Tuesday, August 17, 2021

 Tuesday, August 17th

I shake my head and roll my eyes when I check both the calendar and the telephone to apprise myself of the date!!!  The smoke from various fires keeps me in the house, and the sky is hiding its beautiful August blueness behind clouds and haze - can this really be summertime, summertime, when the sun shines bright and the birds sing gaily.....  Ah well, often the last two weeks in August  are wet and miserable - portends of fall, but then we are blest with sunny September......and October can be very beautiful too, here in the Similkameen.   I go through the photos that Charles and I took over the years when we motored through the countryside, when the summer heat was gone and before November frowned upon us.  Lovely years and such wonderful comforting memories..... This is not a photo that we took, but one that speaks so beautifully of fall....

Today is reminiscent of stew and baked potatoes and homemade bread -- I contented myself with popping a potato in the oven to have with a bit of leftover chicken and a piece of apple pie brought by my loving daughter!  That would be after the ginger ale and orange brandy......

I have been busy today, hemming the towels that came off the loom and are earmarked as Christmas presents.  Also have half a warp wound in anticipation of a couple or three silk scarves.  I scrounge around bedroom shelves where I have stashed cones of cotton, and make plans and have dreams of lovely striped and checkered towels. - sometimes I feel it is time in my life to make good use of all the odds and ends of cotton and silk because I have failed in my attempts to inspire family weavers who would be glad of them when I might be gone (false anticipation, - I am sure at some point I will be gone, as are we all!)

The garden is beginning to show signs of late summer beauty.  There are a few peonies budding out nicely, and all the yellow daisies are suspect of wanting to take over the garden.

These peonies are from the garden on 10th, a few years ago.  Nothing as spectacular hereabouts.....

and so are these, - a collage of peonies and poppies with a few statice thrown in for good luck.....it seems my early morning gardening is a thing of the treasured past and I must content myself with poking and digging and a lot of yellow daisy like flowers that flourish (I kid you not) here, there and everywhere!!

In the evenings the house is awash with the scent of hostas (I think that is the name) and the dresser that flanks the entrance to the house reflects the beautiful bouquets I have been given lately by family who stopped by and whose presence was so very welcome.  

This last Sunday our oldest son came with his wife to attend the last service to be held in St. John's. the church that has been home for the last seventy years, but is now being deconsecrated and used by the Indigenous people of the valley.  I am not sure where the decision to do this came from - it has left me with very mixed feelings.

I played the organ at this last St. John's service, and was glad of the opportunity to do that - though saddened..... times and values change, one grows older and sometimes the act of adjustment is harder than at other times......   

The Bishop came, and one of our dearly loved and former priests was present. 

I was very conscious of how my dear husband would have responded - he was so stable and so adept at adjusting to life and the surprises it brings.  I missed him.

Monday, August 16, 2021

 Monday, August 16th

I must at least acknowledge August, and perhaps I will regain the habit of writing the months away, once again, if I persist!

Another smoky day - not as bad as it has been these last few weeks - at least one can see the mountain across the valley even if the sky is clouded and the smoke from surrounding fires makes the day dull and not nice to be out in......

I am up early, - , the cat and I.  Youngest son, who has taken to keeping me company in the house at night (much appreciated)  still sleeps on, - and Bruce, the dog, persists in burrowing his head in the pillows on the couch, - nature not having overtaken him yet!

I find this is my memory time, - I linger over breakfast and coffee, - sometimes I read a bit, or lose myself in long ago contributions to Daybyday.  Being ninety-six provides one with a lot of memories of years gone by, and of people who once inhabited my life but now have gone on to whatever awaits them in the future.  If there is a future????

I have been thinking this morning of the years of my youth when I lived with my family in Edmonton. 

 Across the road was a tennis court where my father used to play while he was still able, - and up the street the rectory where the Canon and Mrs. Clough lived, a place that was as familiar to me as the home we inhabited in those depression year 

My parents struggled to purchase this newly built house, but in the end I think those hard and difficult years overcame their desire to be home owners, although my father worked for T.H. Peacock all through the Thirties....  We moved to the West End, - not to one of the elegant houses that the West End was famous for, but to a smaller dwelling with a wonderful vegetable garden, out on the St. Albert Trail.  Good years!  My sister went to High School there, - I caught the street car every morning to go to work in the City Architect's office.  Time marched on.......and memories grew more poignant as the war years overtook us.

That was in the long ago years, - in the present I am growing more used to being confined to one street, one house and one back yard, and although I don't even get to go over town ( probably because I am too nervous to make the journey on the scooter) I welcome all who come through my door to visit!!!! Especially family, and they are so good about that.

                                         Old picture, taken while the Beloved was still with us.