Tuesday, June 24, 2014


It was the 21st of June this past Saturday, and it was the longest day of the year. With the setting of the sun and the turn of the clock each day hereafter is progressively briefer once again. Christine and I drove in that rich Pacific air to Crescent Beach and parked our Miata on the Beach. We took out our lawn chairs, binoculars and Squires coffee to await the sunset.

A couple of yachts anchored in the Bay with friends aboard sitting, chatting and sipping vino on the water. Over our heads the periodic flight of aircraft made their arc toward the distant Vancouver airport, talking them over the ring of mountains that silhouetted the distant Burnaby skyscrapers at the skyline.

Sometimes we bring a novel to the beach and other times, like this one, we write our own. In front of us a young couple with a small child and a professional photographer and his assistant made memories. A well-chosen moment and location. Standing at a wood rail fence, they were profiled dramatically against the sea and the sunset sky. She was young and lovely and very slim, and we surmised their story. These were pre-marriage or wedding shots and this was a second marriage for him because her body had never experienced childbirth. As they moved their photo session further to the right and away from us they joined their party of friends and family.

The sky was now transformed into a canvas of sweeping theatrical brilliance as distant clouds reflected the yellows, oranges and reds. We waited, we walked, we talked and we appreciated the three-hour light display. Then packed up we drove to tomorrow and a shorter daylight. The circle of life.

Monday, June 23, 2014


‘Surrey Doors Open’ was the title of the Saturday event for either City Centre, Bear Creek, Newton or Cloverdale. We drove into Cloverdale and spent some hours doing a walkabout on a lovely sunny day.

Outside all shops, proprietors were displaying products or inviting visitors inside for a look around. Fraser Downs had a tractor pull. There were free bus rides and the Cloverdale train was operating and we took a wee ride. 

The Museum, RCMP main Office, the Archives Building, and Kwantlen College were open to spectators. Cloverdale Branch No.6 celebrated Legion Week by showing authentic military equipment. A tank rolled over a car to show its weight and power, then motored past us, with exhaust spewing out fuel oil that splatted our clothes with oil spots that were permanently converted into work duds. Costly day despite one-dollar hot dogs, yet a day to remember for next year, when we must bring the grandchildren. There is so much to see and to do. JUNE 21 2014

Christine even got to sit in the front seat of the cruiser with Special Constable D. Prakash of District 6.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Father's Day was held two weekends ago. I think of it now because of photos that I took at the time.
Father's Day is no longer about me. Within the small circle of our family are two other families, Jeff's family and Cari's family. Jeff & Gina have Kale and Kadence, and Cari and Tim have Kailyn, Ryan and Jayden. Jeff and Tim are the dads that the children honour. Of course Jeff and Cari speak kindly about me too. This year, Cari invited us all to her place for Sunday lunch. The five grandchildren love being with each other and that makes these occasions special for us all.

The t-shirt is one which Cari printed for me, which honours my role in this grand escapade and names the five amigos.

At Cari's town home in a strata environment, most landscaping is taken care of by contracted gardeners. There are however, two rose bushes in Cari's garden, a rich yellow one which I gave to her when we moved from our beloved Rose House in 2012, and a purple hybrid that I have to her on 'my' birthday. Isn't that a neat way to celebrate? Both are fragrant.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


This is a public letter for my brother Murray. Other readers may chuckle but only he can truly appreciate the shades of this brief biographical episode. It was a hot Ontario summer Saturday. We were kids. Dad worked in a factory all week. Wasaga Beach was and is a popular attraction, both for the great stretches of white sand and the foody nightspots. It was a 2.5 hour trip from St. Catharines. My dad and mom decided to take Murray and I and my uncle Bill and aunt Ruth for the day. Uncle and Aunt were newly weds. Change rooms were a distance from the car that was parked as they all were on the sand. Murray and I were out of our street clothes and into trunks within seconds. After some adult discussion, a decision was made, and I watched as Uncle Bill and Aunt Ruth entered the rear car doors and pinched towels at the top of each window, and changed together. My juvenile mind tried to grasp the notion of them squirming to undress and redress in the back seat of dad’s car. That was a modest lesson in my primer for life. Riding in the back seat of dad’s car was never without that flashback, made more amusing today as I think of my dignified uncle and aunt now in their early eighties.

Friday, June 13, 2014


The 13th day of a month, falling on a Friday as it does today, and paired with a full moon, whose exceptional appearance earns it the designation of strawberry or honey moon, is very rare and it won’t happen again until 2049. I will be 107 years old. I don’t believe I will thrive and stay alive until then, and I don’t believe there is anything spooky about Friday the 13th. But many people do. I would prefer that people abandon superstition and believe this. The creator of everything that is visible and invisible anywhere, came to live here among us. Jesus was the image of the invisible God. By the time he came, his creation including humanity had been estranged from him through the pollution cause by human sin. He came in order to reconcile all of his creation to himself. He himself determined that such reconciliation required atonement. Jesus became that. He died on a Friday. His promise to a thief dying beside him was that the two would be united in paradise. God’s promise to us all is that whoever places exclusive faith in Jesus Christ will enjoy life that lasts forever with God. (based on scripture such as Colossians 1:15-19; John 3:16)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


What civic organization would schedule a Family Day on a Monday, a school day, a workday? Answer: None. Certainly not Surrey’s SAG, Surrey Art Gallery. SAG conveners know better, but apparently a grandfather with stage 0.5 Alzheimer’s doesn’t. Yet the ad in my Art Society of Surrey magazine said June 8 and so did the tiny window on my watch display an 8. So I took Jayden out of school, both of us eager to make art with others and then to enjoy a participative concert. However, upon arrival, a large classic Rolls Royce was parked in front of the entrance to SAG and people dressed nicely in suits and knee length dresses and somber faces were entering as well. There were no other children and parents in shorts and T-shirts in sight but Jayden and I entered nonetheless and inquired where we would find the Family Day gathering. The accommodating receptionist advised me that Family Day was yesterday, Sunday, that it’s always on Sunday so families can attend, and never on a weekday. She said this with a tone that suggested that any thinking person would have innately understood this. The muted occasion was the memorial service for one of British Columbia’s most celebrated artists, Robert Douglas Genn, whom I have admired and about whom I have written before. Jayden’s grandfather was not even current enough to remember this noteworthy event.

So J and I returned to the car, MX5, top down to revisit our afternoon plans. We came up with, let’s first go to Krispy Kreme for a world famous decadent doughnut and drink and then let’s go to the Serpentine Wild Life Conservation area. Jayden calls it ‘Turpentine.’ It was to be an artsy afternoon, but I reason that artists need to spend lots of time outdoors, so this was a well-spent afternoon. My other four grandchildren also enjoy drawing and painting so I will have to come up with matching ideas for them I’m sure.