Waiting for worms…

Well, buds may be swelling and bursting into bloom in the house…



But that’s not quite the picture out-of-doors this week…


We thought we had come back to Home, Green Home.
But then it started snowing…
and went right on snowing for three days!

That’s unheard of here (at least in our short ten-year history) where some years may not see even an hour of snowfall in town.

But it did make for much happy snow play—for snow forts and happy snowmen at the local park


(I was the only bystander…)P1140222

And the woods are, as Frost would say, ‘lovely, dark and deep’…


The huckleberries, not yet in leaf, look like lace filigree…


All trails lead to fairyland…


And the slopes of Scout only lack daring Olympians…


The rather lovely thing about our snowy days is they are just on the edge of freezing and destined not to last, and they are warm enough to enjoy!

So on the final morning of our wintry wonderland (as predicted by the weathermen) I tromped out early to watch the sun rise to its task.P1140256

Its peachy golden warmthP1140259

made the morning irresistible,


so I walked the length of the street luxuriating in the glory of it…P1140273

Who could not love a shapely tree ‘au naturel’, dressed only in fresh-fallen snow?


But this I’d never seen before–a tree bedecked with a host of Turdus migratorius:

P1140267 Surely spring is on the wing.

Here’s living proof:


None other than the common American Robin…

P1140270 Here. Waiting for worms.

I love it!

So I’m glad to wait too..with the brave snowdrops

P1140291snowdropsP1140295 snowdrop

And the whimsical garden bunny P1140300P1130879snowshoeharenot so camouflaged as his wild Albertan counterpart  (who hides beneath our grandkids’ backstep…)

It’s not so bad to be home, waiting for worms.



Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience…

Rom 8:24-25 ESV

This good land…

Had to head into the city to do business this past weekend…

I love this bridge and its many happy associations from bygone days when our family was just coming into being.  We lived (temporarily, with Jim’s folks) on one side. The doctor and  hospital on the other.  And right beside the bridge was our favorite park for stopping after the doctor visit  to feed the ducks.  If you were lucky you could entice a wild black squirrel to scamper up your pant leg for a peanut too… Those were sweet days…

And then there was the Quay in walking distance from the house…

… and always the tugs…P1050165

There was another special park not far away with the lovely name of Ambleside.  It conjures pictures in my mind to this day of being great with child, our firstborn, and stopping there in the chill fall air, in my great wool Indian sweater and forever baggy sweats to amble a bit…



We took a stroll there, just the two of us again, this weekend…crisp biting breeze, gorgeous view of the Inlet, with the sun sinking in the west silhouetting the handsome freighters bound for distant lands…


We headed home the following day…

P1050175A hungry gull spied us on deck munching our cold roast beef.  Almost looked like he’d eat out of my hand…but that bill just doesn’t look too friendly!  I tossed his tidbit to the wind…

Home again, we’ve had some brilliant sunny days of chill below-zero weather.  Perfect for walks that make your cheeks glow  (and your nose run!)

P1050218little bird

…while little birds twitter in the foliage and every ordinary thing seems more beautiful against the white of snow…
May your days too hold such beauty and such peace.
“…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Is.1:18,19

Great Expectations


We had never been to the West Coast of Vancouver Island so on the spur of the moment, on the heels of our sailing trip, we got the laundry done, packed up sundry camping supplies, stuffed the trunk and took off with Rachel to see what we’d missed all these years.

Now you’ll need a little background for this bit about Great Expectations (no, not Dicken’s novel)…When our family was young  (Rachel was just a babe in arms) and we lived in the desert, a trip to the coast meant California, surf and sun and sand and WATER!  Such a thing seldom happened but the idea gained a sort of epic wonder quality, at least for Rachel who has no memory of being plunked on a hot sandy beach with her sun bonnet on…

So this idea of a trip to the West Coast was oozing with excitement, despite the rumors that it’s almost always cool and overcast there…surely it would be different this time.  After all, it’s August!  So we set out, taking in Campbell River’s Logger Sports Salmon Festival ‘on the way’.


