Saturday, July 30, 2022

The late July overall garden photos

In the wake of the family visit to Chilliwack last week end I'd put some family photos into a Google Photos folder for them. Since a couple of them are interested in gardening and flowers, I included some recent overall garden photos as well. However they haven't made it onto the blog where everyone can see what Linda has accomplished this year. Things got off to a bit of a late start, but have been doing great just recently. No shortage of sunshine...

Starting at the front door.

Front patio, looking the other direction.

And around to the right.

A couple pots on the driveway.

The other side of the front patio.

The front garden as pedestrians see it.

From the front corner.

A close up of the mint. (See below for a film version of this.)

Another side of the front patio.

The white peony side of the side bed.

The side bed as pedestrians see it, white peony on the left, red on the right.

The red peony side of the side bed.

Beside the house.

Featuring orange and red lilies.

Further along the house.

The back garden from the gate.

Back door, with 4 more pots.

Our back patio eating area.

The lodge. There's another windobox on the other side. You can just see the glass sculpture here.

From the back of the garden bed looking toward the gate, featuring lilies.

From the back gate looking toward the front.

From beside the barbecue, featuring delphiniums.

Between the houses featuring an ambitious clematis trying to invade the attic.

Between the houses looking toward the back. Some of you might remember the wild Alberta rose that is where the iron thingie is. It's still there, plotting it's return from the underground lair where it lurks.

Of the Day





Film, but first a pre COVID serendipity. Pretty sure this is Auckland museum. 

GW690 Kodak Gold 200, f8 1/125. I love the colour, but in hindsight I should have gone to f11 1/60 and got a bit more of the mint in better focus.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Family followup

Still no photos of old photos. Be patient. But the trip out to BC for the celebration of life mentioned in the last couple blogs went really well. We drove, rather than struggle with airlines and probabilities of cancellation and paying through the nose for a rental car. One of my cousins was flying back to Bermuda for work, and what with one thing and another, had to drive from Chilliwack to Kelowna, fly from there to Victoria, to Vancouver, to Toronto, to Bermuda. That got fixed at the ticket counter, at least.

We stayed at a lovely AirBnB that was a very short walk from this. We totally would have stayed there had it been open. Soon, it says. In the end where we stayed was right next to an AMAZING bakery. If you're ever in Cultus Lake area, drive a few minutes to Yarrow and check out Chestnut Springs Bakery. We went up to Cultus on Friday morning first thing to avoid the hordes, and had a lovely walk along the beach. I think I saw where I'd lived as a small child, but that home has long since been torn down and replaced with something large and expensive.

Nearby is the Vedder Rotary Loop, a 20 Km bike path along the Vedder river and the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. We didn't do the whole 20K, mostly we stuck to the shade. It was scorching hot in the direct sun. This is the last heron in the preserve, and the volunteers were surprised when I showed them the photo. They had thought all the herons had flown off to do secret heron stuff. I had the wrong lens on the camera, so this is cropped way in.

Beavers grow big in BC.

So do the trees.

Another bird. I think this is a pelican.

So it's obvious I brought the camera on the trip. I even brought the big film camera, but didn't see anything I wanted to capture. But I didn't bring the camera into the service or reception. I thought about it, and decided I wanted to be present with and for my family, not hiding behind a camera. Someone was taking cell phone photos, but that was them. I have no regrets.

Rather than looking around to see what's interesting to capture, I was looking around to see who to chat with next. And really, except for a very few of my readers, it would be photos of a bunch of people standing around talking in a gym. I had a wonderful time! 

The next day we visited a cousin on my mom's side of the family, and checked out their new home. They had a major fire in the old house, so they tore it down and built new. I would live there. 

I did take the camera onto the boat and captured a couple of my cousins on the tube. Meanwhile, she captured me and Linda, though she didn't do the tube.

The actual drive was uneventful. Traffic was so slow at one point we were passed by a couple of guys on pedal bikes, going up hill. The construction delays were short. We stopped lots to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery. 

Many thanks to Michelle for taking care of Celina while we were gone. First thing we heard when we got back was, "Oh, it's you. I want the other human. She was better." We expected nothing more, but she's come around, back to her usual demanding self.

Of the Day


3 really similar shots of the same peony, one of which showed up on Facebook a while ago. Which do you like best?

Film, more of the white peony. (GW690 Kodak Gold 200)

A cloudscape from late June.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Reflecting on family

A couple things have happened recently. One is that one of my aunts died recently, (mentioned here) and we're going to a celebration of her life next weekend. It's going to be really good to see some cousins I haven't seen in quite some time. Like decades. Celina's favourite human will be here taking care of her.

