Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where Have the Days Gone?

I just realized how much time has passed since I last wrote here. Days have gone by in a blur - how does that happen?

Two weekends ago was my mother-in-law's 80th birthday party in Revelstoke. Yes, I have lotsa pictures, still on the camera (because, silly me, I had to resort to using a disposable camera). Bryan arrived here on Thursday evening, straight down the interior. It started to rain half an hour after he walked through the door, the first moisture we've had in 6 weeks. It rained most of Friday, for which we were truly thankful. Saturday, we rode over early in the morning, just a few drops of rain at Silver Valley, and then sprinkles throughout the afternoon at the party because of course it was a backyard party.

All the siblings were there: Walter and wife Susan from Minneapolis; James from Saskatchewan, two of his three children and one of the grandchildren; Dianna and Ralph from Kamloops, one daughter and partner and three of the four grands; Phyllis, her partner Gary, daughter and her partner; Bryan and I. Plus Uncle Dave (her brother-in-law) from Winnipeg and friends from town. All in all, a very nice, companionable group.

You can tell people are getting older - the party was a wrap by 11:30pm!

Bryan and I were home late Sunday afternoon. I went around the garden, noting how everything looked perkier after the deep drink of rain and cooler temperatures. Just around the bottom corner of the house, I came across a quail hen and her clutch of very new babies, still sporting fuzzy coats with dark stripes, tiny enough to hide under the lanky clover. I apologized for surprising them and turned back to where I'd come from.

Bryan left on Monday to head back north via Calgary, arriving late Tuesday afternoon. He's getting tired of the trip there and back; hopefully something will turn up down here to enable him to live here permanently.

It was only a few days later that I took the late flight east to Calgary after work Thursday, landing at 10:45pm MDT. Marlon, Krista and Abby were at her sister's in the city so I didn't get my hands on them until Friday afternoon - again, photos pending. We had a lovely visit! What's not to like about a chubby, smiling, gurgling 8 month old baby? Oh, and her very nice parents, too.

All the family managed get to Airdrie, my brothers and their families. Nice to see everyone; it's been a long time since I saw Scott and Pam, busy with their boys and work and all.

Abby has a crazy crawl - up on one foot and one knee, bum high - and is climbing up on everything with fearless bravado. She's trying hard to talk - the usual ma-ma, da-da stuff, but also an almost-whispered 'wassat', ("what's that?"). Everything is in the mouth, and nothing escapes her eye. What a lot of work and what delight, all rolled together.

Baby time came to an end far too soon - the kids left Sunday morning to travel home to Grande Prairie and the end of their summer vacation. It was a long trip - to Winnipeg and back - and they were more than ready to be home.

I shrugged off my melancholy by spending the day with friends Brian and Cheryl. They're so often our hosts, it's nice to spend time in their haunts (hard when they live in the same locale as my family). Cheryl and I braved the traffic and crowds to get to Balzac's new mall - the first new enclosed shopping mall opened in Alberta (Canada?) in 20 years and quite a novelty. We were headed to one store only -

The Bass Pro Shop.

Holy smoly!!! You GOTTA see that place! It's a museum - wildlife display - outdoorsman junkie shop all in one. Huge dioramas with not one or two but entire herds of antelope, cariboo, elk running down slopes; an enormous aquarium filled with native trout with waterfalls to either side; I think someone said every indigenous mammal, bird and fish is represented in the display amidst antiques and artwork. And oh, it's also a store.

I may have to go back. Go to www.basspro.com and click on the only star in Canada on the map (it says Rocky View, due to the MD of Rocky View?) and look at the photo show.

Early to rise Monday morning and a pickup & delivery via Mr. Goldsmith (thanks, Brian!!) at 6:15am to Calgary International. Grab a boarding pass at the selfserve kiosk, sprint to the security lobby (a 25 min. endurance test) and then hunting for the right gate. I love that early flight because it's always on time and the view going over the mountains at that time of day is breathtaking.

However, converting back to Pacific Time, it means my day started at 4:30am and I'm so not a morning person. Did you hear me snivelling? Yes, that was the sound.

LAURA: your surprise parcel was in the mail upon my return. Thank you!!! You didn't have to do that (she sent me a lovely piece of weaving in exchange for a book) but now I can brag I have a piece of Laura Fry work. My daughter is here for a few days before commencing classes at Lakeland College, and she is one person who both appreciated the item but also the joy it brought to me, a lapsed weaver.

Things are slow today at the newspaper so I played hookey and spent the day with Rebecca. We drove out to Cherryville, looked at the wee artisan shop there; stopped at a little place in Coldstream along the Kalamalka Lake Rd (Lynnette, you'll know the place, it's not far west of the Coldstream Ranch) with the world's absolutely best raspberry iced tea; wandered through a few antique stores in Vernon; headed home with bruschetta on the mind. Got the tomatoes, cukes, parsley, mint, thyme, etc. all to hand. Nummy.

The sprinklers are on....big surprise. I saw fellow Falklander Bridget at Swan Lake Garden Centre the other night (stop there on the way home for my fruit and bread) who said the same thing: "I've spent my entire summer watering the garden!" I hear you, babe. The days are much cooler than two weeks ago but we are so desperately dry. Even daughter Becca who's come here from an officially-declared drought area said that we're noticable drier. Only the 36 hours of off-and-on rain two weekends and very little precip before that. It's wearying, depressing and frustrating. Will my plants survive while we're in Europe? After all the TLC I've given them so far, I hope so.

Bryan's hoping to be home by the weekend. Becca will be off to Vermilion on Monday. We depart for Calgary (again) Thursday evening, to embark on our flight over the Atlantic Friday night. My anxiety level is ever-so-slightly elevated. Claudia wrote today from Berlin: "Are you nervous?" Yes, but not about Germany, more about getting Bryan there on his first trans-Atlantic flight and first long plane trip since getting so stove up. Both not bothered and somewhat worried that we have no plans for our time there - Claudia has us in hand.

A long walk will clear my mind. I've returned to my evening walks around town and they do wonders to clear my head and trim my waist....eventually. No more strange dreams!

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