Having no idea what to expect, it was fun. The sun was hot.  The food was good. Even got a self-portrait in the bargain…We ‘camped’ nearby that night.  Enter expectations.  Camping means…privacy, trees, woodland, did I say privacy(?), a campfire…and we got stuck on this busy weekend in a pricey RV Park, on a bald little mound beside a busy thoroughfare, next to a couple bikers (no offence intended, Eric, I’m sure they were very nice people…), one of whom snored!  My attitude plummeted despite my best intentions. Times like these even I don’t want to camp with me!  And I can only wonder that we keep going camping in high hopes of my doing better next time…A box of very chocolate ice cream (which we can no longer finish, being only a three-some instead of the half dozen we were once-upon-a-time) was somewhat helpful except that the only place warm enough to eat it was in the car!  By this time the ocean breeze had sprung up and the day’s warmth was fast dissipating….

But every morning is new.  We scuttled out of there a.s.a.p. with the morning sun rising, in high hopes of another sunny day.  West Coast here we come!!!  And it was a sunny day until we began ascending the Coastal Mountains, the twisty, turny, narrow road leading ever upward into damp overcast coolness and down the other side into the ‘twilight zone’ where we were destined to spend the next 24 hours, with every layer of clothes I’d brought along (I counted six).  Did I forget to mention, I love camping but I hate being cold?  Alas, I was reminded that I am not only a fair-weather sailor, but a warm-weather camper.  The West Coast is not warm right now…

And that was only the beginning of surprises.  Our forest site was indeed that.  Dark, cool, overhung with moss and cold.  And have you ever done ‘walk-in’ camping?  It’s all that was left.  Instead of cars driving by your tent, you have actual flesh and blood strolling by, back and forth carrying their goods.  And trust me, there’s a lot of back and forth because rules say no coolers left unattended… want to go to the beach 100 ft. away?  Take that cooler back to the loading zone.  Fetch the car from the upper dirt lot. And store it away, returning your car to it’s parking spot…

And have you ever camped without water?  Surprise!  There was water—down the trail 200 paces and then back up that steep hill another 150 paces, and then oh! it’s not drinkable, toothbrushable, or any sort of usable except hand-washing!  At least there was a flush toilet up there.  All these little surprises were I’m sure good for our characters.  And great grist for a good laugh once we could distance ourselves from our disappointments.  And in the pictures, you can’t feel a bit of the inconvenience, or the cold, or the chagrin at having traded in one precious sunny day (we have had so few this year) for an overcast one.  So, enjoy the pictures, and yes, you’re welcome to shake your head and say ‘tsk,tsk’ at all my whining and complaining as if I were blind to the real glory of things, and just a spoiled brat. This script could easily be re-written by a desert dweller to depict a paradise of unparalleled wonder… And so it is, the wild and misty West Coast!


The beach beside our campsite was comprised of tiny pebbles, no two alike.  We sifted and collected marvelous little bits.

and then went exploring the rocky crags…

and watched the ocean swell and crash bringing life to all the creatures above low tide…



It’s the sort of weather where you bundle up and sit awhile doing ‘soul searching’…too bad we came to sun bathe!

Nearby Ucluelet is a working fisherman’s town.  I love the great big fishing boats and strolling the wharf I feel like I must have some fishing-folk in my bloodline. (Ha!  only my forefathers weren’t so wimpy as I.)

Would I really wish to be out in such a sea as would require such an anchor?!

Driving up the coast we visited the hottest surfing spots in all of Canada, and yes, there were surfers out there, in wet suits mind you.  And I did at last determine not to miss this chance to dip my feet in the sea at the edge of the world… Actually, not too bad. Eventually, they go rather numb and the water feels pleasantly tolerable…


But Rachel got to hatching this idea and resolved to ‘go for it’!

What a girl!  She’s got her father’s native blood for sure!  See the noble Haida brave the waves of her native west coast!


…while her mother watches from afar, huddled in the driftwood, pondering all these things in her heart…

Well, we had a good time after all, just not what we’d expected, and we toodled home via a sunny campsite at Sproat Lake, grabbing the very last site in the whole campground, and getting in a late afternoon swim besides…

Homeward bound the following day we toured Port Alberni, snapped a photo with Uncle Ishmael (lol)

found beautiful flowers to take home digitally…
and a photogenic tug too.  (I love the look of an old tug.)

What’s more, we found sun and heat again before day’s end…in Cathedral Grove strolling among ‘old growth’ giants
P1030030 …visiting Little Qualicum Falls


… and at day’s end our favorite Fish-n-Chips spot just a ferry’s ride away from home.  The gulls sit out back waiting for ‘Portugese Joe’s to toss out some scraps, and providing scenery all the while…



And so ends our unexpectedly great camping trip, as we relax on the ferry returning us to our own coast.


“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Ps. 62:5