April 29, 2013

Saying goodbye to a house

Omi's garden

My family enjoyed one last traditional breakfast at the house in North Saanich and said goodbye. After at least 15 years in the family, the house first owned by my late grandmother has been sold. I felt at odds with reality — we’ll come back here in the summer and eat breakfast in the dining room and lunch in the yard, right? I had trouble believing that this meal we gathered for in this room, with the round, dark wood table with the blue fabric-backed chairs and tiffany lamp overhead, smelling a certain way and most definitely feeling a certain way, would be our last. I was more in tune with that feeling than ever.

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July 20, 2008

Bunches and bunches of berries

Red currants

My family — mainly my oldest niece and I — have been enjoying the edible gifts borne by our favourite local park and other nearby forests. This summer’s crop has been especially fruitful and we’re expecting a ridiculous bumper crop of blackberries soon(!!!). I go crazy for salmonberries and introduced the avid 7-year-old berry-picker to the fine art of picking: get a grabby stick, dress the part, and get into the shrubbery! The two of us went on a little adventure, avoiding mud and trampling on dry brush, then hiking up the hill to safe ground when turning back to return across a log and over a creekbed seemed like a more difficult option.

If we’d had more time and more adults we could have probably matched the huge amount my friend and I picked last year. We missed out on picking at Green Timbers this year and I can only imagine how many berries must have been there. At any rate, over a few trips to the local parks here we yielded a significant amount for desserts and snacks, which the family enjoyed. Early in the season my cousin and his Korean girlfriend were here. She hadn’t tasted salmonberries before and the two of us went nuts!

Salmonberries in milk

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June 16, 2008

Car-Free Vancouver Day

Car-Free Vancouver Day on Main Street

Photo by Rob_ on Flickr

Yesterday I joined my sister and my little nieces to one of several Car-Free Vancouver festivals. It was almost surreal to see a chunk of Main St. filled with people, “dancing in the stree-eet,” with absolutely no cars. The warm air was filled with various music, voices, children’s laughter, and sometimes the crashing and bumping noises of skateboarders on the half-pipe. We enjoyed a live performance from a guitarist/singer + DJ/violinist duo that would probably be called lounge jazz pop? The kids had some fun dancing to it. While the next band set up some dancers moved to, I think it was flamenco music, with various dance props (ribbons, etc.) The girls had their faces painted — a butterfly and a lovebug (ladybug on one cheek, heart on the other) — and posed for some adorable photos!

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