Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Internal Smile

The other morning when I set off for my bike ride I was met by the most perfect full rainbow. Set against a dark sky and all. Drat, I thought, if only I had my camera I could share this moment with my few faithful readers. But as I pedaled faster, in search of the mythical pot of gold, I realized that's why I get out first thing: so I have this solitude to savour such beautiful gifts. I've started making a habit of referring to these sweet solo moments as my "internal smiles"; I carry them with me throughout the day so that when something doesn't go my way I can return to that private moment and smile.

On a completely unrelated note, I came across a beautiful piece of writing the other day and I suppose it made me consider how I remember my life in Lusaka. I don't usually post excerpts up here but I thought it such a poignant description of memories:

In real life, I reflected, you warmed yourself on cold winter days in a foreign land by pulling out a rag-bag collection of those memories. You wondered which ones to keep and which to throw away, paused over a fragment here, smiled at a scrap. You reached out to grasp people you knew and came up with a handful of air, for they were only chimeras, spun out of your own imagination. You tried to pin down a picture, thought that you had it exactly the way it smelled and looked so many years ago, and then you noticed, out of the corner of your eye, a person who had not been there before, a slight movement where there should have been the stillness of empty canvas. (Anita Rau Badami, "Tamarind Mem")

I'm off now for a quick bike ride before the next downpour (hopefully)*grin*

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Going to the Place I Need to Go

My Pop's God-mother & her husband (my Uncle Nick) were in town for a couple of days. I love this couple; and if I've ever met a story-teller it would be my Uncle Nick. Born in Croatia, he grew up in Northern Ontario mining towns. He spent 41 years underground working in those mines. Despite all these years in Canada he still weaves amazing stories of 'the old country'. (I learned the other night that these stories need not be fueled by home brewed red wine...though they seem a bit warmer after a glass or two).
His story that made me smile so recently has to do with the things people first learn in a new language. Out came the story of Uncle John not knowing the word for toilet on one of his many trips to Croatia. Uncle Nick provides a translation of how villagers refer to visiting the bathroom/washroom/toilet: "I'm going to the place I need to go". I love it- isn't that the perfect conversation stopper.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Then...& Now

I don't think any of us predicted that after this camping trip:

Mount Robson, August 2004- it would be 7 years until the five of us were together again.

But there you have it. Seven years: after each of us has had many an adventure (travels around the world, degrees under belts, break-ups, marriages, family births & deaths) here we are- all five of us back together again for a long weekend in Yoho National Park.

It was amazing to re-connect, to see just how little each of us had changed, but to share in the many experiences we've each had that have helped us mature. What am I talking about? We hiked, ate, laughed, drank, hit the hot springs...& acted as if no time had elapsed since our last visit.

Here is a slide show for your viewing pleasure. Otherwise I'm basking in thankfulness for having such a tight knit group of friends from way back in the day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes

Oh the joys of an Edmonton summer. The weather on Thursday was glorious before the thunder storm rolled in- 27 degrees. Friday we were down to 11 with rain forecast for the whole weekend. Alvin came up with the lemonade this weekend though- rather than complaining about all the rain he gathered the troops & we hit the ice. That's right, who knew skating in July would be so much fun.

Alvin's second time on skates & he's already starting to look comfortable. Here are the boys warming up.

Al & Devo:

Let's get back at it...

I realized when uploading these photos that I never even mentioned Canada Day long weekend. Oops- we celebrated Jason's birthday one night

I couldn't resist posting this photo of Ma because it is rare to see her with two drinks...

and Canada day the next