Friday, August 07, 2015

A Satisfying Day

Alfred Sisley

"It is the only place where I have been able to wake up at exactly the end of the night, and it became a tradition with me to dress and go down through the quiet to the front, then up to the point, and out along the cliffs, wide-eyed and suddenly awake, watching the sky gently extracting itself from the dark arms of the sea.  Oystercatchers in their dinner jackets pipe the reveille, jackdaws chatter, boasting about their dreams, and out beyond the islands the gulf sky to the far southwest is a particular pale white-blue, the tone of pure air, washed, rinsed, and scoured by last night's squalls, catching the sun rays now, as the swells of cloud billow with light and the first warmth of the morning reaches for the cliff tops, where the thick and sudden turf rolls over, like God's green shoulder, down to the gasp and grasp of the sea."

The words of Horatio Clare in his wonderful new book, "Running for the Hills" and would they not inspire you to rise early and partake of the miracles of the dawn  - 'watching the sky gently extracting itself from the dark arms of the sea'  such tender imagery....


It has been a particularly satisfying day here in the Similkameen, - warm and breezy - perfect summer weather.

I awakened - not with the dawn, but soon after, and watched out the window as the light gradually glowed golden on the tops of the far hills.  And I remembered my bedtime determination to finish threading the loom, early in the morning, and rose with some anticipation.

I go in and sit at the loom and I am encouraged that I am more than half-way through the threading, - surely an hour should do it.  But I keep forgetting that even before half an hour has passed my left shoulder will be complaining bitterly .  So it has been a day of threading a bit, then stopping, gathering my book and the telephone and going to sit in the garden, while it is still fresh from the night air.

I have to confess to reading longer than I bend over the loom, threading....  I am so enchanted with the memoir, and with the beauty of the writing.  It brings back many memories of  lambing and shearing and nights spent in the barn with pregnant ewes, and when I look at Charles' shepherd's crook I am reminded of the lovely way the sheep responded to him any time he entered the barn.  A good and gentle sheep man!

Pictures from the Internet

So I did finish the threading, and when I get to this stage of dressing the loom I can hardly stop until the threads are all sleyed through the reed, the warp tied on and I can begin to throw the first weft. But I know that I will be drawn even more to finish the book, and then go back and re-read the especially lyrical passages of Horatio Clare's memoirs of a childhood that was 'marked by wonder and joy' - the parts that mirror our own experiences, and that of our children.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Dawson Creek

ABC Wednesday
August 5th, 2015

The letter is D

D stands for Dawson Creek, - a town in northern B.C.

Dawson Creek started life as a small farming community in the dry and windy prairie land of the Peace River Country that spans British Columbia and Alberta,  close to the Alberta border.   In the beginning many of the inhabitants were European Canadian settlers moving west through the Peace country when the Canadian government began issuing homestead grants to settlers in 1912.

With the coming of the Northern Alberta Railway in 1931 and the construction of the grain elevator more settlers were attracted to the community.  Business grew and in 1936 Dawson Creek was incorporated as a village.

Some of its claim to fame, and certainly a reason for its sudden growth in 1942 was the Alaska Highway, built by the U.S. and Canadian governments in WW11 to transport equipment 1500 miles to the Yukon and Alaska.  Thousands of Army personnel, engineers and contractors poured into Dawson Creek.  It was completed in less than a year, with 150 bridges and 8,000 culverts.  Even after everybody packed up and went home the population and growth continued....

Dawson Creek is Mile 0 of this famous highway.....

Like most western town it has a rodeo....

and friendly cowboys

as well as Art Galleries, a Heritage Village. and I must say, a long but pleasant winter 
with blue skies and sunshine...

How to get there....

For more Ds dally on over to ABC Wednesday here, 
with thanks to Roger, Denise and all dashing helpers. 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

A Sunday Posting

A little of this, a little of that, - it all adds up to a Sunday posting.....

A hot Sunday, I must say.  Even too hot to spend the afternoon in the shade, under the big umbrella out back.  But I see a few clouds as evening gathers, and perhaps by dusk they will make a nice background for the glorious moon, which should be 'blue' but is, instead a deep, rich orange as it rises in the south-east, from behind the Cawston hills.

I spent the morning reminiscing as I hunted through the thousands of pictures I have placed on the PC, scattered in what started out to be well-organized files.  Alas, they have progressed into a veritable jungle of duplicates, downloads and duds.   There are still faint remains of the skeleton structure, but the trees of the jungle have grown so many leafy photos which have stretched out into the far reaches of various programs, - hiding under rocks, - visiting the neighbouring collection of family pictures - out welcoming facebook photos that I must invite to join the stash.  Pictures that I gazed on just two days ago have vanished into the abyss, - deep into the photographic forest.

I thought that Lightroom would solve all my problems,  and it is great for day to day pictures from the camera, but what of the hundreds of scanned pictures I rescued and for whom I provided a loving home?  Pictures of ancestors on all four sides of our family, and now I am finding that even childhood pictures have taken on that dimension with younger members of the family.

Frustrating as the task might be I spent many wonderful moments remembering.  I come across a picture of my Mum and Dad, under a leafy tree, and see with what tenderness he is bent towards her. Here is a photo of Charles, holding a picture of our first born son the day we came home from the hospital.  How young we were - I see my grandchildren with the same look of wonder on their faces as they welcome our great-grands.

What I am looking for is pictures of our childhood to send to my niece as she prepares for a memorial for my sister, at the end of August.  I figured out how to send them via WinZip, and she figured out how to open the, so all goes well......

This afternoon Callie braved the garden, - she is, at least, small enough to crawl into one of the shady corners and watch for neighbourhood cats who might be out for a warm walk.

I stayed indoors and immersed myself in a book.  Two books, as a matter of fact.  I read a few of Edith Perlman's short stories in her book, "Honeydew".  Her writing reminds me of McCall Smith, - elegant and compassionate.

It wasn't yet Happy Hour when I set this book aside and picked up Horatio Clare's "Running for the Hills" which I mentioned in a posting last week, and which I had put aside to read McCall Smith's new 'Isabel book'.  I am enjoying it immensely.......

Even though summer is here with all its bright skies and brighter, hotter sun and incredibly great numbers of tourists in the Okanagan I ventured out yesterday with the kindness of my dear DIL who chauffeurs so cheerily, and we went to the Hooded Merganser in the Lakeshore Hotel in Penticton and had a long and delicious lunch with one old friend, one new friend, and the daughter and grandson of the dear old friend who came in right at the tail end and had tea with us.  It was a late lunch - probably two o'clock before we had finished our Sangria and ordered, and four-thirty before we got up to leave.

 A lovely way to spend the afternoon.  The great crowds of diners (lunchers) had left by the time we sauntered out, but their numbers were nothing compared to the crowds of summer visitors who filled the length of the beach with their umbrellas and sand pails and shovels and towels and floating apparatus.

Three sailboats in close to shore and a colourful parachute contraption that crossed from one side of the lake to the other, back and forth, back and forth, carrying adventurous holidayers.

The waterway that runs along the highway joining Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake was full of floatig inner tubes as people made their way down to the end where a bus waited to take them back to the start of their adventure.  The beach at Skaha was rimmed with colourful umbrellas and happy campers from the adjoining campgrounds........wonderful relaxing time!

Well, tomorrow is Monday.  Still a holiday - part of the week-end the young folk call "The August Long" so there will be many cars on the highways.  I will be in the loom room - finishing threading the new warp and if I am really enthused and my back is not complaining, perhaps starting to sley!