Friday, May 26, 2017

Spring mornings

My daughter is getting a couple of weeks' work experience for her culinary arts program at school. She's working at a little farm market/cafe a few kilometers away, and I've been driving her there for her early morning start.

On my way home this morning it struck me what a beautiful time of day this is right now. After such a dismal winter, the sun has made its appearance this week and I'm driving on quiet roads through lush green. At times like this I'm reminded why our move here 13 years ago was such a good decision.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The right to vote

I've lived all my life in a western democracy, and yet I've never before been eligible to vote in anything more than what amounts to local elections. Until a few years ago I lived in the island of Guernsey, a self-governing Crown dependency. Sure, we elected out own government, but with a population of 60,000 it was hardly a player on the world stage. And although many aspects of our lives were under the influence of Britain, we had no representation in Westminster.

Now, a Canadian citizen, I am able to vote for representation in a much larger community.

I just did so for the first time today, in the BC Provincial election.

It felt good.

The right to vote is important. Shame so many people don't appreciate it enough to make use of it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Maintaining our infrastructure

I know money is tight in all walks of life, but I'm heartened to see it's not all gloom and doom and decay in our neighborhood.

As I cycled home from work this evening, I met a sign advising that the trail ahead was closed off. With some trepidation, I ventured onto the adjacent (and busy) highway for two kilometers to the next intersection. Along the way, I looked over the edge of the road to see what they were doing. Nice new cycle path under construction, looks like double the width of the old one.

I am thankful for little signs like this that, despite the squeeze we are working under, there is still time for enhancing the amenities around us.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seasons

Much as I enjoy long lazy days in the sun, lounging on the deck with a book and a beer, I would not wish to live in perpetual summer.

As I walked the dog around the neighborhood today, I was reminded that right now we are in the season of change, of rebirth. Cherry blossoms briefly graced our streets this month, such fleeting beauty. The lawns need mowing. Trees are in leaf. Green things are growing, some welcome, some not.

Everywhere, people are starting to tend gardens and embark on the year's chosen landscaping project.

What is life without contrasts? Who can truly appreciate the burst of spring without the contrasting thirst of summer, or the kiss of the sun without first knowing the bite of frost?

Thanks goodness for seasons.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The neighborhood grapevine

I came home from work this evening to some welcome news after an anxious few days.

One of our newer cats, who has only recently gained his freedom to roam outdoors as well as in, decided to go walkabout on Friday. This was a sudden departure from his behavior up to that point, because for the previous weeks he'd always been close to home and came running when we called.

No longer.

Saturday, no sign.

Getting worried.

Scoured the neighborhood and put up posters on post boxes and hydro poles.

Sunday, no sign.

Monday, still nothing, but someone phoned from up the road saying they thought they'd seen him. We went up and called for him. Nothing.

Today, though, someone else from near there called to say she had a stray cat who'd been popping in and out of her house since Friday. She was about to put up flyers of her own to track down the owners when she saw ours.

He is now safely back.

Thank goodness for the neighborhood grapevine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Modern communications

A dear friend of the family died this week. Today, my wife and daughter drove to where he lived (3 hours away) to help with some arrangements.

It is late, dark, raining, and they are driving back home.

Some sections of highway are treacherous accident black spots.

Of course I'm worried, and won't stop worrying for their safety until they are back home. I am thankful to get occasional check-ins by phone, letting me know where they are on the road and when they expect to arrive.

Sure, we managed before without all that, but there are times when it's good to know. And I can have a hot meal waiting for them when they get here.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Leftover firewood

It's June, nearly July, and my daughter & I are cold and damp from volunteering at a nearby charity event. The wind and grey clouds outside tell me it's not going to improve today. Luckily there's still half a barrowload of firewood left over from winter (and that in itself shows you what a long winter it's been).

Thank goodness for log fires. Even in June ... nearly July!