Monday, October 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Reflections

There is much to be thankful for on this Canadian Thanksgiving Day, the second Monday of October.

I have health, family and friends.

I live in a beautiful country that is (mostly, compared to other places) free of conflict and full of opportunity.

I am employed (although that loses its shine some days) and I have gifts that bring me great pleasure.

So on this day of reflection, let me show you some of the beauty and joy that have been in my life these past few weeks.

The colours turned last week, seemingly overnight.

Looking east across Swan Lake on my way to work.
The sharp contrast of still-warm water and much cooler air
makes fabulous interplay between early morning sunlight and  fog and cloud-wisps.

We had a one-day rodeo in town in late September, a fund raiser for the skating rink roof project. I don't know how much money was made; the turn-out was a bit disappointing but this was the first fall rodeo for this town. It was fun anyway, and I look forward to the next one.

Team ropers in the chutes waiting for the buzzer.

The Husband was up north most of September. I work Tuesday-Saturday, so Monday is one of my days off - a good day to run errands and do 'weekend things' without the weekend crowds. One of those Mondays, I drove up to Salmon Arm with my travelling watercolour kit. Spent an hour or so at Waterfront Park, up near the pier, to work on some small en plein pieces.

Looking northwest over Shuswap Lake from Waterfront Park.


The Husband came south for a few days last weekend, partly because his work was in a hiatus waiting for parts, but mostly because I had tickets to Festival of the Grape (FOG) in Oliver, and was going whether or not he was home.

Loving this little display.

FOG was FABULOUS! We had such a good time. The weather was perfect. The venue was lovely. And the event itself was a whole lotta fun. It's a celebrate of the harvest, one of the first fall wine festival season events.

One of the three large tents containing the tasting tables.

There were 50 wineries at the event, each with four of their vintages available for tasting.
Grape tokens were $1 each, and one token could be redeemed for a one ounce wine sample. Do the math, and you'll realize this rapidly becomes a wild time! One must learn to pace oneself.


Getting tasting samples, talking to the proprietors, chatting with new friends.

The Whine Police keep everyone happy by letting no one get out of control, as it were.
And they are just happy people. Period.



It didn't take us long to devise our strategy: share and compare. We would each get a sample from wineries set up beside each other, taste our glass, then swap glasses. Great way to get through a lot of samples with little collateral damage, and if there was something we really didn't like, there wasn't much wasted.

Sharing and comparing.
There were about 5,000 people at the festival. The nice thing about an outdoor venue is that the noise is not so intense as the winter indoor events, and there is plenty of room to take sanity breaks, have a bite to eat to sober up, watch the events and just relax.

All the cool kids were at FOG.

Besides the wine, there were a host of food vendors, the trade vendors, Bacchus and his Maidens paraded in with drums and pomp, a wine stomp competition and music - this year provided by Brandon Isaak & his Saints of Swing.

Can you imagine a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the autumn?

Messy fun.


So, it's been a somewhat trying few weeks at work. Our department manager had a family emergency that called her away from work for several weeks. We can function quite nicely in her absence, thank you for asking, but another co-worker was away last week on vacation (scheduled a long time ago, and involving travel to Nova Scotia) and it was the shortage of manpower when we were under a particularly heavy workload that created much stress and long, long days.

It was a relief to finally get to this weekend, to relax and enjoy the season. Neither the daughter nor I wanted to travel any distance to enjoy our feast, so on Saturday afternoon we roasted a chicken and a pan of potatoes and onions, steamed some veggies and had our own Thanksgiving Feast for Two.

Cooking the gravy. Remember - Grandma always said the best gravy
takes 20 minutes to make.

Our festive table - family style with the pots on the table instead of serving bowls!
Who wants to make more dishes?!
Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day where you live, I hope to pause during this glorious season and give thanks for the blessings in your life. It puts things into perspective.

Cheers!