Sunday, August 2, 2020

July ~ Good Old Summertime

Let me start with an iconic 'summer on the farm' pic...
the view from my front porch last week as the neighbours baled hay on the hottest day in July.

We never strayed too far from home most of the month...

but discovered a lot of beauty of beauty nearby.

This 'field of dreams' called for a quick photo stop while riding bike the other day.

There were many bike rides this month...
an easy way to get out and stay a safe distance from everyone else.

One sees so much more on a bike than in a car.

Things like a lovely garden on the roof of the barn.

Or a symphony of flowers on top of a piano.

The mighty Fraser River usually peaks in early June...
but 2020 is not a usual year in any sense!

The river peaked and flooded three times this year.

We cycled the dykes next to the river...

...and saw corn fields under water.

Even our corn fields which are far from the river...
were not off to a good start this year.
It seemed the rain just kept coming...
and the fields were mud.
It was a bit of a stretch to say the corn was 'knee high by the first of July'.

The grands were waiting for the corn to be tall enough to play hide-and-go-seek in.

We celebrated three birthdays here early in July...
and I guess they decided that if they got down on their hands and knees
they could hide in the corn field.

Maggie's cast would never be white again!

Sweet Lucy turned nine this month.

They posed with the Covid Smart sign...
but in reality it's hard to keep Lucy and Maggie apart.
Sisters and best of friends.

Between showers...

...the grass came off the fields once again.

Breakfast is always on the patio...if it's not raining.

Spending time with friends is pretty special these days...
after months of 'isolation'.

We have enjoyed cycling with friends...

...and watching our on-line church service with our care group on the back patio.

What a treat to have an outdoor brunch with  friends last week...
a group of us that had not been together since Christmas.

I am thankful that it is summer...
and that we can meet up safely outdoors in small groups.

What is an orange float...they wondered. 
I told them to come in once they were good and hot...
and I’d make them each an orange float.
That is my favorite summertime ‘blast from the past’ treat.

Last month dad was hospitalized and not doing so well. 
This month he felt up to going out for some fresh air on his scooter.

Let me leave you with one photo taken at Whistler,
where we ended the month.

We celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary on the last day of July...
with a little hiking n the mountaintops.

I am documenting our time in Whistler in a separate blog post (scroll down or click on the link).

And that is just a little glimpse into life here this past month.
Hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Whister 2020

We are just back from a delightful camping trip to Whistler.

We have been there often...
but I can't help but take more photos every time we go.
It is just such beautiful part of our province.

We took the RV and our bikes...
and camped at the Riverside RV Resort not far from the village.

We had company shortly after arriving.
He seemed to be on a mission and just walked on by.
There were three bears in our campground this morning...
just before we left.

We spent some time cycling the Valley Trail every day...

...and watched others out on their kayaks and canoes.

Whistler has many little lakes...
Green Lake is the largest.

We ate lunch on the patio of the clubhouse right next to the lake.

We rode the gondola up Whistler Mountain and then did some hiking.

As we often do...
we built a little inukshuk to mark our visit.

No sooner was it complete...
then he had company.

A tourist from Quebec wanted a photo of the inukshuk with her traveling duck...
and a couple from Vancouver document all their travels on instagram with a teddy bear.

Next we boarded the Peak-to-Peak gondola for a ride across the valley to Blackcomb Mountain.

There we hiked the trails of the Alpine Meadows.

The wildflowers up there were amazing!

Our Whistler experience was quite different this time than ever before.
Masks were required inside all gondolas and line-ups.
We never spent much time in the village as it was packed with summer crowds...
and there were long lineups for shops and restaurants.
But...we did brave the line-up for Cows ice-cream cones.

It was a great way to spend our 49th wedding anniversary.

'Grow old with me...
the best is yet to be.'

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June ~ as it happened in 2020

2020 has been a year of chaos and turmoil and uncertainty.
The month of June was no different.

But here I will focus on those things that are 'lovely and of good report' for the most part.
And the blooms of June are definitely lovely!
These were the last of my white peonies...
and now we are on to roses and lavender and hydrangeas.

Our guests have for the most part visited with us on the front porch.
I think Chester was wondering if he might be allowed in.
Or maybe he was looking for a a treat.
He has stopped by on many 'Covid walks' this spring.

After months of going 'nowhere' we packed up the RV...
and joined some friends at the lake in Summerland for a few days.
The sun was shining when we arrived...
and maybe an hour after.
Then the rains arrived and we never saw the sun again until it was time to leave.
The bikes stayed attached to the motorhome...
and we found other things to do.

Things like eat.
And play Rook...
And watch a church service together.
And hike in the mud.
And laugh a lot.
It was good to spend time with friends in the great outdoors...
even if the weather was not what we had hoped.
We think we will go back to that spot one day...
and experience those biking trails under the Okanagan sun.

Our friends headed for home and we carried on to Scotch Creek Provincial Park on Shuswap Lake for a few more days.

We were surprised to find the campground nearly empty...
since it appeared to be fully booked on-line.
The lake water was high and the beaches and benches were all under-water.

The sun was shining and we found a good biking trail.
I would not have said it was 'good' if I had my old bike...
but 8 kms up a mountain forestry road was not too bad with an e-bike!

The view at the top was amazing.
We had planned to have a leisurely picnic lunch up there...
but the mosquitoes prompted us to 'eat and run'.
It was just us two up on that mountain.

We have been to Scotch Creek many times over the years but this was the first time that we stayed at the provincial park. It really is a beautiful spot!

On Father's Day we had the whole family together for a picnic at Cheam Wetlands Park.
It was the first time we had all been together since Christmas.

The cousins compared notes...
and hair.
Don't these two look like they could be twins?
They may be a few years apart in age...
but are good buddies.
Maggie is sporting a cast this summer...
which will put a bit of a damper on her hiking and running and swimming.

Ranen is growing in leaps and bounds and is taller than Auntie Heidi now.

As for Emme and Spencer...
they are both working at the Refinery House this summer.
What will DQ do without them?

June is the month when the Fraser River always threatens to overflow its banks.
It is at its peak right now...
and some of the low-lying roads and trails are underwater.
We discovered that on Sunday's bike ride...
and had to find an alternate route.

Also in June...
my dad spent 11 days in the hospital.
Once he was 'on the mend' he could go back to his suite at Birchwood...
but was obligated to quarantine for 14 days.
Now that was not easy for him!
Today was his first day out of quarantine...
and we were also allowed our first visit with him since mid-March.

We had a one-hour visit...
outside, safely distanced and following all protocol.
He had saved up a few stories to tell...
and the hour went quickly!

This past month has seemed a little more 'normal'.
We ate at a restaurant for the first time in many months.
We visited with friends.
The grands spent some time here.

At a time when there is so much darkness and unrest in the world... beautiful to see a rainbow stretched across the eastern hillsides several times this month.
It reminds me that there is hope!
There is Light in the darkness.

Wishing you all a very Happy Canada Day...
or Independence Day!