Friday, April 30, 2021

April ~ welcoming spring

And just like that...everything is made new. 

April comes from the Latin word meaning 'open'.   
So appropriate!


The pink magnolia bloomed on schedule. 
April 4th.
Hannah's memorial tree.
She is not forgotten.


We usually have a lot of rain in April and the blossoms don't get much of a chance to put on a show.
This year they were amazing!

With pandemic restrictions changing our way of life...
Easter looked quite different than what we were used to.

We attended a drive-in church service in the morning...


...and headed up the mountain to meet up with the family in the afternoon. 


An Easter egg hunt in the forest...


...and Paska around a campfire made for a memorable Easter celebration.

We missed Emme...
who is in Uganda with a team through YWAM


It is definitely a life-changing experience for her!

She sent the photo of a boy who was ecstatic with the Operation Christmas Child shoebox he just received (Christmas comes any time of the year over there)...
and remembered the years when we packed those shoeboxes together.


With lots of sunshine in April...
we ventured out on the bikes quite often.


Trails along the river are great...


...no need to watch for traffic!


We saw this relic parked in a field along the river...
and Elmer decided to go take a closer look.

Sure enough...
it was a lime spreader that his dad had a local manufacturer build for him around 1958.

Elmer recalls doing custom spreading with that piece of equipment while in his teens.

It may have seen better days, but the lime spreader is still around.

And so is the manufacturer...Ironside Design Manufacturing, which began as a humble blacksmith shop in Chilliwack over a century ago.


Though restaurants are closed for indoor dining...
the patios are open. 

We chose a warm April day to have dinner at our local Wildcat Grill...
where they have turned their parking lot into a patio.

Dining on their patio 'in the shadow of Mt. Cheam'...
is far better than being eating inside anyhow!


We attended a drive-by milestone anniversary celebration for Paul and Carol a few weeks ago.
Carol was a close friend through high school...
and still a good friend today!

And yes...
that is her wedding gown which still fits her perfectly five decades later!

It hardly seems possible that our friends are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary...
but we know we aren't far behind!


Another flashback to yesteryear was a hike to 'Lost Lake'.
Elmer and I hiked there together in 1969 and hadn't been back since.

It is located at the top of Sumas Mountain...
is now called Chadsey Lake...
and seemed like a longer hike than 'back in the day'!


But it is even more beautiful then I remember...
and we are so glad we made the trek.


A few days ago, we cycled along the Vedder River...


...where the fishermen and eagles gather on the bank.

Not far from there...
we cycled past fields of tulips. 


And so ends  April...
when the earth laughs with flowers!

May will a busy time out on the fields for the farmers...
cutting grass and planting corn.'


Until next month...



Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March ~ Memories and Moments


March. Let Spring Begin!

March is the month of expectation. 
~Emily Dickinson.


And there were days when it certainly felt like spring had arrived!


We waited for the sun to show up and then took our bikes to the city to explore.


How fun to ride the seawall from one end to the other.


We had no idea that the seawall had been closed to cyclists since the start of the pandemic...
and just recently re-opened.

Perfect timing.


Nor did we realize how easy it was to cycle along the city streets with bike lanes everywhere.


It really is a lovely city. 

When the March sun is shining...
and the flowers are blooming again!

But as we know...
March weather is most unpredictable!


We discovered that we should not make any outdoor plans for Sunday,
since it rained every single Sunday in March.


Sundays were a good day to go for a drive...
along one river or another.


That moss is evidence that we have a lot of rain!

After many months of not being able to meet in person with our family...
restrictions were lifted earlier this month to allow for outdoor gatherings.
We were more than  ready!


For the past 15 years...
we have had a wiener roast with our family during spring break in March.
Some years it is warm.
Mostly not!

It was a rather chilly gathering this time...
but the rain held off and the fellowship was warm!
How good to be together again!


My Uncle Jake and Aunt Maggie celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this month.
I still recall their wedding day...
since I had the honour of being their flower girl.

Their family arranged a surprise drive-by parade for them.
Even the pouring rain couldn't dampen their spirits!
They had no idea why they were waiting outside under their umbrellas...
until the motorcade came by...
with horns blaring...
bubbles blowing...
and flower throwing.

How fun to have the Chilliwack Fire Department participate with a fire engine...
and a lot of noise!

They are a special uncle and aunt...
always encouraging and blessing others.
I wish them many more years of happiness as they journey on...together.

I'm sure they felt the love that night!


It seemed like we were always making plans around the weather forecast.
How about a bike ride along the dyke by the Fraser River with the family before spring break was over?


We all brought our bikes...
and a few brought scooters.


And Jeremy built us a campfire at the river.


The grands skipped rocks and explored.

0
We sat around the fire and enjoyed a  lovely evening together.


Today...on this last day of March...
we made the most of the sunshine and went for a hike with Maggie and Lucy just before dinner.
And Daisy too, as you can see!


We discovered a lovely viewpoint at Hillkeep Park on Chilliwack Mountain.
It won't be our last visit!



And now Easter is just a few days away.
How that will look we don't really know just yet.
The weatherman says it may be a wet weekend...
and indoor dining is not allowed.

Churches were granted special permission to host indoor services for Easter...
after being closed to in-person services for the better part of this last year.

Plans were made and we were registered and looking forward to attending church on Easter Sunday.

That all changed yesterday...
as our province imposed further restrictions and reversed their decision regarding indoor church services.

We will now be attending a drive-in church service on Easter Sunday...
at our local fairgrounds.

We look forward to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour this Sunday...
together with believers everywhere.

Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed!

Wishing you a happy and blessed Easter!



Sunday, February 28, 2021

February Moments

February is the border between winter and spring.


We definitely experienced both seasons this month!


The ice piled up on the banks of the mighty Fraser River...
and the winds howled through the valley.


We chose that very cold week to have the inside of our house painted.
After 17 years, it was time.
It is now lighter and brighter.


So we spent some quality time with the painters that week.



It has been a long time since they played hockey on the ponds in our neighbourhood!


Once it warmed up to a balmy 8C...
Lucy thought it was spring and plenty warm enough to go for a swim.
So she did!

And this happened...


...we sold our trusty pick-up truck.
Bought new in 1993.
It served us well!


Earlier this month...
we 'attended' the virtual memorial service for Beth Nickel...
a young mom and talented musician (also Ranen's violin teacher) who passed away suddenly.
Ranen played at the memorial...
the last piece that they had worked on together.
Beth chose joy in life...
always inspiring and encouraging others.
She will be missed!


Tulips on the table...
a gift from my neighbour.
A touch of spring!


The Lenten rose and the crocuses were blooming in the garden...
and then the snow returned briefly earlier this week.


It seemed like the sun came out about once a week...
and I tried to make the most of it...
walking along the Fraser River dyke or cycling the country roads.


Yesterday just happened to be one of those beautiful, sunny days...
so we loaded the bikes and rode the rail trail at Hayward Lake.
We rode as far as we could...with down trees, muddy trails and detours up mountain slopes!
It was a lovely spot (new to us) and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in February.


Today is Sunday...the last day of the month.
We attended our church online...
as we have become accustomed to.
We look forward to in-person gatherings again one day!

Then we walked the trail along the river...
as we do most every Sunday.

On the way home home...
we picked up Wendy's salads for lunch.
As we do most Sundays.
Did I mention that we always order fries to go with the salad? 
 Lest the lunch is too healthy!

Tonight we will have homemade pizza...
as we do most Sundays.

Can you tell that we like routine?

And now...
on to March.

Spring is in the the air!