Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Black Hole in Our Hearts

This picture was taken on Boxing Day

This morning our very dear friend, Earl slipped the surly bonds of earth after a couragous battle with cancer.

Our hearts and our love go out to Silvana, Cliff, Cathy and our Grandchildren, Earl's large family and Silvana's family as well. This man taken from us way too soon, was well and truly loved.

Earl was a gentle man who never wanted any attention drawn to himself. How difficult it must have been for him to endure having all of us, at one time or another, cry and tell him how much we loved and admired him. The unfairness of it all. And the eternal question, Why? A dear friend of ours who also happens to be our former Lutheran Pastor, told me long ago, that he believes heaven will be what we think it will be. In my heart of hearts I know that my Dad, and Dick's Dad and an Angel Baby were there to greet him. I hope he is dancing with with his Sister and Brother and Father. God bless you dear, dear Earl. Already the world is a much poorer place without you.

We pray that God comfort all who mourn.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Beautiful Mom

Today is my beautiful mother's Birthday!

My mom is really something. She got a computer about a year ago and reads our blogs, sends e-mails to her family and is a FaceBook regular! On many a Thursday you will find her with one of her grandchildren, helping them with their reading, playing the organ with them and singing with them. And of course taking them out for a bite of supper before returning the happy little camper home to share stories of their time with G.G. Each child can't wait for their turn.

My mom goes to Yoga and the gym with her friend Marilyn. They love to laugh and the people at the gym really miss them when they don't come because they are so much fun to be around. My mom is interested in everyone's life, be it her hairdresser, doctor, trainer or manicurist. They all think of mom as their friend. I mean does your doctor give you kiss before you leave the office? Mine sure doesn't, but Mom's does, and in case you think that weird, well you'd just have to know my mom to know it isn't! Everyone loves her.

My mom is active and on the days when she said she's done nothing, she really means she took a day to just care for herself. She does crossword puzzles, reads voraciously and likes nothing better than sending me a pile of books that she's just read, like The Kite Runner (yes, mom-it is a good book just as you said!) and like most mom's I know, loves to chat on the telephone. She has a beautiful singing voice that can still reach high notes I just dream of. As I type this out, she is at the lake with my sister and her dear friend Marilyn. No doubt they had many a laugh, and I'm betting very little sleep either.

Best of all mom has a heart of gold. She is well and truly loved and loving in return. I am so lucky to call her my Mom.

My beloved and I, along with three of your "little fans", Cameron, Claire and Carly look forward to hearing about your weekend adventures over supper tonight. Happy Birthday Mom.

Post Script to Dinner:

Tonight the three eldest grandchildren came over to celebrate G.G.'s Birthday. It was a wonderful night. We took turns speaking and listening, buttering buns and corn and spritzing dressing on salad. Before we sat down, I assigned each child to their grown up place, Cameron at it turned out sat to my left and what should be right beside his plate but the dish of mashed potatoes. What does he say? "This is my spot alright right by the potatoes!" Carly told us about sports day and showed us how her tooth was coming in. Claire told us about the potato spoon races. I told them about my dear Aunty Emily who during our family picnics at Hume Park, would hold her thumb on the egg and beat us all to the finish line. The kids liked hearing that. G.G. told us about a family of geese on Kawkawa Lake, swimming in a row, dad in back, mom in front and about 8 little ones between them. Pappa measured the kids before they hit the back yard a little hepped up on chocolate birthday cake and ice cream (4 days in a row with the ice cream I've been told!) All in all it was a lovely dinner. Our dining room has been returned to an empty table and lonely looking chairs. I look forward to doing this again. Happy Birthday Mom, I love you so!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

To My Beloved,

For all that you have done for your family I am truly grateful.

For the countless years teaching.

For the hours you've spent on repairing our goof ups.

For the years and years you've cut the lawn, climbed the roof to clean it, yarded out the weeds, and cleaned out the eves.

You cleaned the toilets, vacuumed the house, shopped, and made us laugh.

For taking such good care of yourself, for me, your children and grandchildren, I thank you.

It is such fun to watch you play with your grandchildren.
Teaching some how to skate, some how to ride a bike.
Building towers out of lego.
Pretend Tea Parties eating invisible goodies.
Building up and praising.
We are blessed.

Thank you for 37 years of Fathering and now Pappa-ing.
We are indeed blessed.

I hope my dear one that you have a Wonderful Father's Day!
All my love,

Monday, June 09, 2008

A few Comments on Last Week

Is it just me? Has blogging lots its' glitz? Or is it FaceBook and life that keep me otherwise occupied? Perhaps a bit of all three. Life goes on all around us.

Here in The Grove, I've been waiting literally for 3 weeks to wash and hang out the "extra" Winter blankets removed from the bed. Because surely, we don't need them anymore. And what have we been sleeping under these cool nights? The blankets! It has been too rainy and cool to hang them out and too cool to do without them.

This past week we spied in our lilac tree the most beautiful yellow "robin". I know, I know, you think I'm seeing things. This beautiful bird is of the same size as one, its' face was a fantastic shade of orange and its' wing tips and tail feathers were a dark colour, not brown, but not black. He unknowingly entertained us for about 5 minutes. I looked in "What's That Bird?", a housewarming gift from April and Nick, and thought it just might be a cousin of the Baltimore Oriole, known as a Bullock's Oriole, BUT the map if you can go by it, doesn't include a visit to The Grove or BC for that matter. Whatever, this beautiful bird's species-it was spectacular. I do so hope we get another visit.

