Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Visting the folks

I've been home for three and a half days and it feels like many more. I took a few days to visit with my folks on Vancouver Island last week. Fall was in the air there, but although a little on the cool and damp side for most of my time there, it was obvious that it had been a scorching hot summer. Any grass that had not been irrigated was parched to a deep brown.

Mum and Dad are healthy and active. Dad's off every morning and sometimes twice a day to visit with a machinist friend. I joined them one morning and got a peek at a nice old Case tractor model under construction. Dad's still doing a bit more hoarding than consuming of the shop materials, but he's got some fine taste in wood, I'll give him that. He's got an impressive array of small exotic pieces for consideration. My shop is too small to wield a sheet of plywood, so the smaller projects have more appeal to me.

Mum and I have a number of common interests, and remain distinct from each other in our tastes. That always makes for good conversation fodder. For the first time in months I took a break from playing guitar and singing. Their house didn't seem up to my volume levels. Maybe some other time when I have a brother there to help overwhelm the norms. Instead I took advantage of the two master knitters in my family to take a few lessons from them. I'm not the quickest study, but I did finally manage to learn a simple pattern after Dad helped, by taking some of the bluntness off the large needles I was using. Last night I finished up a simple scarf in some miserable yarn at the five foot mark. It's not perfect, but I don't have my ten thousand hours in yet either. I gather that Mum and Rita are well beyond that threshold.

I was pampered with food. Wild sockeye and local prawns started me off. It was followed by a dinner of fish and chips at Fish Tales which was as good as ever.

We caught up with some fine improvisational jazz at the Old School House on Tuesday afternoon until we had to scram and do the preparation for a stir fry that night. That community is loaded with talent.

Even shopping for groceries is a treat. The "Qualicum Foods" store is jammed with goodies. The freestone peaches and the new Macintosh apples were highlights. The apples landed in a Scotch apple pudding. I ate one of the peaches in a crowded waiting room in the Calgary airport on the way home to envious glances. It was a "running down your forearms and off the elbows" type of peach. Qualicum Foods is very involved with community support and it seems to be the default setting for many of the people in Qualicum beach, at least in my parents circle of friends it is. People routinely offer up garden produce, seafood and whatever else they have to offer. It makes for an abundance of smiling faces. Fresh figs are not unheard of. Oh my!

The tea Mum sent me home with is comfortably put away and this morning the roses she cut and sent with me for PU have begun to drop their petals. The fine weather isn't enough to distract me from a bit of sadness at being far away from them again.

One of Mum's most recent water colours:

Child on feet

Some crazy fine knitting of Mum's. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera when I spent the afternoon with my aunt Rita. I'd never seen big spools of fine fibre like she had on hand. What an output!


Light shawl?

Here's the set of images of some Mum's work. From the link, just click on the images to get a better look.


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