The Golden Time

The best thing about having an old, slow computer?  The treasure trove of photos saved over the years!

These gems are from a long ago camping trip with my Boy.

We were at Willingdon Beach (best camp site anywhere!) and we’d scored a coveted spot on the beach.  (This was shortly before I learned cougars are strong swimmers and have been seen paddling in the ocean next to our flimsy tent.)

N, who lived just up the hill, stopped by to help us light a fire.

That evening my Boy read, and N and I huddled near the spitting fire talking about nothing and everything.

Soon after N went home, the rains started.

It rained so hard, a kind fellow camper covered our cheap Walmart tent with a tarp.

Instead of lazing around on the beach reading, my Boy and I watched a movie (inside a nice dry theatre) and went swimming (pool water is warmer than rain!)

We ended up leaving a day early due to inclement weather.  Once home, I had to spread the camping gear in the backyard to dry so it wouldn’t go mouldy when I put it away.

If you’d asked me how the trip went, I would’ve told you it was a disaster.  I would’ve complained about everything from damp sleeping bags to frizzy hair and a shivering Chihuahua.

Now, eight years later, those memories of a visit with my late friend N and a holiday with my adolescent Boy, who was still willing to camp with his mom are golden.

What do you do when it seems like all your good times are in the past?

 

N and I

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Sometimes people drift into our lives in the most random ways.  The really special ones stay, travelling with us through life’s unpredictable journey.

N and I met on our first day of junior high because we both had surnames beginning with S.  In a homeroom filled with Smiths, Silvertons and Sylkas, we were drawn together–two kids who were completely different, yet strikingly similar.

Fiercely intelligent and loyal, N was a bit of a rebel without a cause back then.  Athletic, competent and confident, where I was timid, clumsy and quiet, we might never have connected were it not for the wonder of alphabetization.

Although our lives took different paths after high school, we maintained a close friendship.  Our communication evolved from long handwritten letters in the 80’s to emails and Skype.  Once my parents passed, N became the main reason I continued to visit Powell River regularly.

N’s been a steady support through everything life has thrown at me over the decades–the deaths of my parents, my divorce, numerous moves…  She has talked me through the depths of my anxiety more times than I remember.

She helped me buy my first house as a single girl, reminisced about my mom with me and even vacated her cottage to give my Sailor and me some alone time when we were visiting Powell River and staying with our respective parents.  (She hung a huge a crucifix above the bed just before we arrived–an indication of her wicked sense of humor.)

Our forty year friendship ended abruptly on Saturday.

N died suddenly.

Rest easy, Norma.

 

 

Where the Water is Green…

Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned…

M and I enjoyed a night out on the town.

First stop was a drink and nibbles at Townsite Brewing.  I don’t drink beer (yet I love brew pubs–figure that out!)  Townsite has cider on tap, so I opted for a big glass of the apply stuff.  Needing to clear my head afterwards, I went for a mint sparkling water.  It was…not what I expected.  Bright green and more minty fresh than my toothpaste, I couldn’t finish it.

Next, we went to the Old Court House Inn for a wine and paint night.  I’ve seen the results of these semi-regular events on Facebook–happy, well-wined people proudly holding landscapes, seascapes, florals…  Each paint night has a different theme.  Ours was an SPCA fundraiser.  Great, I thought, let’s help the animals!  Our project was a violent purple sunset featuring some type of creature in silhouette.  Although a group photo was taken, I’ve yet to see it posted to Facebook.

But sometimes things do go the way they’re supposed to…

As usual, M and I morphed back into our giggly teenage selves.  (How is this possible?)  Even though we’re dealing with full on adult issues, the load seemed a little lighter when I could share it with M.

…and of course there were some stories, best not shared on the interwebs.  (What happens at Townsite Brewing stays at Townsite Brewing.)

 

I Looooove You, Patricia!!!

I’m in Powell River for a few days to celebrate spring and my birthday.

This post is part one of an extended love letter to my beloved hometown.

Last night I went to a movie.

Isn’t it Romantic is an empowering, satirical take on the rom com.  When the lead character, a timid, dumpy woman learns to love herself, everything in her life turns around and she becomes fabulous.  Yawn.

While the movie was meh, the venue was super special!

The Patricia Theatre in Powell River is the oldest continually operating movie theatre in Canada.  (Google it if you don’t believe me!)  It’s been open since 1913.

The Patricia isn’t wonderful just because it’s a cinematic jewel.  It’s a part of my history.  I saw Jaws, ET and The Back to the Future trilogy there.  It’s where I saw my very first movie with a boy.  (Porky’s–terrible choice for a first date!)

There’s something magical about revisiting places from our past, particularly if they haven’t changed much over the years.

Thanks for the memories, Patricia!

Alien Invasion???

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I’m always a bit melancholy when I leave Powell River.

On my latest visit, I snapped a photo of my hometown as the ferry pulled away from the dock.

It’s a pretty view of the marina and houses in the distance…

…however when I looked at the pictures after arriving home, I noticed something unexpected.

What could it be???

Aliens preparing for an invasion?

Angels checking everything’s okay down here?

Or…