It’s now official.  Environment Canada  confirms an F-1 tornado hit the area over the weekend.  The Mayor had already declared a state of emergency, and residents are cleaning up, and  waiting for their insurance agent.   It’s an area I know fairly well.  I’ve spent most of my summers on the shore of Lake Erie, with at least one or two annual trips down the highway from the Blenheim area to Leamington.

As a kid, I remember the afternoon car rides with my grandparents.    We’d go for ice cream  and to watch the boats and the ferries to Pelee Island.  And the drive would  slow down behind the huge trucks overloaded with tomatoes.   So red and juicy.  They were always rolling off the trucks..leaving a trail of squished red skins.  Leamington is an area known for its tomatoes.   Heinz employs many there.

My kids now know the trip to Leamington as the highway lined with wind turbines.   They know Leamington as the  place where we get the annual pictures with the Tomato Family in the downtown.   The “family “is a bunch of smiling wooden cutouts, and the boys gamely stand next to them,  set up right by the big tomato info booth.

Our thoughts are with our beach neighbours.  We’ll be down to spend time with them this summer.