Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

If We Were Having Coffee, I’d have to Cancel the Date

I’ve caught a bug, or rather, a bug has caught me and I don’t want to pass on my germs. Sorry, but I’ll have to cancel our coffee date. I think the last weekend of wall-to-wall rocks and minerals did me in. A few nights of insomnia, long days travelling, scrabbling in the dirt, and meeting plenty of people are the perfect combination to weaken an immune system.

Cute kid. She how she points to a pointy rock.? Does she have a cold?

Cute kid. She how she points to a pointy rock.? Does she have a cold?

Reiner and I spent Friday morning at the Ancaster fairgrounds rubbing shoulders with our fellow rockhound dealers and friends. And hordes of children. The first day of this show is open to school kids. You know, those children, the ones who are sharing all sorts of germs and bugs and stuff.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and on the road to Fernleigh. You won’t know the place unless you are a mineral collector. We were looking for a kyanite and staurolite occurrence. Actually, I was dreading it. The weather was spectacular – clear blue skies and warm for the season. “What’s to dread?”you ask. The rock outcrop in question is out in the open, under the hot blazing sun. I do not tolerate heat very well. Especially the high noon kind.

[Un]fortunately, someone had blocked the access road. “Ah, bummer,” I said to Reiner while I silently said a prayer of thanks to whomever was responsible for the divine intervention. We continued along the road to see if there might be another way in. The occurrence runs some 30 km parallel to the highway.

“That new subdivision back there. It goes to the lake. Think that’s worth checking out?” I said.

“Maybe,” he said.

We drove up and down the highway a couple of times. Each stop was a bust.

“The subdivision, let’s go there!”

“OK,” he said, more by way of humouring me than anything else.

Well, well, well… nice and cool and shady by the shore of a lake, guess what I found?

Me outstanding in my field: I wore my prospecting hat and a triumphant grin for the rest of the afternoon.


After we finished our collecting, we drove to our motel on Sharbot Lake. We took the scenic route. Ok, we had no choice, as it was the only route, but man! Is there such a thing as too much scenery? The historic Frontenac road offers everything you could want in a fall scenic tour: winding roads, rocks and lakes and gorgeous colours. I felt a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Our motel room overlooked the lake. That was about the only good point of our overnight stay. The room was large, but hot, humid, and smelled of damp. We ran the AC all night, which no doubt exposed me to more airborne goodies.

Sunrise over Sharbot Lake - the highlight of our stay

Sunrise over Sharbot Lake – the highlight of our stay

Me. My  hand. My rock. My staurolite crystal.  I found it.

My rock. My hand. My staurolite crystal. I found it.

The third stop of our weekend was in Norwood for the annual mineral swap at the fairgrounds. More shoulder-rubbing with rockhounds and more triumphant gloating as I retold the story of how I found the staurolite. Yes, me. I found it. Me.

The trip home was as scenic as the rest. We took the back roads. One of the most difficult aspects of these weekends away is the re-entry to the chaos of the 400 series highways. Even though it will take two or three hours longer, we’d rather have the road to ourselves.

Monday was wash up day and Tuesday I woke with a cold.

I remember an episode of Mary Tyler Moore where she had a cold. She said that it’s three days coming, three days with you, and three days leaving. Today should be the first of the “three days with you” part. Right on schedule.

wi pics

From my other blog: The Federation of Women’s Institutes of Canada

In other news: My school work is under control. Mid-term exams are scheduled over the next couple of weeks. I’ve also been busy with my volunteer work at FWIC. I spent a lot of time on social medial this past Wednesday, promoting #IAmWI – an effort to dispel the “jam and Jerusalem” image of women’s institutes.

So, that’s me. Hope you’ve been well? Drop a line if you’ve got the time. Would love to hear from you.

