Dunnville, Ontario

Famous for the spectacular Elora Gorge and its 80 foot limestone cliffs descending into the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers regularly flock to Elora, Ontario to enjoy some fun and take in the natural beauty.

Many original stone buildings from the 1800′s still make up the downtown village centre. Over the decades, Elora has maintained its old world charm and the century-old buildings have been transformed into unique galleries, gift shops, artists studios and charming restaurants creating the perfect four-season shopping and dining destination.

Elora is a cultural haven with so much to offer. Rich in live music, visual arts, crafts, up-scale boutiques, natural beauty, architecture, culinary flavours, and diverse in culture; Elora provides an alternative lifestyle not typically found in small, rural communities in this day and age. Discover for yourself what makes Elora so unique and you will fall in love too!

Carnations Last Longer than Roses You Know
by Shelley Norman

ron wilkin jewellers fergus elora “Happy Valentine’s Day Miss Edith!” I said holding out a large bundle of red, white and pink carnations interspersed with baby’s breath and greenery when the door to apartment 103 opened in front of me. “Oh my, dear!” the elderly lady said clamping her hands together in front of her before reaching out for the bouquet. “How did you know that carnations were my favourite?” she said taking a big sniff of their spicy floral scent. “You might have mentioned it once or twice,” I said with a smile as I followed her into her apartment closing the door behind me, as she’d indicated for me to do with a familiar hand signal. She headed to her small cheerful kitchen where she pulled a ceramic milk jug off a shelf taking it to the sink to fill with water before delicately placing the flowers into it and giving them a fluff before setting them in the middle of the worn kitchen table beside a plate of heart shaped shortbread cookies and a pot of herbal tea. “My Arnold used to get me carnations for Valentine’s Day every year,” she said with a slight catch in her throat. “They last longer than roses you know,” she pulled a tissue she had hidden in her sleeve out to dab at first her eyes then her nose. I reached over and wrapped my arm around her slimy bony shoulders giving her an affectionate squeeze. She sniffled again, then patted my hand where it rested on her arm, “ok enough of this...sit, sit have a cookie.”

I sat in my usual spot while she fussed pouring the tea, I knew she needed a moment to get herself together. “These cookies are so cute,” I said picking one up, “I love the little heart shaped sprinkles you decorated them with.” “I made them this morning so they’d be nice and fresh for our visit,” she said with a slight blush on her cheeks. I knew she took a lot of pride in her baking. “Now tell me dear, what has that young man of yours done for you this Valentine’s Day?” “Keep in mind that Charlie isn’t into romantic stuff and frills and mush and all that stuff. But he did go out and clean the snow off my car for me this morning, and he walked the dog too so I could have a nice relaxed morning before work instead of rushing like usual.” “Well that is nice, but I have to say it’s a bit lame, you guys are still newlyweds!” she said shaking her head. I couldn’t help laughing hearing her say ‘lame’. “What did Arnold do for your first Valentine’s day as a married couple?” I asked reaching across the table to lay my hand over hers. She got a dreamy far off look in her eyes, “he was a romantic. When I woke he gave me the most beautiful card, with a lovely poem and such tender endearments. Then he made me coffee and toast, cutting the toast into heart shapes. But before I could even eat it he’d tuned the radio into our favourite station and danced me around the kitchen until he had to leave for work. That evening he came home with red carnations for me. He said he’d wanted to get me roses but he didn’t have enough money. I said ‘carnations last longer than roses you know’…” she reached out touching one of the red carnations in the bouquet on the table, a tear sliding down her cheek.

Shelley Norman stories “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry,” I got up and walked around the table kneeling by her chair to give her a hug.“ They are happy tears, dear,” she said hugging me back. “Sharing the memories keeps them alive, keeps him alive,” she ran her hand over my hair letting it fall to rest on my shoulder for a moment. A knock on the door brought us back from the quiet moment of retrospection we were locked in. Miss Edith pulled the tissue from her sleeve again and dabbed at her eyes as she got up from the table and walked over to answer the door, and I sat back in my chair. A moment later she returned followed by...Charlie carrying a bouquet of flowers. “I thought you’d be here,” he said coming up next to my chair. “I’d wanted to get you roses, but they were all sold out,” she said handing me a bouquet of carnations. I looked over at Miss Edith, who’s happy tears had started again, “carnations last longer than roses you know,” I said smiling at him before wrapping my arms around him in a big hug.

Shelley Norman is a child care provider, freelance writer and farmer. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, journals and anthologies throughout Canada and the U.S. She has one published children’s book, ‘Bruce County Counts‘. Visit her webpage at www.facebook.com/ShelleyNorman.Writer