And speaking of visits.
Last Wednesday Pappa paid a visit to Cameron's school. His class has been studying construction for several weeks and somehow Pappa got wrangled into going in and doing a presentation. I think it was because he and Cameron had paid a visit to the Golden Ears Bridge being built fairly close by our house, and Pappa mentioned it to the teacher. Well after a little foot dragging on Pappa's part, he threw himself into planning an afternoon visit, models, towers of balsa wood and popsicle sticks, picture boards, an art assignment (naturally!) and a match up quiz. My beloved was an ace Art Teacher for years and years and years and years and years in Richmond, but when I watched him in action building bridge like structures, triangular shapes and square shapes, and I-Beam shapes, I think he missed his calling. He threw himself at it with gusto. The idea was to build a bridge that could withstand 30 pounds of bricks. Nanny was hoping for a collapse and so were the kids in the class, but ultimately it took our Grandson pushing down on the structure to make it give way. The catch-phrase was: What Will It Take to Make it Break? My engineer in hiding really did a bang up job.

Pappa waiting to begin his presentation

Some of the prep work that went on in our dining room

When I see this picture of my beloved it reminds me of his teaching days. His daughter captured him but good!


And more on visits.

Amy and Tyler went to Kelowna for a Softball/Baseball Tournie. I don't know the end result of the tournament, but I know Tyler's team won most of the games-way to go T and Team!

While they were in Kelowna, the kids paid a visit to her momma's former homesite. When I was about 3, our family moved to Kelowna from Winnipeg, via Vancouver. And speaking of bridges-there wasn't one when we lived there, we had to take the ferry from Westbank over to Kelowna. That tells you how long ago that was. I think there were only about 8,000 of us living there at the time. Time marches on and now Kelowna has a better bridging system than we do heading into Vancouver over the Port Mann! What's wrong with that picture? Anyway, I digress. Sorry about that.

Last time the "kids" went to Kelowna for a tournament I told Amy that my old stairs are shoring up the banks of Mission Creek. They went out on a fact finding mission and after a few misleading clues (thanks to me) they actually found them. I think now it is a must do pilgrimage in our family, because they too made a return visit to the site this year. Here are some pictures including one of our daughter, the third generation of our family standing on one of the stairs!

Mission Creek Bridge about a block before it heads into Lake Okanagan.

The view from our former yard!

This was the very first picture given to me, by a former co-worker named Carolyn Owens. I told her about the stairs and she and her family went looking for them, found them and gave me this picture. I wonder if they go back there too now, just to see if they are still there! I told you it was a pilgrimage.

Taken last year, looking for the stairs in the dark of night! Anything T?

I'll never forget how the fish would turn the low creekbed red when they were spawning. What a sight that was.

This picture was taken last year when the creek was a little lower.

The site of of our former yard. Hence the stair wreckage. Reservations anyone?

This year's pictures. I copped them from Facebook and they are too small!!!

And last, but not least, my beautiful mommy and I on the infamous red stairs, proudly holding our Christmas presents, Candy and Andy. Mom holding Candy, my sister's bear, and me holding Andy. I always wanted Candy! I love this picture of my mom and she tells me this was her favourite skirt. Note: my curly hair-my sister and I still joke about the wooley lamb look perms. My hair is naturally bone straight.

And a few last words on Visit and Visitors.

On Saturday it was my dear Brother and Sister-in-law's 45th Wedding Anniversary. (They are blogger shy so I won't say too much more about that!), but in order to surprise them we arranged for April, Abby and my dear mother-in-law Erika to be delivered to our home before the appointed surprise party. Our dear son-in-law Nick was at a golf tournament in Langley so he dropped the ladies off at our house before heading to his event. We had a quick bite and some playtime at our house before we left for the wonderful party organized by our two beautiful nieces, Riki and Andrea and handsome dude of a husband, Kirby. April didn't think Abby would sit her Momma's high chair so we used it as a table. Oma had the delight of feeding her peas and minigo yoghurt. Abby got to play with some of her Momma's FisherPrice people. We had so much fun during the short interlude before the party. I believe the cutest moment came when we had her standing in our living room by the coffee table. On the coffee table are two beautiful candles that her momma gave me incidentally. Abby was blowing out (imaginary) candle flames. So darn cute! It won't be long and she will be blowing out her birthday candles.

Sorry April, caught you mid-chew! You can pay me back on your blog sometime!

Oma doing the honours and loving every second of it-Abby too as you can see!

Mother and Son! Love them both so much.

Nanny and Abby playing with antiques! Nanny caught in mid-comment, ooh buddie Burt! Does that make up for your's April? LOL
Abby's mommy wanted to take all of our toys home. Pappa almost helped her load them in the car, but I stopped them.

2 Party Girls, my beautiful Mom and Baby Coco!

Oma putting on the Tats and her eager subjects.

Some of the results!

A beautiful Mommy!

A handsome Daddy and a Daddy-To-Be-Congrats Bryan!

Who's my mommy holding?

Caroline showing us what Uncle Nick was up to. Well actually that's the golf bag upsidedown hopefully that didn't happen to Uncle Nick!

Apologies to Carly, you must have been hiding around the corner when Pappa had the camera out. No pictures of our little girl wearing her pretty party frock and awesome smile!

All in all it has been a pretty terrific week of family, fun and memories, and oh ya, rain!