One of the things the west coast boasts about is having four distinct seasons, which makes each one special. August on the island, with the crickets chirping and the clear skies of summer is about as perfect as summer gets.
After a week in a mountain valley I spent a weekend with friends camping at the ocean.
I really am that spoiled. We don’t camp at the ocean often, my boys prefer the lakes and rivers for exploring and fly fishing. So this was a definite treat. We explored sandstone beaches and lazed around the campsite.
Refresh. Rejuvenate. Relax. Relate. Recharge. Reconnect.
There are places on this earth where we just feel something more. Where the very air speaks to us, whispers to us, caresses us. If we choose to listen, to be aware, these places can provide for us.
If you are lucky enough to be close to one of these places, to be able to visit it at least once a year, you have a gift. Embrace it. Use it. Revel in it.
I have that place. This year I got 5 days in it, with the people I love the most in this world. And I needed it. And I revelled in it. I embraced it. I let it love me and I loved it back.
I am breathing more loosely once again.
A friend gave us some pickling cucumber plants this year, so I threw them in the garden. Turns out they like it there! So now that we have pickling cukes, it is time to research making pickles!
Now we are a pretty choosy pickle family so I haven’t ventured into pickle making. I’m not into making big batches of things that we might not want to eat. But small batches with cucumbers as they ripen? I can get behind that.
First I made regular dill pickles. Some with garlic and some without. Three jars are refrigerator pickles (the lighter green in the pictures although the turned the darker green eventually) and three jars I canned (the second picture above).
Then I got adventurous and decided to make a small batch of bread and butter pickles. These are also kept in the fridge.
The verdict on the refrigerator dill pickles? One thumb up, as they are a bit vinegary. A tablespoon of sugar in the next batch should help. The bread and butter pickles need at least 24 hours to sit, so we’ll keep you posted!
The sun has come back out so I went down to look at the finished carvings. Some had already been moved but my favourites were still there.
Every year there is a bench. Love this year’s version!
The carving competition is a perfect presentation of our community. Chainsaws and big logs, beachside, and beautiful art. Resource workers and artists have long co-existed on this island.
Art in fresh air.
Bushboy got his Learner’s permit in June so we are deep into the driving lessons. He is a very good driver and I have discovered that I love driving with him.
While there is no doubt something about a breathtaking experience that resonates (the Grand Canyon at sunset will forever live in my brain) life does not generally provide those moments on a regular basis. But if you’re lucky, and lift your head from your daily path and open your heart, then small pleasures can find you at any moment.
A friend of mine who has been far away for 8 long years knocked on my door last night. I knew she was on her way but what struck me was how good it was to have her in arm’s reach again. To know I could call and she might be able to see me that day. That connection. And to know she was just as happy to have that again.
I learned a new word today. It gives me a little rush whenever that happens. I was reading along and came across the word minatory. I had to stop and look it up. (Love my Kobo with its built in dictionary.) I was so tickled to learn a new word I shared it with my guys, who humoured my love of language as they always do. It means ‘having a menacing quality’ and it was delicious in the situation it was used.
We are approaching summer very differently this year. No big trips, only some shorter camping trips and a jaunt to Victoria. I am determined to enjoy summer in my backyard, both literally and more figuratively.
Summer weather arrived this weekend just in time for the annual chainsaw carving competition. We’ll go back later this week to get pictures of the final products, but it was fun watching the carvers work this week-end.
It took me a couple of weeks after Chika’s passing to feel comfortable going for my neighbourhood walks, but I’ve been back out the last few nights. I pick a different loop each night, and love seeing the sights.
One direction takes me to the ocean views, while the other direction takes me to mountain views. Both are different every night, changing with the light and the clouds and for the ocean the activity on it.
One of my favourite things walking in the evening is seeing all the cats on driveways soaking up the warmth from the concrete. They’re everywhere! I love how they try to pretend I can’t see them.
Do you like observing as you walk?
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