Friday, March 22, 2019

Dear Dad...

I miss you dad. Nothings been the same. So much hidden sorrow.
I know you told Dave to look after mom, and he is when he can, but mom and I are together, mostly, I just wanted you to know.

Next week is your birthday.You were a spring baby! springs popping all around us now. I wish I didn't feel so sad about that. I found your golf ball in your garden, I tucked it back for little Maddy to find in the summer. I know you would like that. She hung onto to you dad--for a long time, talking about you. Eventually someone told her you were in the sky, and some how that must have given her three-year-old heart some peace, because she stopped looking for you.
 I'll never stop looking for you. The spring garden is becoming alive with you everywhere. And as much as I try to convince myself your not gone, your garden goes on and on and on..

and on...

Love your daughter xo

Monday, December 10, 2018

Looking for Dad..

The light turns red and I'm stuck there looking across at the hospital.
I faced it like a lion, until a small movie clip played out in my head.
I could see the window of the last floor that dad was on, and then the hallway window in which I finally slid down in defeat. I knew the journey was ending.

The light turned green.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Am I Mourning?

I lost my dad at the end of September.

It was the worse day of my life.

Now I have six degrees of mourning-

least--I think its mourning.

What the heck is mourning? I feel like I'm not connecting with the word.
I feel as if I've fallen through the cracks and have found myself in my own unique land, stunned and confused.

What is mourning? and is there rules to this?

How long can one talk about a  loss before someone says enough is enough, or, should you talk about it at
all? I fear I will inadvertently deflate the spirits of others should I leak my heart out and pin it to a cross,
which might I add, helped us none, during or in the end. Dead was dead. I saw it. I felt it. And still I find
nothing of my dad to comfort me, but those awful images of him dying of cancer. His six degrees of his fear.
And the helpless look of my mother not wanting to let him go. Not being there when he did.

All my life I have loved nature, the seasons coming to life then turning, but nature of a human? ah, the most
painful of changes and losses. There's no card or flower that can change that.

I had two well meaning friends who suggested I should write. Perhaps finding myself here now is the first step towards understanding the meaning of mourning. I'm sure I'll find myself here again, cracking open the vault. My apologies are sincere and mindful, and in advance. Love from British Columbia.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

British Columbia Ghost Towns.

With summer touching down in BC, finally, after intervals of seasonal puffs of heat and cooling storms, July seemed most promising for great adventures outdoors. That being said, I find myself online for hours surfing from one window to another on ghost towns of BC.Taking a break from my other passion, which is following BC forestry roads into the abyss on google maps. 

Tonight I found two places online from which I had no idea existed, Tashme, and Phoenix BC. 
Tashme is now called Sunshine Valley, which surprised me. I had no idea that Sunshine Valley had any other name before it, and I had no idea that this was the area from which the Japanese interment camp was.
I knew in reading BC history before that there was a interment camp up in the interior, but the location I hadn't realized until tonight. The revelation is surprising to me because of the many times I traveled along the crowsnest highway with family on vacation through Sunshine Valley, aka, Tashme, and never once thought or noticed anything of history in the area, least of that kind, outside of the beautiful green valley--literally secluded with a fairly small community cradled by the mountains. I know without a doubt, I'll not pass through Sunshine Valley again without thinking of those Japanese families.

The second place I found online was Phoenix BC. and I have to tell you, of all the traveling I've done with family through our BC interior, I've never heard of this place, ever. Maybe there's a reason for that, either way, I was enormously intrigued.
 I seen old photos of a fairly large mining town situated on top of the mountain of Greenwood. There's also a few videos on youtube of people whom like myself, caught the ghost town bug.
 The town was enormous for that era, yielding an indoor ice rink and opera hall, among many, many, other buildings. I was to say the least, very excited and was planning my trip there to see the old buildings, until...well, I read more and saw more videos.

Mines. What can I say? my opinion is drab, like the landscape left behind from a mine. Glory be in its days of wealth, sure, but the scaring it leaves is evermore. The town is gone, plowed of its charm upon the return of the mine. Perhaps the reasons were fair, the liability it carried with an aging town and the interests of adventurers, but, "sighs", a shame it all is with losing the history. That said, what remains looks barren, tailing ponds and sand. Aside of that, I read that a cemetery and cenotaph remains. And somewhere on that mountain is a ski hill, most likely the nice half of the mountain.
However disappointed I am in the findings of the lost town, I'm still intrigued by the history.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Best Kept Secret..

