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!

It Really Isn’t What’s in the Box that Counts
by Shelley Norman

shelley norman delivery cardboard box

“It’s here! It’s here!,” my daughter’s voice rang through the house one hot and sunny morning last summer. And sure enough as I approached the front of the house where she and her brother had been watching the driveway through the screen door, I could hear the familiar ‘beep, beep’ of a truck backing up.

I stepped out onto the porch as the delivery driver exited the cab of the truck. “Washing machine delivery. Do I have the right house?” he asked walking up to me clipboard in hand. “You sure do! And not a moment too soon, the mountain of dirty laundry is almost as high as Everest!” I joked back shaking his hand. “Well we can’t have that can we?” he smiled down at the kids. “That is unless you two were planning to climb it looking for the abominable snowman, on this sizzler of a day.” The kids laughed as the man walked back to the truck and began the process of unloading and installing my much needed new washer.

“And there you go, you’re all set,” the deliveryman said as he began gathering up the packing materials that had held the machine on it’s journey to my laundry room. “Well just one other thing,” I interrupted his tidying. “It’s not the washer these two have been waiting to have delivered this morning.” “Can we have the box,” my son asked shyly from where he was hanging onto my leg, his sister pointing at the large cardboard box just in case there was any misunderstanding. “Kids and boxes,” the man chuckled. “Of course you can. Do you want it back outside to play with in the yard?” They nodded and he carefully carried it back outside for them on his way out. “Thank you,” they chorused without my even having to remind them as he climbed into his truck waving.

As I went back into the house to start that first much needed load of laundry, I could hear the kids making plans for what they were going to turn the box into. Over the next few weeks the box had several major transformations. It was a house, a barn, a doctor’s office, a drive through restaurant (for tricycles) and a grocery store. It was a school bus, a train, a submarine and a space ship. It received five different coats of paint and I was summoned twice to cut windows or doors. And every evening and if it started to rain it was dragged into the garage to prevent sogginess. It was on one of those rainy afternoons in the garage the kids came up with one of their most unique purposes for the box, at least in my opinion.

“Into the time machine!” my daughter yelled. The two of them scurried into the box. The box then started to sway side to side and a “wee-o, wee-o” sound started to come through the box. After a minute or so the sway and noise stopped and one little head popped out of the box’s door. “We made it,” my son stated crawling on his hands and knees from the box. “I wonder where in time we are?” His sister exited behind him. “There!” she pointed across the garage at the riding lawnmower, “it’s a dinosaur! We’ve gone to the past.” She stood up and walked slowly across the room. “Nice triceratops, nice dino.” my daughter said holding her hand out to the lawnmower like I’ve shown her to do when approaching a new dog. She then started to stroke the hood. “Look she’s friendly.”

Her brother raced over and started to pet the mower too. “Oh no! Behind you!” he pointed at a ladder leaning against the wall. “It’s a T. Rex! He’s coming to eat us!” Screaming they both took off back to the box and slammed the door shut. “Quick get us out of here!” The box started to sway and the sound effects began too. A window popped open, two eyes and a nose peeked out, “I don’t see any dinosaurs, I think it’s safe to go outside.” The door opened and the kids cautiously emerged. “Whoa! Did you see that, a flying car!” my daughter pointed up above their heads. “We’re in the future. Look here’s some flying cars we can try!” her brother yelled as they hopped on their tricycles and started to peddle around the box a quickly as their little legs could pump. “This is so much fun. I love the future!”

All of a sudden a loud grumble interrupted their flight. “What was that?” my daughter asked her brother. “I think space travel makes a boy hungry,” he said. He peddled over to my lawn chair in the corner where I was sitting shelling peas. “Are there snacks in the future Mom?” he asked. “Hmmm…,” pretended to ponder his question. “I think there will be huge melons that are green on the outside and red on the inside and the inside and very juicy.” “YAY! Watermelon!” they cheered. After their quick ‘future’ snack, they went on some more time travel adventures, including visiting Rapunzel in her tower, helping some pirates find their buried treasure and meeting some very friendly aliens who moved to Earth from a planet called Stinkopia, to just name a few.

read more Shelly Norman The box was certainly the hit of the summer, in fact I can’t say who was happier, me with my new washing machine or the kids with their box. Ok, I can say, that box brought them a tremendous amount of joy and fond memories. I guess sometimes it really isn’t what’s in the box that counts the most.