Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Dreams and Marriage

Lest anyone should think, after my last post, that my vacation dreams take second place to my husband's, let me assure you otherwise. We make decisions together. Because he loves boating and I love him, I'm thrilled that he has a boat. Because I love Europe and he loves me, I've been to Paris three times.  

We live in an amazing part of the world and I'm thrilled to explore it with him. I'm excited about going to remote areas accessible only by boat to see fjords and mountains, waterfalls and running tides. To sit in silence and hear the loons call at night in a quiet anchorage, while I'm lulled to sleep by the rocking waves. It's no sacrifice for me. Nor is going to Europe one for him. We respect each other's dreams and plan ways to make them both work.

I did a quick search on the words "compromise and dreams" before writing this post. Without fail the advice was "never compromise." So I ask myself, and you, is it compromise to see another's dream fulfilled while yours waits awhile in the wings? Is compromise giving up a dream? Is compromise a weak and nasty word, or a bridge between two widely differing viewpoints?  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On the Water at Last

What's your ideal vacation getaway? Several years ago we co-owned a sailboat with two other couples. We enjoyed our time on the water. The time came when, for various reasons, the boat was sold.

Since that time, Tim has dreamed of owning a boat again. Sailing is lovely, but there's little wind in the summer time here and I'm not much for getting out on the water when it's freezing cold. Mooring a boat is costly, so after much research, Tim decided that we would get the largest possible boat that can be pulled behind a passenger vehicle. 
Here's our 25 foot Albin. It looks small on the water, but has a cozy forward cabin complete with galley and head, a cockpit suitable for company, and an aft cabin that the Little Misses claim as their own. Yesterday was the first day we put it into the water. A test run, just a short jaunt into the water between islands. I took cleaning supplies along and did a little work in the galley, then decided to just enjoy the day.

My idea of an ideal vacation getaway is a trip to Europe. That's a little out of reach for practicality's sake. Tim's ideal is cruising up and down our coastline, stopping at quiet anchorages, hiking our beautiful islands, finding unique communities. I enjoy that, too. This summer, that's what we'll be doing. 

We have yet to decide on a name for the boat. Tim's first inclination was to name the boat Paris. "That way," he told me, "you can get to Paris whenever you want."  All the family laughed over that, knowing of my affection for France. I don't think that's what the final name will be, although that's the name that we talk about the most.

Grey blue sky, land and water. A distant sailboat provides a bit of focus. I enhanced the contrast in this photo so it looks brighter than it was. I didn't mind the grey. The brightness of Tim's smile more than made up for the dull day. When he's out on the water, cares fall away. Work has been particularly stressful for him lately and I'm delighted that we'll be spending time outdoors this summer. Perhaps next year we'll go to Europe. Or the next. For now, I'm making lists of boating supplies and menus to cook on the water.

Do you and your spouse differ in your vacation plans?  

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Celebration Weekend

Not only did we celebrate the joy and hope of Easter this past weekend; a very special birthday party happened.

My wonderful, hard-working, funny and dearly loved father will be 80 this week. I am blessed to have such a great role model. I caught him here, a candid shot, while he was busy getting to his meal. My sister, brother and I planned a party for the family. About 30 of us gathered - our mother, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The youngest was just 2 weeks old. She slept through the whole thing.

My sister, brother, and I planned a party for the family. About 30 of us gathered in Chilliwack - Dad and Mom, their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and spouses. The youngest was just 2 weeks old. She slept through the whole thing. We held the party in a church hall - my brother's church. The toddler play room was a big hit. Little Miss S was heard to say, "fun church" after the party and Little Miss A told her mother that she wanted to have her own birthday party there.

Family get-togethers are loud, busy affairs fueled by the boundless energy of toddlers, lots of laughter and talking, and good food. I never get to visit with everyone, but I still enjoy these times when family comes together to celebrate. 

Today was a bit slower. I'm talked out for the moment, content to stay quiet and mull over pieces of conversation. Do you get together with your extended family often?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An Abundance of Blossoms

Today's walk takes me through streets dampened by rain in the night. Grass grows visibly these days, reaching up, up, up to the light. All is emerald and lime and parsley-colored.

   My route lies along wooded pathways, peppered now with clumps of bluebells. They grow, too, in my garden and I pick a handful for my kitchen windowsill where the scent of sweetness and spring wafts gently as I finish the dishes.

White stars have fallen to earth, it seems, in the form of fawn lilies. They grow 12 inches, perhaps, above the ground, faces downward.

I crouch low to look the lily in the face and am rewarded by brightness and intricate design, along with damp knees. 

Returning once more to Lily Avenue, I discover the naturalized lawn covered with shooting stars. Johnson's  Henderson's Shooting Stars. Paler pink than other years, poised to dive downwards into the leggy grass.(edited on 4/21) Thanks to Gretchen for being puzzled about the name.

Pink magnolias sit like cups on branches. Tightly closed tiny daisies, white petals tinged with pink and sunny yellow centers. Ruffles of pink cherry blossoms dance like bridesmaids. Hyacinths and tulips and daffodils. The world is bursting with color and life and an abundance of flowers. Soon the lilacs will bloom. A parade of purple, blue, white, pink and green and fragrance. Spring's assault on the senses. 

Perhaps ee cummings says it best, 
"i thank You, God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky: and for everything
which is infinite which is yes." 

I'll be taking a little break for the next few days. I wish you all a most blessed and happy Easter. May you know the joy and hope of resurrection life. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Notes from my Garden

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I had a plan for this month's Note Card Party, but then in church on Sunday, an image was shown on the screen and all my plans flew away. This one took a little preparation and good weather. I taught yesterday, so I prepared last night and hoped for a sunny morning. Wind flapped against the house most of the night and I wondered if Plan A would have to be resurrected in the likelihood of rain. How happy I was to see the sun this morning!

Easter greetings in English and French. These were fun to do. The preparation involved writing the cards.

And a box top so you know what you're getting! I'm looking forward to visiting at Vee's Party this afternoon - you're welcome to join in. Vee's new rules allow for new photos, not just ones previous published. This is a good thing, I think.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tulips in the Sun

Oh my! What a gorgeous, sunny weekend we've had. Much too nice to stay indoors. We shoveled and dug and weeded. Pulled and transplanted. Mowed and trimmed. And at the end of the day - we ached with the good kind of ache that lets you lie in bed and drift off to sleep.

The water on the tulips came from a hose, not from the sky. The bottom photo of the middle column is of a tulip centre, as is the one on the right. They are from the same sort of tulip bulb, but look at the difference. One creamy monotone, the other high contrast. Fascinating.

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary of the Little Red House. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Closer Look

Donna's Photo Challenge this month was all about macro. These are some of my favorite shots to take, especially of flowers. This month I challenged myself a little by putting my Nikon Coolpix P7100 on Manual mode and adjusting the settings myself. It's still not fully manual, but more than I usually use.
 I also challenged myself to go beyond my usual subject of flowers and looked for things around the house. A close up of this old button card from my button box shows irregularities and wear and tear. Character, if you will.

 A feather picked up from the ground. Such amazing symmetry.

A ball of yarn. The focus here is to the left of centre so that the outer edges of the ball are blurred. I was happy to see an accidental bit of bokeh show up in the photo.

All photos were lightly edited in Picasa with some intensification of shadow and highlights, and cropping to (almost) square size.

I'll be foregoing my Five on Friday post this week. Check out the other participants of the Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna.