Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hugs from Jason

I was cold last night, wrapped in my sheets and blankets.  I thought I heard a knock on my door so I went to it and there you were--only for a moment.  Suddenly I felt a warmth that sheets and blankets couldn't have given me.  You wrapped me in your arms for only a few minutes and I remembered your bear hugs as only you could give them.  I awoke, realized you weren't really there, but, who knows, maybe you were.  Thank you for that, Sweetheart!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two Pigeons

Two pigeons are waddling back and forth along the rounded window ledge.  One is rather small, yet also chubby.  He is followed by a very well-fed pigeon who moves whenever the smaller moves.  I truly do not know the sexes of the pigeons, but it almost seemed to me like she (for the sake of this posting, the pigeon is a she) was a nursemaid, watching his every move and then fluttering her feathers and shooing him the other direction on the ledge.  Then again, the larger one could be excited by the smaller pigeon, but I'm getting into rather adult territory here.

I'm looking down onto the corner of Robson and Homer Streets and wonder what the pigeons see.  Their shit is all over the ledge and I wonder if they do see humans as potential targets.  Oh, well.  That's me reading too many Far Side Books.


The windows of the bus fogged up.  I used my hand like a windshield wiper, trying to see through the moisture.  As predicted by the weather lady on CBC, it was pouring rain.  I love the sun and miss it when it isn't out, but there is colour to be seen even in the rain.  the trees and farmer's fields are different gorgeous shades of green.  I wish I could paint like my mother, but I realize that I can paint with words and am discovering whole new colours and shades that come into my life.

The bus goes over the river and the water glitters with different shades of blue and green.  As we enter highway 99, Mud Bay comes into view.  Mud Bay is actually mud flats where birds rest and feed. Earlier in my ride today, the bus turned onto a street where the ocean was in close view.  I could see the white caps and loved how the white shone like the sun.

It's supposed to rain for the next ten or so days.  At least it was a warm rain.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"You are on the Right Path"

Until recently, I really didn't know the meaning of Inukshuk.  I like the Inukshuk all the more because I like it's meaning:  "You are on the right path" or "Someone was here."  The curved path surrounds the Inukshuk on English Bay.  Whether I plan to go to English Bay on any given day or not, somehow I seem to be going there more often.  It's a comforting symbol, seeing it towering over the beach, much more meaningful and beautiful than the more modern man-made skyscrapers nearby.

Phobias (especially MATH)

I've spent almost 48 years in a state of fear or should I say fears.  They are crazy, irrational fears, most of them.  Some were rational fears, I think from situations in life I had to face up to and make decisions despite these fears.  I'm no different from most people on this planet.  Everyone struggles with stomache tightening, dizzying, scream-inducing phobias of some kind.   My worst fear (along with death, snakes, etc.) is MATH!

Some of my fears I fought through as I knew I had to get to a specific destination.  I knew that I feared moving to the coast--feared moving without Jason period.  I moved from our home to an apartment on my own and feared being alone.  That fear didn't end, but I grew to love my little apartment.  The next step was leaving Calgary.  That was supposed to be one Jason and I did together!  I did it, though, despite my fear I was deserting him and realized I still have him when I'm on the beach.

I'm fearing not finding work.  That's still true, but the coast is a HUGE area and I fight past my shyness and hand in resumes anyway. 

I'm heading back to school--hopefully.  To get there, I need to pass a MATH test to qualify for entering the Bachelor of Arts program.  MATH!  That's a four-letter word!  I have to do this as I want, desperately, to get into university and I haven't done MATH since high school.  I had a major MATH phobia since grade 1.  My stomache would feel sick everytime I saw the teacher pull out the math booklets  It became a self-fulfilling prophecy: I can't do math!  It didn't help when I had to go up to the board and do the problem in front of the entire class as I went through the grades.
   #  +   (for the moment, I'm really not swearing).

Right now, I'm surrounded by scrap paper, pencils, a math textbook and have a MATH website (at this point minimized) on my screen.  I'm experiencing something I wish I had experienced when I was very young: I'm having some fun!  If I can get through this and get the majority of other on-line math quizzes correct, I might at least do a good fifty percent.  Okay, maybe more.  The point is, my stomache is tight with good excitement.  Yesterday, I almost didn't want to leave my computer.  I was doing multiplication of fractions and integers and other things I can multiply.  I had a few questions that I had to look at again, but I did some more and got more right.  I'm not saying, for a moment, that I'll never freeze again when called upon to answer a question related to MATH, but the worst of it is getting past me. I might have to go back to the basics, but that's okay.  The fact is, I'm enjoying myself with Math for the first time in a very long time.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

White Rock Reminder of War

I saw a train go by the White Rock beach last week on the way to Vancouver.  That's not unusual.  What was unusual was the cargo and people's response to it.  On at least three large flatbed cars sat army tanks and jeeps.  Inside the coffee house, many got up to see the train.  I sensed curiosity and also a resentment towards that particular cargo.  I really hope it wasn't just me, but even if it is, the tanks were unwelcome. 

There is a sense of paradise to the White Rock waterfront.  Many played with their children, walked along the wet sand as the tide was far out that day.  It was warm and ice cream cones were a favourite snack to eat along the promenade, pier and beach. 

It just didn't fit.  I was glad that the train went by so quickly.  I know war exists and I know that many of our young people are over fighting and trying to save the lives of innocent citizens. Most places I've lived in had army bases.  I know that war exists and that many cannot escape the bloody carnage they see every day.  I am one of many who have, on occasion, said "well, they know what they're getting into."  I'm sure we cannot imagine what they see and deal with every day, but I still say, "Bring them Home! Bring them home so that they can see the ocean or the prairies or the mountains!"  Don't let them have to watch again and again as a brother or sister-in-arms gets carried away in yet another airfield ceremony.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Last night I dreamed I was searching for you.  We had been at an event in a big, green park.

I called your name, frantically, terrified of not being able to find you.  Everyone else made their exit but I still could not find you.  I climbed hills, looked around the trees, and then heard the sound of children laughing!

I looked down into the valley and saw you, cross-legged, children surrounding you, even climbing over your lap.  Some had their little arms tight about your neck.

Your eyes twinkled and you laughed your belly laugh and you weren't even tired!

My heart broke, knowing you were no longer with me, but, at the same time, lightened, seeing you healthy and without the burdens (diabetes and otherwise) that often proved heavy on earth.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


To anyone thinks they can escape math, you can't!  I have a qualifying Math exam on Thursday and have to study it until then.  Oh, why do I need math when I'm going into a BA program in English?  Oh, Well.  After this I will be having more posts related to Vancouver and coast.  Until then, study, study, study...

Saturday, March 13, 2010


The pier and breakwater almost look like an arrow, pointing a way to a new journey or maybe a sunken treasure! The patterns I see on the beach are irregular and in different sizes.  It suits me, I think.  I'm not putting myself down when I say that I am a little odd.  I'm always looking for things that don't exactly match!  More interesting that way!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Promise of Spring

Spring is coming!
I can't wait to see what colour this will be when it blossoms!  Good to think of when things get me down!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Lessons that are hard and slow to learn
Are those where you cause pain to someone you care about
Just by not listening or not giving the benefit of doubt.

Easy to judge and get hot-tempered without hearing the rest.
Easy to walk away and abandon when we don't understand
Why a person makes the decisions they do.
All too easy to abandon before hearing the whole story.

Under the Pier

After searching in the morning for work and editing resumes on Friday, I headed down to the White Rock beach. 

I walked under the pier for the first time ever.  All these years of visiting, I can't believe I've never gone down onto the beach, with or without Jason.  I was making my way along the pier (on the top) and looked down.  The tide was out quite a ways that day and, before I knew it, I was walking, almost sinking, slightly, on the wet sand.  I stopped and just stood there, watching other people farther down the beach.  I dug into my packsack and pulled out my camera, loaded it with yet another film, and walked towards where the water settled into little pools. 

It felt strange being below the pier.  The thumps overhead of people walking and running on the pier had a sense of music to it.  I'm sure it didn't matter to the seagulls that I was there, knowing they were used to people sharing the space.

The sun was warm and it was lovely seeing the birds in the shaded pools of water, some just floating, others splashing themselves and ducking underwater for a quick fishy meal.

