Friday, June 27, 2014

Counting Blessings ... there and back





By now all my Mennonite Girl Friends have posted their photos of our special day trip to visit Ellen in Seattle.  
There is nothing new under the sun here but our blogs are our own places to record special memories so I'll post a few of my photos too.

We boarded the Amtrak in Bellingham and Bev joined me in  a seat on the left side of the train so our view was the peaceful pastures and small towns we passed through.




Ellen and Judy  planned our day trip and they could both take on a new career of special excursions for ladies of a certain age.

We missed Charlotte and Betty from Manitoba and Kathy who was feeling under the weather at home.



Ellen picked us up in a vehicle that was rented big enough to carry us all and it was lovely to relax and know she knew the way.


We enjoyed the sunshine and the short walks.


Ellen made reservations for us to visit the Queen Mary Tea House.


I felt like I had been transported to England for a proper visit to a Tea House.




There was no space unused.



We enjoyed a beautiful lunch together.




I loved this idea for using teapots.


After a visit to a beautiful mall...
we popped into Ellen's place for refreshment and a bit of time in her home.


At the end of the day...
I just counted my blessings for the gift of these friends in my life and for the way God has led us in the six years we have been...
Mennonite Girls Can Cook.


all for now..

Monday, June 23, 2014

Full Service Pumps



Have you noticed that every summer the price at the pumps skyrockets?
This weekend the lineups began.



Finding a good full service pump is well worth the search and completely under rated. 


On Saturday the grand opening of the gasoline station on the farm opened up about the same time that chores were finished for the day.

I settled in to document...
the inaugural event .


Window service with a particularly difficult customer....
caused some words to be exchanged.

There was a disagreement about what colour fuel was being sold.


Eventually...
the bike car was filled UP.

The cost was surprisingly fairly accurate.

The initial estimate was $90 but when the service was all said and done...
it came in at $100.



The full service included ...
air in the tires...


...and a seat adjustment.



She worked day and night for about an hour...
refilling the vehicles at an amazing pace. 



There was some discussion with her business partner about taking a lunch break...
and the lineup was given notice that the station was closed.


I have a feeling her gasoline station will be open often this summer.
This is one line up that is worth the wait.



I love summertime.

all for now..

Monday, June 16, 2014

Camping at South Okanagan Provincial Campground


Last week we took our trailer to camp in sunny Okanagan.
Soon summer will start in earnest...
and the camping spots become a hot commodity but in early June...
the week days are quiet.


Camping underneath the Ponderosa Pines ....
the Douglas Firs ....
and the Maple Trees....
in late spring when everything is still fresh and green ....
is the best.



I had no idea that there were Provincial campgrounds that had automatic sprinklers to keep the grass green.



There are two campgrounds side by side.
The south campground is level with the lake with the highway above us.
The north campground which is connected by a trail is terraced from the lake up to the highway.


The south campground has a large grassed area in one loop where the picnic tables are a few steps down from the tent and trailer sites.
There were only a few children around last week and we could easily imagine how that grassed area would be filled with laughter and lots of children.


The first few days that we were there...
the weather was pleasant.



We sat outside in shorts and T shirts and hoodies in the evening around the campfire in the evening.


Each day we walked the connecting trail between the two campgrounds and looked at the view of the lake from the top of the north campground.


The campground is just a few minutes north of Summerland.
This was my parents go-to campground in their retirement years.
When we stopped at a fruit stand we saw all the different Summerland Sweet jams and treats that they used to bring us home as souvenirs.


I doubt that my parents ever drove the Bottleneck Drive route that connects all the beautiful wineries in the area.


Some of the wineries encourage picnics from their patios overlooking their vineyards.


We wanted to enjoy one day at a winery that served lunch.
We found Bonita's  and enjoyed a long and relaxing lunch on Wednesday, the one truly sunny day.


After lunch we walked down into the vineyard and could see why people would choose to say their wedding vows at the end of this grass hill.


If you have never been to visit the Okanagan in Beautiful British Columbia make sure you put it on your to do list.




We have never visited the mediterranean yet...
but last week...
we had a taste of how wonderful it would be.

all for now...
with love,

Friday, June 6, 2014

remembering home


Yesterday I took a drive down to the familiar place I once called home.

As I drove up the road...
I thought about how the walk to the bus stop felt long...
and the years of school felt long...
 and yet how quick life has been.


The house is in the beginning stages of being taking apart ...
to make room for the new home that will replace it.


In my memory...
I see the house as it was when I lived there.

The year I married....
 my parents retired and my brother and sister-by-love and their children took over the farm.
They made the home their own and raised their family there.



Through the generations...
this transparent apple tree has provided apples for hundreds of pies and enough apple sauce to feed a small country.


The curb which kept the perennials in...
and the grass out ...
has hosted many small feet learning to navigate the balance beam.


Window frames that survived the flood...
and many layers of paint...
are soon to be retired...
and perhaps restored into a memory frame.

I don't know why my Mom felt inclined to date the photos on the front as she did...
but I love that she had that funny quirk.

In the summer of 1958 she posed for a rare photo.
She must have been ready for church.
She was expecting a child.

I was born early in 1959.


Yesterday...
I wanted to stand in those places ...
on the clay soil that has always been there and will continue to hold the home that is built to hold the next generation in the family.

I wanted to sit on the steps one more time...
the place where I was held.






The memories are good...
and so I smile...
and thank God for my childhood with a loving family.



A country home uses the front steps for photo ops and the back steps for company.




The old sidewalk leading up to the back steps have long since been replaced making three steps into the house... to two.
That is where I walked in my Mom's old heels and made countless trips with the dollies in their buggy down the sidewalk.




I see the house as it is now...
and think about the blessings in my life.
It is a gift to have precious memories and so I focus on them and take them with me.

My parents loved the farm...
but oh how they must love heaven.



I know what I remember and what I can see now and what I believe for the future.

We build our "forever" homes here...
but until that day...
when Jesus calls me to my true forever home...

I'll keep practicing to hold things a bit loose.




That day hasn't quite come yet...
and so I took hold of the one thing that was saved for me...
 built of wood...
solid and sturdy that has held every child and grandchild my parents were blessed to have.

Even our grandchildren are too old to use it now...
but perhaps I can convince the littlest to try it once ...
for me.

When I came home from the farm...
I unloaded my old high chair and handed it over to my beloved for some tender loving care.

He asked me how it was.

"It was good".... I said.
"It's just a house.
It's built of wood.
It is all the people who have lived there since before I was born...
and who will continue to make their home on that soil...
who matter most."


all for now...
with love,