The other is a surprise package from my mom. She recently moved from her home of many years into an assisted living facility. The package was a bundle of photographs, mostly containing me. One of them is more than 23,000 days old, but I don't remember it. As far as I know these are all the photos that exist of me younger than about my late teens. The most recent of just me are a really skinny kid with long hair hanging round an old car, with another set of me and Linda on our wedding day. Still pretty skinny, still with long hair. 

I'm seriously thinking of organizing them into a scrap book. It won't be thick, there are fewer than 100 photos. Nowadays kids have more than 100 photos of them taken before they're a month old. If you count the ultrasounds, some kids are well on their way to that before they're born.

As an aside for a couple paragraphs...
Then again, those taken now are digital photos that will probably disappear into a sea of many thousands of other photos, to say nothing of the obscurity of obsolete file formats, crashed hard drives, lost USB sticks, online services that nobody can access anymore, and corrupted backups. At least printed photos can be seen by anybody with eyes and can last for generations. But how often have you looked at a photo of your parents or grandparents that includes other people of their generation and wondered who those people are?  Even if you turn it over to read 'taken 19xx L-R Alfred, Betsy, Carol, Dennis, Edgar, Francine, Gordon, and Hanna', you might not know what the relationships are, or the occasion.

Imagine we live in this house for several more decades, and we have a medical event. Even if someone that is related to me (at this point I cannot imagine who that might be) comes in to clean up, those photos I just got will almost certainly have no meaning. The one I'm looking at as I type, of mom, her sister, and their parents, will be just an old photo of old people that by then will probably all be dead. A big dumpster will be parked on the driveway, and some husky teenagers will be hired to cart stuff out and toss it in the bin.

It makes me think of the Black Tuesday aftermath when Penn West laid off the entire team I was working with. I started looking for an important file that a team mate had been working on, but she had not saved it on any of the network drives I had access to. Nor on her personal network drive IT gave me access to because I asked nice. I eventually determined that it was on the actual physical computer hard drive because she didn't trust the network drive and liked to keep working when there was an outage. An entire floor's worth of computers were stacked up about 10 high in an office, serial numbers against the wall. I ended up taking a couple days to recreate the file. Next was a crew of cleaners. They went from office to office, cleaning. I rescued one binder that had the only copy of reference info that was important to me, but to them, it was the binder that was important. All the paper in all the binders, all the marked up maps, all the work in progress on desks was dumped in a bin labelled, 'to be shredded.' And we wonder why organizations have no memory.

Digression over.

The package included a good photo from 2018 that I was not in, one of mom, brother, sister, step-father, step-brother, step-sister, plus spouses and children for the siblings. That might get framed. There are complicated reasons I'm not in the photo. I think I've seen a digital version of this, but I wouldn't want to have to find it in a hurry. (See above.)

The surprise was my grade 5 class photo. I didn't recognize me at first, then I realized there was only one kid wearing glasses, and I started wearing glasses in grade 3. I could only remember the name of one of my classmates, but I couldn't pick him out. I remember the teacher's name, I'm pretty sure it's spelled Mr. Reid. He's easy to pick out in the photo of the teachers because he's the only man aside from the principal. He looks like a teenager to me now and was probably in his early 20's. The principal's name came to me a bit later, Mr. King, as well as a few other classmates, such as another Keith, Kathy and her cousin Barbara, Bruce, and Leslie.

Some days I like to wonder what happened to people I once knew. None have gone on to fame and fortune, at least not that I know about. They might be as famous in their fields as I was in mine, and nobody outside the field would know. Or care. Most likely they're working for The Man, providing for their families, and trying to enjoy life. Then again, at least of them are probably retired, and I know a few of the people I knew in high school have died.

Some people live completely intertwined with their family. I worked with a woman at Skystone who was looked younger than she was. She started at the same time one of the owners had their first grandchild, and there was much ado being made about grandchildren. After a bit she was asked about her family, and she mentioned having 4 children and 7 grandchildren, which was a bit of a shock. She remarried and moved to a small town near both of their families. The downside of this is when his son and her son got into a fight at centre ice during a hockey game, and more people were looking at them in the stands to see how they'd react, than watch the fight. She once told me that a day doesn't go by without seeing or talking to at least one of her immediate family.

Linda has a cousin here in town that we haven't seen for a couple years now. (Damn you COVID!) I recently had a cousin move to Airdrie, but he is busy putting his house together and getting settled. (He has sod and a deck, so I'm confident an invite will happen soon. Hint, hint.) I was in touch with some of my mom's cousins after a family reunion, but have since lost touch with them. Other than that, it's Ontario or Fraser Valley to visit relatives.

You're expecting to see some of the photos, aren't you? I can hear the question. Maybe. I'll have to take a photo of the photo, and I don't know how that will turn out. Stay tuned. Oh, all right. A more recent photo of me taken by Michelle on the day of the Ukraine walk.

Of the Day
Driftwood. No, I didn't put that shell there.



Film (GW690, Kodak Gold 200, found in Fish Creek)