Hello friends and readers of my blog.
Before I start to continue with my childhood memories again, I’ll tell you a bit more of my experiences this summer while they are still fresh in my mind. This post is quiet lengthy. If you want to read it in two installments, there is a break, marked PART ii
I n my last post I talked about the short but sweet visit of our granddaughters and two sons.
They had hardly left, when school closed for the summer. Peter and I decided to travel right at the start of my holidays to Vancouver Island to visit our middle son Tony and his wonderful partner Lisa. They had just recently bought their first home and were eager to show it off. It was a good decision not to delay our travel plans until later in the summer because an unforseen event would have prevented us from going.
Traveling to the coast and taking the ferry to the island is always a great experience for us. Each time I am more in awe of the breath-taking landscapes we travel through. I let some of the pictures speak because I lack the words and time to describe all that awesome beauty.
The one and a half hour ferry ride, especially in brilliant sunshine, is always exciting. I enjoy sitting on the deck with cheerful and relaxed tourists who are often eager to engage in short conversations to share some of their travel experiences.
This year, the island looked drier than usual for the beginning of summer because of the unusually hot spring we had. However, the life giving presence of the ocean is forever invigorating and exiting. Peter and I always feel more alive when we walk along the beach and listen to the waves. the cries of the sea birds, feel the moist, salty air….and are overwhelmed by the majestic view of the magnificent ocean. It is exhilarating.
I am so happy that Tony and Lisa found each other and seem to have a loving relationship. It took Tony a long time to find the right partner and I am glad that he waited. I had almost given up hope when it finally happened a couple of years ago. They seem to be right for each other and it is so much fun to be in their company.
Their new home is located in a beautifully treed, landscaped and quiet neighborhood close to beaches, parks and Tony’s beloved golf course. It is an older house but so well built, designed that newer houses could not compare in quality and beauty. We were so impressed by the bright, spacious and cheerful rooms tastefully decorated and furnished.
The large deck adjacent to the kitchen is shaded by a big fig tree and other fruit trees, lush shrubs and vines. The colorful flower garden interspersed with blooming bushes is a delight for the eyes. It feels like an enchanting, magical place especially when you sit under the cool grape arbor. The variety of flowers, shrubs and trees is astounding for such a small city space. Tony and Lisa seem excited to take up gardening and asked a lot of questions.
Along the wall leading to the stairs at the back of the house grows an enormous fragrant Rosemary bush. I have never seen one so big and healthy looking. The aroma mingled with lavender and honeysuckle scents is intoxicating. From the deck you can see two big bird condos on high poles along the fence overgrown with jasmine and honeysuckle vines. This little flower garden is a paradise for birds and butterflies. During our visit Lisa bought a bird bath and we had fun watching the cheerful feathered friends while eating our meals outside.
Tony and Lisa spoiled us with their hospitality. Both love cooking and are excellent gourmet chefs. They complement each other. Their meals are light, fresh and healthy. They are delicious and also a feast for the eyes. It is a delight to watch the two prepare a meal together. All their moves are so graceful like dancers especially when they skillfully chop vegetables, slice meat or fruit or assemble ingredients.
For me it was so relaxing to just sit back and enjoy their delicious creations in the wonderful surroundings. I felt blessed and grateful for their loving companionship. Tony as a child and teenager was not always easy to raise. He caused a lot of worry and stress for a while.
But miraculously he has turned into a loving and successful adult. Peter and I are so proud of him. Young parents take note. Always believe in your children and never give up hope when they go through difficult times in their adolescent years. Stay firm but loving and always forgive and support.
Victoria is a picturesque place especially on a bright summer day. We explored the scenic beaches near by and the colorful touristy harbor down town.Tony would hunt for the freshest sea food and other ingredients while we leisurely explored with Lisa as our charming guide.
Shorty before our departure, they invited Lisa’s sister, husband and young family for a BBQ of Buffalo burgers with goat cheese. It was such joy to see how Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tony interacted so lovingly with the children. The little nephew and the twin nieces clearly adored them and I could see why. They were so attentive and sensitive to their needs and engaged them in fun activities and play. Their big dog Shulo, also part of the clan, was no stranger to us. Tony and Lisa had brought him on their visit last Christmas when Sarah and Mingo needed a break from him. I hope that Tony and Lisa will have a family of their own some day.
