I was surprised to read Gina's comments about our postcard yesterday. She lives in California and writes about how green the vegetation looks in our card. Like many others, I have often thought of California as the almost-perfect environment, except for the odd earthquake. But I suppose that such does not exist — although I still have it in my head that New Zealand would be pretty darn close.
When my maternal grandfather migrated to Canada from England, one of his brothers emigrated to New Zealand. For a long time there was correspondence between the two countries. The families would exchange calendars, and it always looked so darn perfect there that I was a fan long before The Lord of the Rings brought the land of the kiwi to the attention of the rest of the world.
On that long-ago night when I asked Cuppa to marry me, she actually feared that I was about to break the sad news that I had decided to decamp to New Zealand. I'll never get there, but I don't regret my choice, for I have found the almost-perfect woman, and there is no Shangri-La anyway. It's like the old saw about finding the perfect church: "If you do find the perfect church, don't join, for if you do [join] it won't be perfect any longer."
However, if I ever win the lottery, which I won't because I seldom remember to purchase tickets, I think I'll take Cuppa and head to the antipodes for a few months and experience the best of both worlds — marriage to the world's best woman and spending quality time in a pretty, darn great geographical environment.
On our last evening with the kids in Ottawa, we went for a little walk in a park by the [Unmighty] Mississippi. I used Cuppa's camera to take the above shot of the westering sun. As the next photo shows, it was still quite light outside, so I used Photoshop to fake a later-hour sunset.