David came mid morning to ferry me to Penticton, and on the way to pick up our dear friend, Jill, - a friend by way of being one of Charles' school mates, the widowed wife of a cherished minister at St. John's, (also a school mate) and oh, just a kindred spirit for a thousand reasons....
We were going out to lunch, and to catch up on the times between now and when we last had this kind of an opportunity to talk.
We went to the Vanilla Pod, - one of the many new wineries that have taken over the orchard land on the benches between Penticton and Naramata, along Okanagan Lake. A restaurant attached, as many of them have... A marvelous view. Spacious. Windows all around.
We had a minimal lunch, - a fabulous soup, a glass of white wine and Creme Brulee the likes of which I hadn't had since we were last in England.
I mention the Creme Brulee because it has inspired me to go and buy some small ramekins and treat anyone who comes to dinner to this elegantly simple dessert; stashing any that are left over in the freezer along with the French Onion soup so I can have a more sophisticated dinner than scrambled eggs on toast.
After lunch David very kindly drove us to the Skaha Bluffs, where Jill's grandson was scheduled to make a drop from a big yellow airforce plane on to a small meadow below the parking lot high on the bluffs. Her daughter (the mother of the dropee) arrived with an array of old white sheets to mark the drop spot in the meadow and the plane circled overhead.
We left Jill with her family, but before I go on with the story, Jill's grandson, (the dropee), has just been presented with a medal for Courage by the Governor General of Canada, honouring him for his part in the rescue of a young native from where he was stranded on an ice floe in the Arctic. This involved a drop from a heliocopter, carrying medical supplies, and then jumping from floe to floe until they reached the young man in such dire trouble and were able to attend to his needs and attach him to the rope from the copter and hence to safety. Courageous indeed!
It was getting late, and David had to take me home to Keremeos and then back to Penticton for a dinner date, so we drove along the east side of Skaha Lake, stopping at Tickleberries for an ice-cream cone to finish off the day in style. I had a modest Senior's cone, but David went all out for a three tiered affair with different kinds of ice cream on each layer. Magnificent!!!
I spent a lovely contemplative evening recalling our conversation and the pleasure of being with an old and very dear friend with whom we shared so many parties and picnics and quiet times and Christmas Eve glasses of wine after midnight services, and weddings and funerals. It is that wonderful sense of comfort that pervades you when you are with familiar dear ones.........