Since I'd only lived in land-locked provinces (except for Kingston, which was on Lake Ontario), I had never seen barnacles up close.  There was a strange, ugly, beauty about the crustaceans the way they attached themselves to anything (eg. boats, posts of piers, etc.).  I want to read up on them further as I heard Charles Darwin had studied them. Also, I had forgotten that they were actual living creatures (an embarrassing confession).  Now that I live near the ocean, so many things to see.  My mother told me that the crabs start coming out before long and eat the barnacles.  Soon I can look forward to seeing starfish feeding on them as well.

The sand had amazing patterns with lines here and there that snaked themselves North to South; rippled hills of sand from many tide cycles.  I'm sure I'll go to the water tomorrow and see the ripples in a different pattern.  I could see the delightful temptation of people of all ages wanting to tramp down the hills of sand.  Other sections were totally smooth, almost perfect from not being stomped on  I tried not to step on the numerous small shells that were imbedded in the sand.  Perfection also came in the form of a beatiful and complete rose.  I'm sure it had been tossed in memory of a loved one.

I'm amazed at how much I miss when I don't look closely at something.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From Broadway to Point Grey.

I got happily lost today and discovered a new coffee spot.  Cafe Zucchero, on the corner of West 4th and Bayswater is delightfully friendly and full of character.  Framed photos of Italy decorate the walls.

I actually haven't had coffee here yet, as I was hot and needed ice tea.  I know, without a doubt, that I want to be back for cappucino or any "cino"

I'm sitting at a table, looking across the street on Bayswater, seeing gorgeous pink blossoms on a tree in front of the area's many character buildings. 

There are a couple of tv's in the place, which is not a crime, but no one is looking at them.  Maybe it's just me, but people seem to just want to come chat with the delightfully friendly baristas and experience the ambience (and yes, have coffee).

After I had my cold drink, I walked around the area, trying to find another branch of the Vancouver Public Library.  There are many beautiful tree-lined streets including Baklava Street--oops!  I meant Balaclava Street (always food on my mind).  I had been down to Kitsilano Beach earlier and discovered part of the seawalk past the Kitsilano pool.  I had found Cafe Zucchero, accidentally, because, I just had to see what was in Point Grey.  Many of the homes and apartments in the area were wayyy beyond my budget, but I can always dream of having an apartment in the area (or maybe a room the size of my closet).  The tide was out and was just coming in so I thought I needed to find a place to have something to drink (any excuse).  I walked up yet another gorgeous street--Trafalgar Street--full of character and blossoms, not to mention dog-walkers and joggers.  Posting this, I realize that I'm going back to what I really wanted my blog to be about--Renewal on the Water!

White Mountain Ice Cream

My mother once had a townhouse only five minutes from the White Rock beach. On the corner of Vidal Street  and Marine Drive is a great place called White Mountain Ice Cream.  Nice thing about this place, besides the ice-cream, is that it's open year around.  If it was freezing outside, you could get yourself a delicious hot chocolate or a coffee (brewed or cappucino--whatever your desire).

No matter what the time of year, you could also order ice-cream, as I'm sure you got from the title of this posting.  In the winter, of course, there would be fewer choices, but still a fair variety.

Jason and I, almost from the time we got off of the plane, absolutely had to go to the seaside and we had to, as my loving husband used to tease me about, go to White Mountain Ice Cream.  Of course, we also had to go in the early morning pretty much as soon as we got up.  Any excuse was a great excuse to go to White Mountain Ice Cream. 

Being in land-locked Alberta, Jason and I would be desperate to be near the ocean as soon as we could.  Mum would often laugh as, even when it would be pouring rain, mixed with snow, we'd wrap ourselves in layers topped with a raincoat and head to the pier and then White Mountain (or vice versa).  Most often, we headed to White Mountain first, picked up our ice-cream or coffee, went down to the pier, fiound our favourite bench, and then sat and inhaled the sea air as if we'd never smell it again.  We'd listen to the chatter of both the gulls and the people who would go out onto the pier. 

After Jason's death, I made a pilgrimage--yes, as far as I'm concerned, eating ice-cream is a spiritual experience--I laughed as I saw on the board "Chocolate Monkey".  I truly had never seen the flavour there before but I had to have it.  I'm such a chocoholic that Jason would tell me it was time "...to get the chocolate monkey off my back".  It was absolutely delicious!