She slides an old Amanda Marshall CD into the player of my jeep, and sits back. Her face is pensive and hard to read-she recently broke off her engagement with her long time boyfriend, and moved back home.

Our first stop is Tim Horton's for a medium-double-double, the usual driving nectar.
Today's adventure is about twenty-five minutes down Yale road, which used to be the old highway, back in the day before they replaced it in the middle of the valley that moves thousands of people daily.
Our destination is a town called Agassiz, and a historical grave yard off the grid of tourist's that flock to the Harrison lake resort.

My daughter, the adventurer, came across this graveyard against the mountain last year. I missed it when her father and I drove the same road last summer.

There's a small dirt parking lot just off an old country road which wraps around this small mountain situated in the middle of the valley. The mountain sits like an island surrounded by a pool of farmland.At the base of the graveyard is this simple shelter displaying a long list of family names and plot numbers. In fact, the list was longer than what appears for markers up the hill, although, the new spring growth was quite lush, and sprang up past your ankles-hiding almost anything.

Perhaps it was because we had limited time, that my daughter took the stairs seemingly two at a time. I huffed and puffed a stretch behind, but not without glee of course! what with my fascination of the past, fueling every step.

 I stopped numerous times along the climb to look to the left and to the right of me, the grave stones appeared to be positioned at random. But the information board at the bottom of the hill says otherwise.

As my daughter was nearing the top of the hill, she let me know I was nearing the end of the cemetery. It was then that I allowed a long lost friend to come forward (my good old senses and imagination that finds my writing mind). Its so quiet I said to my daughter, then from a distance I heard a bird. Just one. She then asked me if I could hear music (I did) just as I was joining her up at the top. For a glimmer of a moment I almost fell back to the years I believed that anything was possible...such as hearing music in a graveyard, just for two, but--that didn't last when through the trees I spotted a house. For a tiny moment I think the both of us were disappointed.

The interesting thing about old graveyards are that they embody our past (no pun intended), and hold unwritten stories that are left to our imagination, such as the family at the top of this hill, with markers with a dollar sign in the middle of the crosses. If not a sign of money, could it be perhaps a family crest? that's the thing about imagination, once you look closer your mind sees something else.

Also at the top is the Agassiz family, dully noted as the name of the town, which I always find fascinating-- connecting families with history to communities.

With our gradual descend down the hill I wanted to see all--and as much as possible before I left. I took a few more pictures, and whispered words to which were spelled on grave sites. My daughter waited at the bottom for me.

There is question when looking at a grave site on a hill, laying against a mountain. Why the mountain?
I read somewhere that the people didn't want to give up fertile farm land, but while this might be true, on the other hand, floods are known to spill in our valleys, as noted in historical documents and photos of the past.
Perhaps for both reasons these old grave markers find themselves here, with a view.

I have always found a great fascination with an old family plot with a wrought iron fence and gate. This particular one was surprising! and worth a share with my American friends. Cincinnati Ohio. In the sticks of Canada.

Things are a little creepy when your up there alone. Nonetheless, I remained utterly fascinated with time and people, and the way a forest could reclaim history if not for, well, people.

Lets not forget the little one's. Hazel, born January the 29th, presumably a cold month in the valley in Agassiz, lasting a mere 17 days in 1907. This is when I wish I didn't have such a superb imagination. This is when a grave stone can split you between fascination...and heavy heart. Poor little lamb, sleep well.

You cannot go, by way of your descent, without measuring what you missed on your way up, that being nature-tiger tails above your ankles, and patches of yellow dandelions mixed with fading daffodils at random. Then the wild bleeding hearts, which, gosh, seem so appropriate--but then again, all this nature falls almost as if its an oxymoron, what with death, and growing life.

Then there's the view. In today's time one would call it the million dollar view, but luckily this place of solitude is protected and rural enough to be quite literally passed by. Perhaps its-a-best-kept-secret.