Posted by: lmcg1 | April 24, 2012

Old, new and renewed connections

These aren’t from my garden – a bit too early – but a promise of what is to come soon. My tulips are starting to bud, so in a week or two may be out. The earliest flowers have started to come out – forsythia, pulmonaria, primrose, squill. I had an animated ‘discussion’ with a gentleman who walks by our place all the time. This morning I was out taking some photos of the early spring flowers and he came by and stopped and talked excitedly about the new flowers. In Japanese I think. He had absolutely no English, but it didn’t matter. We pointed and nodded and smiled at all the new growth. I have seen him taking photos as well, particularly trying to capture photos of birds in the neighbourhood. So we shook hands and waved goodbye and off he went.

We have finally had a few days of truly warm weather. It is interesting how there is a ‘cold’ 15 degrees and a ‘warm’ 15 degrees. We finally have the warm version. We actually had 25 yesterday, a nice little warm weather bump. I got my bike out and pumped up the tires, then rode to the Field House for exercise class yesterday morning. It was so nice, I decided that after class I’d bike over to a friend’s place to drop off an envelope for her. So I pedaled along 14th Street right to the end. It was so lovely coming back. I had the wind behind me, the big open University fields on one side, geese and ducks flying around. I felt like a kid flying along on my bike.  So if you saw a grinning, almost officially seniora weaving down the 14th St bike path, that was me. Great fun!

Then in the evening George was putting the front mat back down, and our neighbour was out doing a little yard work. They have had their baby, Henri, so we have a new generation of babies on the block. We also have quite a few older kids now too, to it is great to see all the activity again. It was pretty quiet for a few years after our cohort grew up and moved away to begin their lives.

Then came a phone call, very delightful and unexpected, from an old friend, who I had lost touch with. We had met when we were University students working summer jobs at Chateau Lake Louise in 1966. Liz had a good job working in the hotel post office. I was one of the laundry slaves. We lived the the same old residence on the lake and had one of those memorable summers of young people, music, hiking, etc. We won’t go into the etc. It was the 60s. It turned out that our parents had gone to the same school in New Westminster. So connections, connections. Now we are on Facebook, so we will be able to keep in better touch now.

Then I had an email from one of my painting friends that I met on the first trip to France for painting in 2004. I can’t believe it is 8 years ago. There is a group in Vancouver who were on the same two painting trips as we were (2004 and 2005 before the school closed) and they still get together every month to sketch and paint together. Am I a little envious? Just slightly green around the edges – not just spring green. I am going to have to take a trip somewhere in the next year or so – air miles have to be used and I am not going to let them go to waste. So we may have to find a place to go to paint again. They are a great group to travel with.

And recently I have reconnected with another cousin. This one, Neal, lives on Saltspring and is the son of my eldest surviving Aunt, who turned 99 last week! Nan now lives in a care facility, but had been in her own place until about a year ago. Neal has an ipad and has been finding photos for her relating to family history. He had been searching for photos of St Mungo’s cannery in Steveston, and came across the painting I did a couple of years ago. He liked it very much so I had a print made and sent it out to him. It looks really nice framed. He was going to take it over to Nan’s for her birthday. Her father worked as a Fraser River pilot in the early 1900s, actually pretty well exactly 100 years ago, and at the cannery when he first came to New Westminster from New Brunswick as a young man. Neal has reconnected with another of our cousins on this side of the family. We might possibly get to meet up in the fall. I hope so.

Facebook has been an intriguing  mechanism for finding people. I have reconnected with my high school best friend, with whom I had lost touch decades ago, with three more cousins now, some university friends, family of course, and with lots of interesting arts folks.  Fun stuff.

Well, the garden is calling. It is too early for planting of course, but the annual spring clean up is underway. Making connection with the re-emerging perennials is always a surprise, seeing what survived another prairie winter. It looks like most things have come through, even the floribunda roses again!

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