Thursday, May 13, 2010

Island Garden to Vancouver Walking to Seattle Shopping

It's so hard to leave my garden at this time of year -- especially now that this dazzling clematis -- Jersey Cream -- is coming into its glory. It's been putting on a decent show the last few years, but its maturity (about 8 years or so in this spot) is such that its finally making headway up the arbutus trunk and is wending its way over to the pergola we had built last year.

Rising out of the sea of cornflowers (centaura cyanus) and allium, it was splendid in the last few days of sunshine and will be so all weekend.

But I left it to bloom on its own yesterday, and I came over to Vancouver where I drove out to my Mom's (half an hour's city traffic there, half an hour back) to bring her back to our place for a walk along the English Bay seawall. She loved it! She can walk for hours, kilometres, without complaint, and she was delighted by the change in scenery, the beach smells, the crowds of happy people. We saw a group of gorgeous young men practising tightrope-walking, some kind of (very strong, one must imagine) green ribbon stretched about two feet off the ground between two trees, an expanse of perhaps thirty feet. They'd take a few running steps and leap onto the "rope," landing gracefully and then pacing one magical footprint after another to a certain point at which they would attempt a pivot . . . as with skateboarders practising their tricks, or hacky-sackers, I was mesmerized not only by their powerful muscularity put to such a graceful exercise but also by that youthful exuberant masculinity -- One of them had a very decent camera, special lens extending its size, and was snapping photos of his buddies mid-action. I couldn't help but think that someday they would look back on these pictures someday with wonder that they were ever so young and beautiful.

Mom and I, much less young, less beautiful, nonetheless enjoyed our walk, but after an hour of it decided some nourishment was in order so we ducked into the Bar at the venerable, ivy-covered, Sylvia Hotel, where we ordered pots of tea and some desserts. Mom had insisted she wasn't hungry altho' I was a bit alarmed to realize she hadn't bothered with lunch before I picked her up (at 1:30, so lunch had not been implied or intended), but she surprised and amused both of us (and the waiter) by polishing off ALL of a large slice of New York cheesecake. All of it! Except that when I pointed out how well she'd done with it, at which point she had one last mouthful on her fork, she left that piece on the plate, balancing her wish to eat it against her need to prove how dainty she was;-) She doesn't need to prove anything about her dainty appetite to anyone, all 110 pounds of her. . . .
Luckily, we still had another half hour of walking to get back to the condo and my car, so she felt better about working off her cheesecake, and then I plunged into rush hour traffic to drive her back home. Two hours of driving for two-three hours of walking and visiting. Much chatting and only a tiny bit of frustration, tempered by amusement alternating with sadness, over the recurring vagueness, lost memories, and repeated emphases. Old age is not for the weak. . .

And now, today, Pater will head back to our island after work and admire these clematis and the rest of the garden, but he'll have to do so on his own, because . . .
with three of my SISTERS!
We're going to help one of my sisters (the cute little blonde one in my Mother's Day post) choose a Mother-of-the-Bride dress. Hilary is a very young Mother-of-the-Bride and there is not a stodgy bone in her body. Her daughter, Erica, will be a lovely bride this July and she is unlikely to expect much formality, being of the non-stodge sort herself. So we should have all sorts of fun outfitting Hilary although I'll be disappointed that we can't browse those beaded, draped, caped, pastel wonders that grace some women-of-a-certain-age once they are called to mix the maternal with the bridal . . .
So I've packed my red hardbodied carry-on -- the same bag that I've used to get through three weeks in Europe should be able to get me through a weekend of shopping with my sisters, but it still seems quite full. This afternoon, I'll trundle it down to one sister's office so we can Skytrain together out to the 'burbs where another sister will pick us up and we'll rendez-vous with Sister #4 and head out on our Road Trip and Shopping Weekend. Squeeeeeee!
See you back here on Sunday or Monday -- have fun!


  1. It is difficult to follow your pace, so much is going on, so much is happening. Where do you find the time? Ah, I know, you need only a little sleep! Have a wonderful weekend in Seattle!

  2. Those garden shots at times make me wish to live someplace with more precipitation, just gorgeous!

    Have a wonderful time in Seattle!!

  3. Your mom sounds very fit...and great that she loves walking. You are a wonderful daughter to drive and pick her up walk and dine and then turnaround and drive back!
    Your weekend sounds like a lot of fun...Seattle is such a beautiful city...
    Your garden is breathtaking!

  4. I have such garden envy ... I hope the shopping is super-fun!

  5. Shopping with the sisters, I don't think anything is as much fun as this. I hope you didn't put too much in that suitcase!!

  6. Can't begin to tell you how much I envy this. To go off with sisters for a weekend AND shopping for a happy occasion- enjoy every minute and I hope there is a photo of the dress(ses).

  7. Metscan: Ha! I do love my sleep -- I might stint on housekeeping though ;-)
    Pseu: Yes, I'll admit the rain is at least good for the garden, but you would probably tire of it pretty quickly. . .
    Hostess: She is very fit for her age -- she just wishes she had the cognitive fitness to match as it's v. hard losing that to age.
    Tiffany: It was fun! And I expect your garden will be quite wonderful with a bit of time.
    Cybill: don't worry! I left plenty of room for carrying stuff back!
    Duchesse: I'm so fortunate! We're really compatible and had such fun together -- we're going to try to make this a regular event.


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