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!

You Sure You Want to go Out There?
by Shelley Norman

shelley norman barney mac campfire

The waves are lapping at the white sandy beach as I lie in my hammock swaying gently in the tropical breeze. Ahhh…what a perfect summer day. Not a cloud in the sky, not a mosquito buzzing around my head, just warm and sunny and…perfect. When all of a sudden something wet and cold presses into my cheek. I raise my hand to brush the moisture away and my hand touches something…furry. My eyes pop open to see the head of my beloved dog, Holly, resting on the pillow about an inch from my nose. Upon seeing my eyes open she lifts her head and gives my face a sloppy, wet, dog kiss from chin to forehead. YUCK! But meant out of love, I’m sure. “It can’t be 6:30am already, girl,” I say angling my head on the pillow to see the glowing numbers on the alarm clock by the bed, 6:29am. “Hunh. You couldn’t let me have that last minute on the tropical beach could you?” Her response was another soggy, doggy slurp. The alarm clock starts beeping and I reach over and shut it off. Holly continues to sit there and stare at me. She wants out. I look out the window. It’s dark. And by the sounds making it through the glass, I’d say likely windy and the accompanying “pings” would indicate snow. “You don’t want to go out there girl, trust me. It’s cold and dark and you don’t like cold or dark.” I lift the corner of the blanket, “why don’t you just climb under the covers with me and we’ll pretend we didn’t hear the alarm go off this morning?” She shakes her head, or maybe that’s just an illusion since her whole body seems to be wiggling from the force of her wagging tail. She took the blanket lift for me getting up. Drat!

I reluctantly toss the blankets back and slip my feet into my slippers which are amazingly warm from Holly sitting on them while she’d been helping herself to half of my pillow. “I do hope you realize how much I love you,” I look down into her big, brown eyes, and know no matter how much I love her it would never come close to the complete and total unconditional love she has for me. I crouch down and give her a hug which leads to her flopping over and demanding a tummy rub. I guess unconditional love deserves it’s perks.

We finally make it to the backdoor. I flip on the outside light to see everything covered in a film of white frosty snow, and the trees waving their branches in the steady west wind. I look down at Holly, “you sure you want to go out there?” She wags her tail. I open the door, she sticksher nose out, looks around then sits down, still inside the house and looks at me. “Come on, you can go out there and do your business by yourself. You’re a big brave dog!” She continues to stare at me.

I close the door. “One of these days you are going to have to get past this fear of the dark business.” I slip my arms into my winter coat and pull a hat down over my bedhead curls. Reopening the door I step out onto the deck and Holly takes off for the corner under the big tree, her favourite potty location. I stand there freezing with the cold wind blowing up under my nightgown and my toes getting nippy in my slippers, wondering if I snuck back into the kitchen if she’d notice. As if she could read my mind she looked over and gave me a ‘don’t even think about it look’. Drat again! She took her sweet old time sniffing around the tree and the adjacent flower bed before finally getting down to business. At long last she saunters back to the deck and the kitchen door. “Is your highness ready to go in?” I ask looking down at her. Raising a paw she scratches at the door.

I open the door and we hurry into the blessed warmth of the kitchen. After putting my coat and hat away I pour a cup of hot coffee (thank you inventor of the automatic coffee maker) and stand by the sink holding the cup in my still chilly hands, to warm them. Holly feeling more comfy after her bathroom break goes to lie on her large red pillow close to the furnace register, she really does hate being cold. read more Shelly Norman

I’d just finally starting to feel thawed out when my husband wanders into the kitchen. “Good morning to my beautiful girls!” he calls going over to scratch Holly behind the ears. “I thought I’d get up early this morning and take Holly out for you since I know you hate going out in the cold first thing in the morning.” Holly and I look at each other, and just shake our heads. Men!