Far too soon we had to say goodbye. But in Vancouver we had a short stopover and a pleasant visit with Stefan who had just returned from Colombia, one of his many travel destinations. Over a relaxed meal with a big glass of cool beer he told us some of his exciting experiences in South America. From his visit to a coffee plantation he brought us some coffee beans and a big decorative gunny sack. The coffee aroma in the car was so invigorating and tantalizing all the way back.
But we had to take an unplanned detour route on the way home. The Coquihalla Highway was temporarily closed because of a forest fire near the highway. However, our detour turned out to be an exciting little adventure. We had not traveled this wild and scenic route for many years and were impressed by the upgraded highway conditions. I annoyed Peter by frequently begging him to stop to take pictures of the many awesome scenic views. He always declined because we had to make it to Cache Creek in time to find a hotel for the night. But he promised to take me on an exploration and photo shooting trip next year if not sooner. i am always amazed how roads and highways can be build and maintained in such isolated and rugged landscapes.
Shortly after our return home, we set up camp at Taite Creek, our beloved forestry campsite close to home at the lake. Over the last few years more and more people have discovered this hidden jewel and have fallen in love with it. Therefore it is not always easy to find a site in the summer. But we were lucky to get a spot in this wonderful summer community. We know almost all the regular return campers, but every year we also meet new and interesting people. Some campers think we live there year round or we are the camp hosts. In the future I will write an exclusive post about this enchanting place and the many exciting experiences we had there over the years.
This summer our stay was marred by an accident. Peter loves exploring the back country to take pictures of the beautiful natural surroundings. He drove his scooter repeatedly up the power line road to get a view of the lake to post on Flickr. Photography has always been his passion and now even more so because he can share his pictures on Flickr and other social media.
He would be so exhilarated after such a trip returning with beautiful images on his camera. We would keep in contact with radio phone. This particular afternoon he was so eager to go for one more short drive he didn’t even change into long pants and boots
Dinner was simmering on the camp stove when I heard the moped approach right on time for supper. I let out a gasp when i saw my husband hobble towards the picnic table and sit on the bench Blood was running from big gashes on his knee and leg. “That’s nothing”, he said, “it’s just a little spill. It looks worse because of the blood. I am fine.” Before I could question any further he limpd to the lake and had a short swim to wash off the blood.
During dinner he told me that two big rigs had parked side by side on the road blocking his way. The owners were nowhere in sight. When trying to squeeze by at the side of the road he had slipped and the moped had tipped on his leg.
To make a long story short. Peter initially refused to see a doctor. His cuts and bruises healed quickly. But he stubbornly bore the pain of what he thought to be a sprained ankle. A camping friend who is a nurse supplied him with pain killers and good advice.
However, eventually he gave in, when more and more people urged him to get medical attention. Reluctantly, he finally saw the doctor who diagnosed a broken fibular and ordered complete rest. Luckily Mike and Angie had planned a short camping trip with friends. They helped us move home and took over our site.
I became a nurse and chauffeur for Peter for the rest of the summer. Peter at first was scared to death sitting in the passenger seat. But eventually he relaxed. He had to cancel all our travel plans to the Similkameen Valley, which he had so carefully planned through the spring.
With all the forest fires raging through the province, we might not have had the holidays we had dreamed of. Instead we had to enjoy our yard at home which was actually quite relaxing. I didn’t even have to miss swimming. Every day, before the afternoon heat i would go for a solitary swim at the boat dock and come back refreshed to look after my patient. Later on, when Peter was allowed to walk on his crutches with his special boot, he would sit in his chair by the water and watch me swim or take macro pictures of insects or flowers in close range. He would attract friends and strangers eager for a chat.
I tried to speed up the healing process with warm comfrey leaf poultices which seemed to give him comfort. He really looked forward to their applications.
This accident was a reminder that life can change in an instant. Therefore, we should always follow the saying “Carpe Diem” and enjoy every moment of this miraculous life.
May lots of good things come your way. Until next time, hopefully in a week.
By the way, Peter is finally almost back to “NORMAL”