Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31st, 2012

Spring is taking her own sweet time, lolly-gagging around somewhere....certainly not in the hills.
The skies are back to that unbroken, dull grey.  Not even a pearly grey....

I am still waiting to hear first reports of the call of the meadowlark, and tomorrow is the 1st of April.
Either my sentinels are not being very attentive, or the meadowlarks are down south,
partying with Spring and the Sun and Soft Breezes.

 Well, it seems there are lots of things to do in the garden before the warm weather arrives.  Charles is almost ready to lay the pruning shears aside.

I would like to plant some more sweet peas around the garden's periphery fences and maybe some morning glories as well, as they go right until the end of summer once they get blossoming.

This afternoon we are going to an open house hosted by the local Museum Society, and we are looking forward to ranging through their history books and meeting old friends and new people who are curious about the valley where they have chosen to live.

We begin to feel like pioneers of a sort, although there were many who were here before us.

Most of them lie below, listening to the whispers of the wind blown grassses.
And are they waiting for the sun to shine and the meadowlarks' sweet call, as well?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ABC Wednesday
March 28th, 2012

K is the letter of the week.

I decided not to wander too far from home and to show you a little of the town we live in - Keremeos.

A nice, neat town nestled along the banks of the Similkameen in the shadow of K Mountain, Keremeos began as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post in 1860, and since it was first founded it has moved twice before it finally found a place to settle down.

Today the well preserved early 1900's buildings give the town a distinctive Old West feel.

With cattle ranching, hay ranging, fruit growing and vineyards the mainstays in the surrounding community in the summer you will be delighted to find the wineries open to tourists and the highway lined with fruit stands.

Coming into town from Penticton the first fruit stand you will see is one of the largest and I think the most attractive as our elder daughter did all the art work that distinguishes it and makes it known Canada wide amongst visitors.  It is announced by this sign peaking over the hill a mile or so from town.

Spanning the Similkameen River is the Red Bridge, one of only a handful of covered bridges remaining in North America.  It is a reminder of the time when the Great Northern Railway ran up the Similkameen River to Hedley and Princeton, - it is now a highway bridge to the Ashnola and the Cathedral Lakes Park.

I hardly know which picture to show you, - it is all so beautiful in the park.  The lakes are like exquisite jewels set amongst the granite of the mountains, and the hiking trails take you through a truly wild

Overlooking Keremeos, high above in the hills above the ranchland, are the Keremeos Columns, natural basalt columns nearly 100 feet high, extending for some distance along the face of a cliff northeast of the town.  Formed from thirty million year old volcanic activity the columns can't be seen from the main road, but one must seek permission from private landowners before hiking up to their splendour.

Here is a picture of Keremeos, taken from the columns....

Keremeos also has western Canada's oldest flour mill, and the only one remaining with most of its machinery intact.  Careful restoration has included the reconstruction of an operating water wheel and flume.  The mill was built in 1877 by Barrington Price and his store, with its 1894 wallpaper still in place is now an exhibit space full of intriguing hands on displays.

We also have rodeos, - the Chopaka  Rodeo on Easter Sunday, hosted by the 
Lower Similkameen First Nations

and the traditional May 24th rodeo hosted by the local Elks' Lodge and the Community

Great exciterment, - lots to do here, and it is a lovely Valley.  Do come and visit.....

For more wonderful K's click here and visit at ABC Wednesday, hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt and her Keen helpers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A little welcome rain this evening.  The smooth grey dome of the sky has broken into small patches of light, some darker clouds and in the valley drifts of mist and falling rain.  Somehow it is much less depressing and I am happy to see the sidewalks wet and glistening, and the little thin lawn we have in the front yard greening up quite nicely in the evening light.

Monday morning, and I was full of plans for the week.  Black bananas to fold into muffins, and  a nice quick hamburger soup that should last the week for lunches - early morning energy prompted me to get the soup and muffins made before coffee time, and after that an hour in the garden with my back turned resolutely on Charles' creative pruning of the cedar globe.  It fancies itself as a shrub, but Himself sees it as a tree!!!!   As long as he leaves lots of shelter for the little birds who hover and dive inside its sheltering branches.

After a small period after lunch with my toes up and my eyes closed I went to the post office to mail two diverse cards, - one in sympathy and the other a celebrity birthday wish.  On to the grocery store where I picked up a pot of brilliant reticulata Iris to take to my dear friend Joan, who lives now with Alzheimers.

It has been a while since I have visited her, and I have heard others say that she doesn't recognize them, but when I walked in and she saw me coming her eyes lit up and she raised her arms in welcome from the wheelchair she was in, and I was touched to know that I still lived in her mind and her memory.

We have been friends for over sixty years.  Joan is our younger daughter's Godmother, and she has been closer than a sister to me for all of the years I have known her.  It warms my heart that I can sit and hold her hand, and talk to her about our families, about things that happened in the early years when we were still young, and she can respond.  Sometimes I have to guess at what she is saying in her whispery voice, but always I can see the response in her eyes.

I ask myself why I cannot  take half an hour out of my day to go and sit with her and bring pleasure to us both...why do we let the small duties and the worrisome thoughts that fill our lives distract us from the most important moments we could spend in kindness and love?   I pray to be more mindful and less neglectful, and I write this here to imprint it on my heart as a reminder.

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility................
Kahil Gibran