Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Did During the Holidays

I took a lot of snow white photos over the last bit. Here are a few of my favourites.

Red Hot Dragon's Wing in Sechelt.

Field, Farmhouse and Fence. Frozen.

Drops of white blood from red veins.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rise of Metrotown

I remember when I was a kid I used to walk 60 minutes in the snow to get to work, there and back.

And so the stories go. And yes, that one is true.

I would walk from my childhood home in Burnaby, along a few sides streets, and then a few major ones, eventually passing Metrotown to get to a restaurant on Kingsway. 60 minutes in the snow, 45 in the summer. There and back. (Truth be known, I was a teenager, not a kid, but who's counting?)

But I remember when Metrotown wasn't there. It was mostly a parking lot, for Woodwards. Or maybe Sears. I don't remember too much about it. Except once upon a time, my grandpa took me to the department store so I could spend the gift certificate he gave me for my birthday. I went in by myself, and came out with my first CD. The Clash. I listened to that CD over and over and over. (How much fun was that to sing "Should I Stay or Should I Go" on Rock Band last night!! Over and over and over!!)

And then, the buildings came. And the people. And then more buildings, and more people. Build it and they will.... you know how that goes.

This picture was taken on Boxing Day morning, when the snow had finished falling and everything was quiet. (I had to truncate it... or should I say tunicate it... to get it to fit here. It looks better in bigger, but you get the idea.)

I call it Rise of Metrotown. I expect in another 25 years the buildings will rise even higher. And then, so will the memories.

Except, perhaps I will be the one taking my grand daughter there for her first memories at the mall.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beyond Rock Band

What we heard from our youngest son:

Him: Let's see where the marijuanas to play!

Me: Pardon?

Him: Let's see where the mari - juanas to play.

(funny looks exchanged all around the room)

Me: What exactly does that mean?

Him: I want to see where the mayor wants us to play.

He was playing Rock Band.

Me: Do you mean where your band Manager wants you to play?

Him: Yah, that's what I said.

Warmth and light

When we bought our house in Vancouver 6 1/2 years ago, the first thing we did was cut down a sad-looking fir tree, devoid of branches on the trunk with a few remaining near the top, that ran like a flagpole in the centre of the house, blocking light from coming into our upstairs bedroom.

Chop, chop, chop. And so warmth and light came in, literally from our windows (we also took down the black venetian blinds that were left for us) and metaphorically from our new neighbours and community.

Upon moving in, the neighbours came with Jamaican patties and stories and wine and we banded together to organize block parties and Canada Day parties and Christmas festivities at the school, and banded together to shovel snow and help babysit and fight crime, as they say. I had never been part of such a strong community with such great people who just wanted their neighbourhood to be better (all these years later, three of them are now on the Board for our...I mean, their...community centre still doing good deeds).

Just before Christmas we were in Vancouver and managed to get together with the old neighbours for a night. Stories flowed, as did the wine, and we left with warm hearts that grew three sizes that day, as they say.

Later, a short drive through the snow, and we were at our resting place for the evening cuddled up in front of a crackling fire.

"Do you recognize this wood?" my mother-in-law asks.


"You gave it to me when you chopped down that tree in front of your house in Vancouver."

And so the circle completes. Warmth and light still coming from 37th street.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some nights just seem perfect

Last night,

Lots of kids
Running, rolling, laughing, swinging, screaming, wheeee
Hammock line-ups and giggles first up

Mexican seven-layer dip - need I say more?

Buddies and beer, pouring freely from the keg, and chuckles,
stories of wolf eels and octopus and hoses and soda and rebreathers

And breathing cold air...

Foosball, darts, more darts, broken darts, holes in the wall...wheee

Talk of life and how we want to live

Axes and wood and fire and blazes and matches and ash

Tortillas and tacos and steak and veggies

And more kids rolling in the...

...Snow...falling gently, whipping in the wind, wheeee

Meeting new friends,

Thanks for being safe and sleeping over

Until next year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


One of the best things about our new neighbourhood is that we live on a hill and can hike up pretty quickly to the lichen-covered bluffs above us. Come with!

Hike up...

Keep going...

Enjoy the view... but don't get too close to the edge...

Ah.... nice view! (Yes, that would be the USA you are looking at in the distance.)

Back down through the forest path.

Home sweet home

I know I am about...oh...six months late on this...but here are a few pictures of the house when we first moved in. Not the deer. Not the waterfall or the frog. Not the hammock. The house. Enjoy.

Walk into the kitchen (see that big empty floor - that is where the drum set is!)

Turn behind you and enter the dining room and living room. The fireplace is on now!

Close up of those beams. (I know I showed these already, but really, they are the best part of the house. Except for maybe the windows. And trees. Um... fireplace?)

Open the sliding glass door in the dining room. Walk out to the deck. Nice trees!

And here is a sliver of the view from the deck.