This is a three-in-one post. If you read all the way to the bottom there are links to two other guest posts as well.
I am letting you know right now – no painting happened this week. In fact, I am not sure why I thought I might get some painting done this week as I was off on a road trip to celebrate one of my special person’s ninth birthdays.
Complete with backpacks, ferries, coach lines, city buses and two feet my daughter and I made the trip over to Vancouver and back again. Okay, we had a diaper bag and my big camera too, plus 7½ week old Coen in a bjorn front carrier. It worked great because Josie could tend to the baby’s needs at any point which is not so easy in a car. Here we are on our return trip having peppermint tea sitting in front of the most beautiful big bay window in the old railway station that is now the bus station in Vancouver.
And yes, we are in McDonald’s. My first visit in about 20 years. They always say that McDonald’s doesn’t sell food but an experience. This was the case here. That window seat overcame any resistance I had. Then when I went to the counter and found I could buy a peppermint tea and it came in a paper compostable cup, I was in! This reminds me to never say never because someday you might.
As I reflect on the most amazing three days with family, I thought about how yesterday, starting early in the morning, we began to go our separate ways. No fuss was made. They were quiet good-byes. One after another we parted until there was just me left to return to Mayne Island. Deeply held connections released until we have a chance to get together again.
When I hear of families who have big explosions and fight their way through a visit I am often puzzled. What makes it so we can slip into a time together, enjoy each other’s company and slip back out again with my feeling enriched, blessed and a love that is shared? It is not that we are a perfect family. We have many human shortcomings. We have the usual challenges and worries that come with life. We are not a well off family but we have enough for quality food, basic shelter, health care and sometimes a wee bit more. Educationally we are all over the map. This diversity leaves us with an implicit understanding that learning and intelligence are only loosely related to our formal educational institutions. We are, on the whole, pretty-ordinary-though-sometimes-quirky, folks.
If you were observing, you may think nothing much happened during our visit. You would be right. We went for dinner one night to celebrate my grandson Arrow’s birthday The next night we had Smokies and Greek salad on his actual birthday with a small chocolate cheesecake topped with nine candles before the hockey game started. That was it. Simple. I don’t even have any pictures of the candles being blown out. At nine you still love your birthday but it is a bit embarrassing to be the centre of attention and have everyone singing happy birthday. That combination of pink cheeks and smiling happiness is just too vulnerable for a photograph. It would take away from the moment instead of adding to it.
Including the one above, here are a few photographs I did take. Are there any clues in these? What is it that made for such a special time?
A little family couch time.
It is the first day the cousins meet. I think there might be a life-time bond of friendship forming already.
The birthday invitations for a friends party on Saturday are done up using Photoshop with a little help from Dad.
The small antique wooden table they are working on in the kitchen is the same table I bought for my son when he first set up his own home at about 17 or 18 years old. We sometimes keep things in our family for a long time. While other times, things go off to new homes between us or to friends or are set out on the side of the street for free. Items with a primary use or a story seem to hang around the longest. Little is found to be needed and wants are carefully considered and then indulged.
Auntie has a chance for a cuddle .
The cousins hanging out on the morning we are leaving.
When I asked Arrow if he found it hard to hold a wiggling baby, he replied: “Not really. It is easier than playing video games.” So there you have it.
Sprout question: How does time with your family support your creative expression?
Also, this week I have two guest posts up that I encourage you to drop by for a read.
“When the Ground Tremors” at Alison Elliot’s Life by Design.
“Word of the Year: Bold (Terrill Welch)” at Stacey Curnow’s
Midwife for your Life’s Blog.
All the best of the weekend to you!
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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.
FromMayne Island, British Columbia, Canada
Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com
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