Just A Regular Old Trip To The Grocery Store

Our little island paradise is fairly remote. Like a 20-minute-boat-ride-through-a-maze-of-indistinguishable-islands-and-traitorous-prop-killing-hull-destroying-shoal-infested-waters-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-Northern-Ontario remote.


Should we run out of toilet paper or milk or wine (apparently a more urgent need than either personal hygiene or sustenance, at least to this family), we need to jump in the boat, drive 20 minutes to the landing, find the car, get in the car, and drive down a long, windy, road cut right though the Canadian Shield with cliffs and lakes on either side, and motorhomes up front and tractor-trailers behind. Not the easiest of drives in the best of circumstances.


So yesterday, lacking enough foodstuffs to put together a meal that would feed five hungry adults but being fully stocked in booze, I set off with the baby and my sister to replenish our pantry. About five seconds after we left it started to drizzle. By the time we had driven the half-hour to the tiny Northern paper town which houses the nearest grocery store it was bucketing down. We’re talking monsoon-quality rain. A lake about a food and a half deep developed in the parking lot.


I was complaining to whatever stranger would listen that I had to drive home in a boat. They thought I was making a stupid joke when in actuality I was trying to stave off a looming panic attack.


Lunch time + hungry baby + winding roads + driving rain the likes of which I have only seen in Asia + tractor-trailers + potential for hydroplaning + clifs = valium required. But you can’t drive on valium.


Anyway, we got the groceries, made it back to the landing and decided to get the provisions in the boat, and drive home. This time with no visibility but lots of rain. Unable to see through the windscreen of the boat and find the buoys. Or the shoals. Or the landmarks. Oh, and did I mention that Stella was 40 minutes post due for a nap, hungry, pissed about being in her lifejacket and screaming murderface?


Solution: Sister stands in the back of the boat, above the canopy scouting for shoals. Baby stands beside me in the boat. I hunch over the steering wheel and stick my boob in her mouth. I white knuckle it home hoping against hope that I am going the right way.


We made it back. And Stella fell asleep while nursing standing up. And I had a glass of wine. And five hundred cookies. Now we have no more cookies. And obviously need to make another grocery run.