An Afternoon with Tim Horton
Sitting on the lush green lawn in the summer sun, Son #1 and I spend a fabulous afternoon with Tim Horton. National Hockey League fans know Tim well as a frequent advertiser on the walls of the ice rinks of the Canadian teams. But only a small percentage of Americans live close to the Canadian border to have the privilege of spending time with Mr. Horton. In other parts of the country, Americans spend time with Tim Horton’s distant cousins. Bostonians acquaint themselves with Dunkin Donuts. The Krispy Kreme family has experienced a population boom in the South over the past decade. Out west, Winchell’s embraces its extended kin with its offerings. I consider each of these close members of my own family, all dear to my heart, but this summer day belongs to Tim Horton.
In the lovely town of St. Catherine, we stop for a night’s rest in the vacant dorms of Brock University. With the campus’ signature tower as a backdrop, we enjoy a sunny session on the tranquil campus with little collegiate activity midway through the summer semester. We pull a small blanket from the car and spread out on the lawn at the main entrance and gathering space at the school. In the winter, the wind whips across this open space, the students leave tracks in the snow, and the barren trees line its edges. But in July, with fewer students and better weather, the open quad welcomes the students to stroll, sit, study, or, in our case, enjoy a box of donuts after a drive through Ontario.
With the majority of scholars at home for the summer, the remaining enrollees are local coeds, with a minimal number of residents in the dorms. We take advantage of the space and book a night in Brock’s “family suites,” which more closely resemble small individual rooms with a shared bathroom, but with the campus so deserted, we garner an entire floor to ourselves. We have our own room, our own bathroom, and more than a dozen additional rooms if we need them. Every window of every room offers us unique and private views of the campus. We are spoiled, but we still curl up in one small area of the floor. Why be greedy?
Early in the morning well before dawn, we awake to the powerful rumblings and electric charges of a summer storm. Pounding thunder immediately follows cracks of lightning and instantly we awake with the disorientation of stirring in an unfamiliar space. After each flash of light, we count the seconds until its corresponding echo. When the time between each reminder of nature’s replenishing grows long enough, we rise and begin the day’s drive back to the United States. The rain finally tapers off leaving a delicate fog between us and the sunrise as we finish the last couple leftover delectable treats from Tim Horton’s. Thanks, Canada, for the sights, the sounds, and the tastes.