Today is your 46th birthday, Rob, which definitely means I am no longer in my 40's. The psychological advantage of having children is that you get a built in bench mark of the ageing process. Since I am nudging up to 69, my Mother, at 95, also knows for certain that she has moved on.
When Rob was five, he asked my Mother how old she was and she replied, 55. His startled response that she could be so old, had him say quite sternly, "Grandma, don't you ever let me hear you say that again." I suppose he thought she had one foot in the grave and since he adored her this was unimaginable.
From Allison - yum! yum!
So at 46, Rob, you are lucky to be healthy, active, productive, engaged with life and living with Allison, a beautiful (inside and out) life partner. May this continue for the next 46 years, which will bring you up three years short of "Grandma's" current 95 years. I predict a long and good life ahead!
Pink Lake - first ride up that hill in 2015
Yesterday, in honour of Rob's Birthday, I did my first Gatineau ride in 2015. Rob has been my inspiration and my cheerleader for cycling these past few years and I wanted to exert myself in solidarity with all of the effort he has put into cycling this year. He has been averaging over 1000 KM a month, and that is an exceptional way to celebrate a "mid-life crisis," as he puts it. Way to go Rob!!!
The three of us starting out for the Sunshine Coast, summer of 2013.
Happy Birthday Rob. Keep those wheels turning and may you have even a hint of how dearly you are loved! Enjoy your special day. It is a gift to be alive. Celebrate it!
PS: New banner taken by your sister, yesterday, when she made her first ever batch of strawberry jam.
During a one hour window between rainstorms I hurried to the farm garden to enjoy raindrops on flowers. Although caught in a torrential rain on the way home, traffic was minimal, the cars on the road crept slowly with flashers on so we could see each other, and I safely reached my destination. In the ten feet between my car and the front door, I was not only soaked but drenched - literally dripping water. I felt like I had been transported to a tropical but cooler version, of the westcoast on this July 1st day. It became an adventure, once I was dried off, cozy in my study and listening to the rain pounding down while looking at flowers on my camera.
Ottawa is the place to be on July 1st, even when it is raining, like today. That is if you like big celebrations, crowds, smiling faces, music, fireworks, street vendors selling food and drink and half the population coming out to celebrate and all dressed up for the occasion in red and white attire.
I am grateful everyday to live in this civil country alongside a small diverse population in an enormous land, that mostly wants to live and work well and doesn't have a need to "wave the flag" except for once a year. Wy wish on Canada Day is that we all do our part to reboot a healthy and open parliamentary and democratic system in our country. Voting strategically may help. And now to take in some festivities.
“Canada Post has released a stamp, (shown in my banner), to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag.They say it is the first stamp in Canada to be made of cloth. The stamp is a flapping Canadian flag and will sell for five dollars.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Post
Our first day this year at the Governor General's front yard, one of our favourite places to have a picnic. I relax under the shade of a tree as Sophie coaches Rowan in the art of scrambling from bar to bar. He isn't tall enough to reach the first bar, without her help, and after several spills he reaches the end. Her pride is evident in her determined and persevering student.I love these moments too.
My friend Helga practices modern flower arranging and yesterday she sent me a few photos of her creations. She says that it is "less rules and offers more freedom than the Japanese style of Ikebana." In answer to my question of where she gets her flowers she explained that many are bought but that the more natural branches are "foundlings" from trees in her neighbourhood.
Flower arranging like other contemplative arts is one of several ways that can provide both beauty and solace in our daily lives. A way to slow down and rejuvenate. It is always a joy to have a visit with Helga, and her virtual gift to me of these beautiful arrangements filled my heart.
Words written by Ficre Ghebreyesus from the wondrous memoir written by his wife, poet and professor at Yale, Elizabeth Alexander, called The Light of the World.
And from a few evenings, ago. Sweet grandchildren playing at Lansdowne Park. Rowan is under the watchful eye of his sister as he learns the ropes as Dad looks on. Notice the cork platform underneath this structure.
Albert Einstein on a bike - from NASA photo library. "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
This morning I took a bike ride with two friends at 6:15. We cycled a circle route for an hour, out to the locks, through the experimental farm and back home along the canal. My mind was struck once again by the beauty of this city that I can step outside and be on a path along the Rideau Canal in less than two minutes. What awaits me are beautiful big trees, flowers galore, ducks and birds, brilliant kayaks in red's and yellow's, farm land, marshes, an almost secret allée of a packed dirt path wending its way through leafy overhanging trees and of course the canal itself - still waters reflecting all of the morning colours. And did I mention safe cycling pathways in several directions; lights to cross the road and the sheer joy of riding in the early morning light and clear air.
Having just returned from my week-end cycling trip I looked through fresh eyes as though I were a visitor to Ottawa and was filled with gratitude and exuberance to live in this beautiful place and to have two strong legs to keep the wheels turning and for this morning the gentle company of two lovely women who were also awestruck with the beauty of our own backyard.
Five of our eight "non book-club" members joined 23 other Wheel Women for a week-end of cycling, wine tasting, good food and laughter on the south eastern shore of Lake Ontario in a pastoral wine growing area.
The first day Ann and I cycled 55 KM along paved country roads with minimal traffic, maximum wild flowers and an endless chorus of birds. Lake Ontario is so big that with the exception of the smell of salt and seaweed you feel like you are on the ocean. We stopped at Long Point for our lunch and a rest in the sunshine.
These chairs by the lake beckoned but sitting only happened on my bike or at the table. It was a week-end of surprises and small wonders around every corner. I will be back next year and hopefully to the same B&B - the recently renovated Black River B&B run by a lovely couple just retired from the Royal Ontario Museum. You can imagine the treasures in this house of historians, not to mention the good food!