Categories: Mineral Collecting

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

74 replies

  1. And I was so looking forward to your coffee. You make a fine cup of coffee, you know.


  2. I am so glad you are not all about you, Maggie. That would be so, oh, I don’t know…egotistical, maybe? Sorry about the cold, HAPPY about the find (hey, Reiner, did you know that MAGGIE found the crystal?). Yes, she did! If you had to cancel our coffee date, I would slip a card under the door saying I miss and I hope you feel better. Take care.


  3. Sorry to hear you caught the bug, Maggie.

    I enjoyed hearing you hit pay dirt in the shade and about all that lovely scenery. I feel the same way sometimes – more glory than one can take in.

    Hope you heal in … Three days 🙂


  4. Sorry you aren’t feeling well and we had to miss coffee today … but it was nice to hear about your weekend “rocking” 🙂 You certainly had the perfect weather for it!!
    I blame you being sick on the AC at the motel. I’m not exactly a germaphobe, but I get the willies from motel AC units. I envision Legionnaires Disease permeating the room. I’d rather sweat it out in a humid room than turn on the air.

    If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m dragging my butt today too – but for different reasons. Yesterday I went to a blood donor clinic (my 50th donation!!!) and it always wipes me out for a day or two. In the meantime, like you, I need lots of fluids 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh… I forgot all about Legionnaires… oops. We usually have pretty good luck with our overnights. This room barely qualified as functional. Doors stuck, patio screen was MIA, a nice fluffy layer of dust behind the cabinet, and a huge damp patch in the carpet outside the bathroom. Of course we could have asked for a different room, but by that time of day, we were too darn tired. We went to bed at 7:30!

      Sorry to hear you are down for the count, too. Someone else wrote this week about the lag time after donating blood at our age. Drink up!



  5. You and Reiner have such adventures. Get well soon! Although that sounds so controlling! Get well at your own pace! Or Mary’s pace. I remember that exact episode! Who do we like better? MTM or Wilma Flintstone?


    • Hey, Steph – great to hear from you! Thanks for the well wishes. I’ll accept them, happily.

      I can’t believe you remember the MTM episode! Mary wins, no competition. I wanted to be her. If I recall correctly, I may have even tossed my beret in the air, while wearing a maxi coat.


  6. I hope you feel better soon!


  7. So sorry to hear you are not feeling well. But. What a beautiful place. The leaves must have been spectacular. It just occurred to me that Ontario must be a rock lovers dream: some of the oldest rocks on the planet must be there.


    • The colour was simply outstanding, Debra – pulsing, even.

      You are absolutely correct about Ontario – with the Canadian Shield just three hours north, it’s a mecca for the rockhounds. The rocks are 3.25 billion years old. Give or take.


  8. You made me laugh. Feel better soon! I know how you feel. I’m still trying to recover from 4 days of driving for 2 days of yacking and visiting. 🙂 I’m also ready to go again. Perverse.


  9. I’m much more of a tea person … maybe it’s because of the English coffee. I hope you get well soon and that those last few days of the flu fly by like you would not believe.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Felix – thank you so kindly for your encouraging words. I should be right as rain by Monday!

      It is interesting to note that I am, ahem, toying with the thought of switching over to tea instead of coffee. Note I said “toying”. I don’t want to make any promises I cannot keep.


  10. You’ve said in the past that the minerals things is not absolutely the essential you (and I can’t remember where or when, but that’s the impression I had) … But it would seem that it is, you clever thing ! 🙂
    Re the cold, we disagree with MTM: we say that it takes 48 hours to incubate. And interestingly, I’ve never failed in being able to track back a cold to two days prior and which bastard gave it to me. Don’t you think that discrepancy is fascinating, Maggie ? – I do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for cancelling. You can keep your cold.
    And why was I not invited on that field trip???

    I’m expecting a making-up cake. At least.


  12. Bless you. If you’ve ever watched the TV show, Monk, you’d know to take wipes with you everywhere.

    Glad the rock found you.


  13. Aww, hope you get to feeling better, Maggie. x


  14. I blame it entirely on those little petrie dishes of infection, the chidren. Although Joanne has a good point about the hotel AC units. In any event, do feel better soon, and the Sharbot lake shot is just gorgeous.


