There is something very satisfying about a quick jaunt on the beach in September. When the weather is still most decidedly summer but the people aren’t there, and the beach is ours with warmth on our backs and sparkles on the water. Deep breaths.
So over on The Girl With the Red Hair I saw this post about the 10 Books that Affected Me. I was up for the challenge, so thought I’d bring it over here. Keep in mind, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time on this list!
1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – hands down the best written book I’ve ever read. Left me gutted for days, but will never leave me. The skill and ability in this book is astounding.
2. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton: For those of us who came of age in the 80s, this was The Book. Stay Gold, right?
3. The Water Babies: A classic that is very difficult to find now. But I remember reading it when I was four, and I read it to my son when he was four. So it was pretty special, all about fairies at the bottom of the garden.
4. Fall On Your Knees, Anne-Marie MacDonald: Brilliant, dark, Canadian.
5. The Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins: My favourite science book. Love the twist on Chaucer in the title, love the book. Proves that science writing can be gripping and exciting. And that yes, I am a big science geek.
6. The Life of Pi, Yan Martel: Best ending to a novel ever. Stunned me, and that is rare.
7. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins: I could have picked a number of his books, including “Another Roadside Attraction” and “Still Life with Woodpecker”. My girlfriends and I read these in late high school, and they were awesome and weird and eye-opening.
8. Basin and Range, John McPhee: McPhee writes about geology with such grace he makes it come alive.
9. Animal Kingdom, Barbara Kingsolver: While I like her novels, this collection of essays stood out for me.
10. Floating in My Mother’s Palm, Ursula Hegi: This was one of the first books I read written by someone whose first language wasn’t English. The lyricism of the writing stayed with me for a long time. (I realized that this is wrong, as I read Le Petit Prince in both French and English when I was young, and then read Camus’ The Plague in high school. But this was the first novel as an adult reader, and it stuck with me.)
The 10th one I think could be interchanged with a number of other books, but this list is a fairly good reflection of books that have stayed with me, for one reason or another.
If you feel like playing along, please do!
This post could have been about taking a young child to the fair and the fun of watching him as we saw cows and horses and ducks and rabbits. It was a fun day with good friends. But this photo says so much more to me when I look at it.
We come from small families, Mr. Kate and I. We each have a sibling who is unattached and with no children. My parents were both immigrants, so I had no family near by growing up. He has a lot of cousins, but is much younger than them and once his grandmother and her generation passed away the family gatherings stopped.
Then we had Bushboy, and realized he too would have a very small family. In fact, even smaller than ours, with no siblings, no immediate cousins and only one aunt and one uncle. (We were fortunate to move to a small city where Mr. Kate’s older cousin lived, and so have managed to make Bushboy a part of that family.)
Of course, we made attempts to create that family outside of the normal family bonds. For whatever reason, we do not have a large circle of people with children around us, either. But we do have some very good friends, and we were fortunate that one of those has been a friend for a very long time, and has therefore known and loved Bushboy since he was a baby.
So now that friend, his Auntie, has a child. And finally we see that Bushboy has created his own family circle, and has experienced that bond of two young hearts connected by a sense of family.
It takes my breath away to see him love this young boy, to know that forever he will have that in his life. And to see him with that young child makes me see the young man he has become.
Family Created, indeed.
Blackberry season started early this year, thanks to the warm dry weather. I am so happy to see an abundance of berries, instead of the moulding on the vine we saw last year. I have not yet done any baking, but do have berries in the freezer and have made two batches of jam – one straight blackberry and one blackberry-peach. The jars in the pantry make me so happy!
Some years summer knitting becomes like my summer reading – light and fluffy. I admit to reading more than my fair share of fluff chick lit/cheesy romance novels this summer, and to go along with it I have been knitting the staple of summer fluff knitting – dishcloths. I think the heat of this delicious summer has gotten to me, my brain simply doesn’t want to process anything more meaty, and I’m ok with that. For everything there is a season, right?
And like the ubiquitous potato chip – just one is never quite enough!
I can tell the season is waning, even though there are still lovely weeks of sun ahead. My thoughts are turning to lace, and my list of novels in my reading book is starting to call my name once again.
What’s your guilty summer pleasure?
Oh my goodness! So many stories are whirring by… but right now it’s working time and Hubert is determined to help me edit. Not sure about his spelling abilities, but he sure likes to tell me what to do.
Hope to be back soon with stories of blueberries, and knitting, and lovely gifts that I’ve been so remiss in telling you all about. But there are 80th birthdays and 70th birthdays and family dinners and family visits looming on the horizon, with work deadlines, a sadly neglected garden and beckoning blackberries as well….
How is your summer going?!
We always see a great assortment of critters while camping, and this year was no exception.
The mini frogs are favourites of ours. They crawl all over the trails out there and the road through the campground. You have to watch your step! These are the first critters Bushboy looks for every year.
If you time it right, there are multitudes of butterflies out there. This year was wonderful, lots of variety. Love these ones that land on the grass and dirt, but also love the white butterflies that fly up in the evergreen trees in the heat of the afternoon.
This was the first year the campground seems to have picked up a resident falcon. It sat in the trees above the campsites most days, calling its eerie cries. Like a small animal in distress, or an emergency whistle being blown over and over again.
The squirrels are Chika’s favourite critters! I love how they scold anyone who gets too close to ‘their’ trees. They run through the campsite pretty frequently.
We discovered this critter about four years ago, and eagerly search for it every year now. It only comes out at night. Red Western Frog, a nocturnal and friendly critter. This is a medium sized one, they can get much larger.
Critters make being outdoors so much fun!
This year the weather was once again gorgeous out at Ralph River. A bit cloudy the first two nights, and then sunshine and clear skies. The lake was really low as well as the river. Never get tired of just looking at the views…
View from the campsite we chose this year. Decided to go lake front (hotter sites but pretty views).
Looking north up Buttle Lake from the mouth of Ralph River the first day (cloudier than the rest of the week).
This glacier was also a view from our campsite, to the south. Loved watching it. At night it was the last place the sun touched.
Standing in the field by the lake in front of our campsite, looking south into a little bay. We usually swim here, but Bushboy went in and discovered that Swimmers Itch had arrived. Poor guy looks like he has the measles. Luckily once the rash started the itch went away!
The glacier from the river. I love it so.
Sunset was about 7pm, because of the high, steep mountains on the west side of the lake. This again is from our campsite. It was actually a relief when the sun went down, although still so warm we often didn’t start the fire until 8:30 or 9:00. And no morning fires at all. We were lucky to get a fire, as the cooler weather the week before meant they lifted the fire ban for the coast temporarily. It is going back on Friday!
This was what most nights were like. Can you see the two fly fishermen? Bushboy brought a trout back for dinner the next night.
Saying good-bye to the campsite this morning. The sky was like this for four days straight and the night skies were even more amazing. We saw more shooting stars than we have on any trip. Never saw the moon (either because of its cycle or because it was too south in the sky, not sure which), which made the star watching even better!
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