Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘water’

In Search of New Borders

I’m a foreigner. That holds true in every country I go. Even the one I was born in. What is it about borders that make us want to cross them and explore? I’ve been doing just that my whole life.

Crossing large bodies of waters was a normal part of my life.

Crossing large bodies of waters was a normal part of my life.

My children, adults that they are, have not used their passports. My son was very young when we went to Taiwan via the military and I don’t think we needed them at that time. He didn’t remember crossing any borders. My poor daughter has been landlocked her whole life. Until now.

Life on the water. Wouldn't it be lovely?

Life on the water. Wouldn’t it be lovely?

Ferry captains were impressive in their skill.

Ferry captains were impressive in their skill.

We were brave and reckless. Driving the five hours to Port Angeles, Washington. After a wonderful brunch and a trip through their quilt store (yes, I had to look) and their wonderful bookstore (one or maybe two came home with us), my son drove the car onto the ferry and we rode the 90 minutes to another country. This dizzy lady did just fine. It took my daughter a bit to get her sea legs. A lot of distraction and good humor kept her even keeled and we made it safe and sound to Victoria, BC Canada. Now to be truthful, I’ve been there before without a car. We used public transport and that worked quite well. It was a LONG time ago.

They had beautiful stuff but I was very strong. Love this store

They had beautiful stuff but I was very strong. Love this store

So what do you do when you cross the border? You go see pretty flowers and look around the town. Just to warn you, I will have to break this very short visit into two posts. I took over 360 photos. This is a lady who rarely ever took photos. Since I don’t see well, I point, shoot and pray that they can be fixed. My kids took even more.

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First thing on our list was a real food breakfast. We found a lovely place across from our motel. They were so polite and kind that it made our first taste of Canada even better. Then we were off to find a post office. I decided to see if I could mail a package to a Canadian friend from Canada for a bit less than mailing it from the U.S. Cost cut, one third! Do you know they have post offices open Saturday’s and Sunday’s? I was delighted and surprised.

The ABC restaurant was a nice start of our day. I wanted to take this stove home.

The ABC restaurant was a nice start of our day. I wanted to take this stove home.

So is Butchart Gardens worth a second trip? I could use a third and fourth. My feet were protesting but my camera had its buzz on. I just couldn’t stop, until lunch that is. We (my daughter and I) had high tea in the conservatory. My son had a very nice looking hamburger. He’s a guy. The food tasted so beautiful in that room and the tea was something new for them. Lemon grass and ginger. Yum. I didn’t get a photo of the food. I was lost is a sea of bliss by then. The butterflies had nothing on me that day.

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After lunch we waddled over toward the Japanese gardens passing something so fragrant it took my breath away. I felt light headed and overcome with emotion. The tears started to flow and I just couldn’t contain them. I stood there a moment trying to get a grip when the dragonflies did a dance for me and landed softly right where I could get a clear shot. I have never really seen one before. They were always so far away I could not tell what they were. As we came back out of the Japanese Garden, the same thing happened again. The smell was like lilacs but they were not. The feeling, one of unmistakeable happiness.

Who knew they were so beautiful. I was enthralled.

Who knew they were so beautiful. I was enthralled.

I don't know yet what these are but the scent was wonderful.

I don’t know yet what these are but the scent was wonderful.

We finally had to sit a few moments before shopping the gift stores and caving in to happiness and beauty overload. And our day was not done yet. That was one border I would gladly cross again and again.

A great spot to sit a spell and reflect on the wonders of the morning.

A great spot to sit a spell and reflect on the wonders of the morning.

How about you? Do you cross borders?

Stay tuned for part two.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Season of Gratitude

I woke up the day after Thanksgiving Day to find we had no water. Discovering this as I tried to fill my coffee maker made it apparent that my plans for the day were going down the drain. I was feeling quite silly keeping a bucket on the back deck to be filled with rain water until I used it to flush my toilet. I had plenty of wet ones on hand that I take to the fitness room here and alcohol on the bathroom counter. I am so glad I had no dishes to do. What’s a girl to do when there is no running water at home? I sent off a quick text to my daughter inviting her to drive us to breakfast so I could wash my hands in real water. It was a necessary maneuver, don’t you think?

In this season of gratitude, running water is something that often slides through the increasingly larger gaps in my mind. Mother nature and worn street pipes are kind enough to give us these gentle reminders of how lucky we are.

This can be a life saving device.

Growing up in rural Germany, we had to go to the pump to get water for our home and walk to the end of the dirt road to use one in a row of outhouses. Even as a child, I found it detestable.

When my young husband was stationed in Taiwan, our toddler son and I joined him there for his remaining 14 months of duty. Talk about stepping back in time. Our apartment had plenty of modern conveniences. A two burner hot plate and a refrigerator we bought at the PX. We had indoor plumbing with drains in all the floors. Later we discovered that the drains were essential during a typhoon. Many of the locals still did not have indoor plumbing. Unfortunately, the water was not potable. So my husband had to truck bottles of it down the mountain from their filtration site so we could have water for drinking, cooking and brushing our teeth. That was more than 40 years ago and things have probably changed a great deal. I’m still in awe of water flowing freely from the tap and use it sparingly.

For me, Thanksgiving begins a season of gratitude. I was grateful on that Black Friday to have been forced out of my comfortable home and into a store with my daughter doing the driving. I have been unable to do any driving the last couple of weeks. We did a little Christmas shopping for my niece’s daughters. I call them my niecettes or grand-niece’s. Their grandmother is letting me borrow them since she lives so far away and I’m so much closer. I’m grateful to have them in my life.

In the weeks through to the New Year, I will focus primarily on gratitude to the best of my ability. What is it that shakes you to fuller awareness of things to be grateful for and about?

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.
~ Eileen Caddy

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself