old aunt, some sister of my grandmother, an ancient distant cousin. The little candies she places out in the hall
are wrapped and minty and smell like my grandmother’s draw, and Matante Corrine’s kitchen.
And the ancestors trying to get out well–that’s really me. That is my nostalgia acting up again. I said
this year I would try to maintain a better presence, but Quebec, and the French and the maple syrup;
its too much to contain. For a short weekend just nine hours north to a magnificent country
covered in snow, and smelling of ancient relatives, I have returned home…
Quebec is a lovely provincial city in the French Provence of Quebec. It is situated atop of a cliff on the east shore of the St. Lawrence River north of the 45 parallel and in the foot hills of the Laurentian Mountains. It has been there for as long as any city colonized by Europe has been on the continent. The old city is a walled city, a fortress against intruders with outstanding arched architecture and welcoming gates to the old city within.
The architecture and the ambiance is like many old cities in Europe, but unlike any on this continent. The snow covered qutntrangle that is characteristic of many corners of the city is so sweet a spot to just hang out and drink coffee and wander in and out of the shops. It is clearly a family oriented square and despite the very cold, cold temperatures it seems like folks have just adapted and walking on snow seems just as natural as we might find walking across a grass