  15. Oh, that is such a shame that you had to cancel coffee because I have some super exciting news I just have to tell you in person. Oh well, next time.

    Hope you prove MTM wrong and get better in two days. I rarely get colds because I have Motherhood Immunity. As in, I’m too busy to get sick so go away. And it does.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Maggie, lovely post, even though you were feeling rotten. Glad you are home where you can snuggle up in bed if needs be. Look forward to coffee again soon. Get well soon, and congratulations to the intrepid explorer and discoverer of unusual things! ❤


  17. Well I’d go there for the sunrise, never mind the rocks. You look like the cat that got the cream. I hope by now you are into MTM stage 3. Get well soon and please no viruses via the blog.


  18. Rest up and be well soon!
    And. Beware. The kindergerms are everywhere. Eep eep!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I hope you are curled up snug and cozy – out of the rain – and are simply relaxing taking great care of yourself!

    Kudos and congrats on your find! Well done – you followed your instinct – and voila!

    Lol — yeah, Jam and Jerusalem —well actually, on a day like today – some warm tea, toast with jam and some Brit comedy would be most welcomed!

    Great images and post Maggie – take care 🙂


  20. Sadly, although you cancelled our coffee date, I seem to have caught your blasted cold anyway. But I won’t hold it against you. After all, you’re now famous as the woman who found the staurolite!
    I do love Sharbot Lake, though I usually see it from the perspective of a smallish tent in one of the walk-in sites at the provincial park. It’s my second favourite in that area (Bon Echo being my first)…glad you had a good time, at least, before the cold set in. Get well soon!


    • Sorry to hear you have the bug, too! Dang!
      I’d like to return to Sharbot Lake as a tourist and not a rock hound, though I daresay that persuading my husband to join me might be a bit difficult. From what little that I saw of the community, I found it quite appealing. In it’s day, it was a stop on the Kingston to Pembroke railroad. I understand why people would want to stop and stay a while.


  21. Congratulations on your staurolite crystal! I am intrigued and getting ready to look that up! 🙂 a day of scenery. . . ahh. . . especially this time of year! I hope your cold gets better soon. I swear by chicken broth and Airborne or some such.


  22. Ohhhh, I looked up staurolite crystals! Sooo beautiful!!!! I am so happy for you!!


  23. Well done on your find! Outstanding in your field, I chuckled.
    I’m going to eat a bowl of chicken and noodles, clean a lot of things, run a pile of errands, and take a hot bubbly bath, so I’ll be ready to watch my Sunday evening television. I could complain about the middle, but to what end? 😛


  24. Hope you’re already feeling worlds better, Maggie! Colds, even the mildest, are such a drag. They really do, in fact, keep you dragging around like one half of you hasn’t ever met the other half before. In the meantime, you can at least console yourself with your fabulous intuition to try that nice shady spot for hunting and your even more spectacular eagle eye that spotted the staurolite! Well done, you!!

    Hugs of the safely long-distance but sincerely well-wishing sort!


    • Ah, feeling a ton better, thanks to this wonderful comment, thanks Kathryn. Sorry I haven’t been around your place all that much these days. Which maybe just as well with my germy sneezy ways. You take care, too, ya hear? mmmmwah


  25. Hi Maggie! I see you have coffee with my friends Joanne Sisco and Simone (LOTC) so I thought I’d pop over to see if I could grab a cup. Alas, I picked the one day you cancelled. Story of my life. 🙂


  26. Could I even be more jealous of you right now? The answer is no. I am such a nerd for crystals and stones. There is a fossil show here in two weeks and I cant wait for it!


  27. If you’re in the With You stage, then my cold treatment’s too late, because it involves taking one of the On Its Way days and going to the library, where you load up with good popcorn books. You know, the kind with no nutritional value. Then you spend your three days reading them. By the end of the cold, you’re feeling better and ready for something with some substance.

    Hope you’re on the mend soon.


  28. What is the driving appeal of staurolite for you? Is it a geological conquest?



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