Picnic at Elaine's
"Once, on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist......." *
Back Row: Juanita, Aurora, Pam, t, Sue, Luisa, Karin
Front Row": Bianca, Daisy, Elaine, Sandie, Natalie.
We all felt like singing at Elaine's house last Saturday when the Upper Canada Lower Bowel Society converged on her bright, airy home on a windy hill in beautiful rolling countryside about 150 km (90 miles) east of Toronto. We came bearing an SCD banquet and name tags to help us keep track of each other.
Since the last pot luck, our numbers have swelled to include Luisa and Sandie (and Janice who tried to make it, but couldn't re-jig her schedule on short notice). Sandie's our veteran, with 11 years of SCD under her belt. And lucky us, Luisa is a computer whiz who offered to design and host a Web site for the UCLBS. Luisa doesn't let the grass grow under her feet, and within days, voila! Check out www.uclbs.org to see a great picture of us all. (Before we promote it to the world, we're going to check with the UCLB Clinic, the witty gastro-enterologists who inspired the name. We'll let you know if we change the URL.) Whatever name we use, though, we hope the site will be a resource for Toronto SCDers where they can find SCD-friendly restaurants and places to buy legal supplies in our neck of the woods. Hopefully, other Torontonians will be able to find out more about BTVC/SCD and get personal support in battling IBD. If you have any suggestions about what else we can put on the site, we'd love to hear them.
As usual (gee, it's nice to say that), the food at the pot luck was outstanding. It would take too long to list the gourmet dishes that had Elaine's dining room table groaning, but soon you'll be able to find the recipes on the UCLBS Web site (hint, hint, group). We laid out the delicious spread and then feasted, laughed, and talked. From time to time, Bianca whisked people away to tape interviews for "Little Heroes - Breaking the Silence", a TV documentary about IBD she's putting together.
Elaine has already posted her impressions of the day, but we can give you the inside story on this incredible lady. She has the energy of someone half her age, and she is just as warm and articulate in person as she is on the List. Elaine has that special talent for making you feel like you're the only person on earth when you're talking to her. She's a walking encyclopedia of information, and a bottomless well of support and concern - truly a force to be reckoned with.
Luckily, there was no messy yogurt-slapping ceremony to ruin Elaine's lovely carpets (see picture), just lots of smiles, munching, and sharing good times. When our UK counterparts finally divulge the secrets of the banana salute, we'll incorporate it into our next get-together to support international SCD unity.
Our heartfelt thanks Elaine, for inviting us into your home.
It was a perfect day.