I kid you not: I could get lost in a room.
So – naturally – I got lost while coming home from an appointment in a nearby town.
The key to getting lost graciously is to act as if where you’ve ended up is where you’d meant to go all along. But I was too agog at where I’d ended up to even pretend to be gracious. My mouth fell open.
In no time at all, I’d gone from modern streets and brand-new neighborhoods to this old country road and a feeling that I’d time-traveled into the 1800’s. Beautiful old houses flanked both sides of the road.
And I knew, without being told, that some of these homes had belonged to certain local families for generations. It was that kind of place.
Most were surrounded by expansive grounds with big old trees…
Sweeping lawns and glorious gardens.
On the lake side of the street, were more gardens, houses and infinite vistas….
Parkland and beaches and families at play….
Boats at the marina…
Where on earth was I?
Not one to panic till I’d run out of options, I kept going… and thought I’d seen that enormous old tree just a minute or so before I turned…
So I turned around again and kept going…..
And discovered a sign…..
Historic Bond Head.
I’d never heard of it.
Later, I’d learn that Bond Head, formerly known as Port Newcastle, was once a thriving harbour, with ships ferrying cargo to and from Quebec, Toronto to the west, Kingston to the east and various American ports.
In 1856, Bond Head and the neighboring village merged under the name of Newcastle. The overall region is now known as Clarington.
But right now, I was just busy being lost.
And then I saw a strangely beautiful old house. Spellbound, I stopped, turned off the engine and stared.
For a long moment, I forgot that I was lost. Questions flew through my mind as I sat in my car, gawking at the huge house on a country road.
“Who would have built such a grand home?” I wondered.
This house must have a great story, I thought.
This is how I ended up having tea in a stranger’s kitchen with a man named Ron. And that was only the beginning.
Dedicated to lovers of history everywhere, including residents of Bond Head and Newcastle in Ontario.
© 2008 CSR