Jasper National Park and Bikepacking

My journal entry, dated July 28 1998, states that Spencer drew a picture of the airplane and wrote one long sentence that had no punctuation. We were on our way to England for a family reunion and I felt that writing about the experience would be a good idea but I quickly gave up that idea but I am pleased to report that, 21 years later, my son was excited to write up and submit this blog post. Continue reading

Prince Albert National Park and the MS Bike Tour 

It was another whirlwind trip to a National Park but well worth the time and energy. And trust me, it took a bit of energy because of why I was there.

I had signed up for a Continue reading

Fall Friday 

As much as I want to deny this very fact I can’t. It is an inevitable event that occurs despite most of us wishing otherwise. I could be talking about aging or taxes but I’m not. 

I’m referring to the fact that in 6 days the calendar states that fall is here. In reality it felt like maybe it arrived 6 days ago. We still have double digit temperatures during the day but there was a risk of frost last night. Farmers are working hard to get the harvest off. We are busy harvesting our garden and despite the drought it was a fairly decent year. 


The sun is now up later than early morning risers,  which I’m not going to lie, affects me in a huge way. It’s down an hour or so after supper which leaves precious little time to enjoy the light or get much done. The colour of the sunlight at both ends of the day has a special glow to it. 


I can feel winter coming and it’s not the cold I dislike. Unlike many I don’t mind the snow and cold as long as the days are bright and sunny. I think life in a working dungeon without windows sure doesn’t help. 


But this isn’t my first rodeo so I know what to do. I must chose to focus on the positives. The beautiful fall colours. The increased inside time for projects. Delicious smelling suppers in the oven. Stolen moments of sunshine at lunch. 

I also have to work hard to keep up my fitness activity as it’s too easy to become winter weak. Alongside that is the stream of good food rather than just the carbs my body seems to crave in the dark. Booking an early winter holiday won’t hurt at all either and then it’s ski season. 


Time marches on. Enjoy it no matter the season as it’s precious. 

Bernie 

Hello again Banff National Park 

It’s been close to 25+ years since Ron and I spent any time together in Banff National Park. We spent a lot of time reminiscing and grasping at straws about previous trips. Alas some of the details seem a bit vague.

Something things haven’t changed we noted as we hiked, biked and drove around. Other things have radically changed.  Continue reading

NHS – Roger’s Pass

There is far more here than meets the eye of the average motorist, ourselves included. Our past history includes a few Continue reading

Preempted Post 

Tonight’s post about life in the raspberry patch was preempted by the storm that blew in. After a day with a crazy hot temperature it wasn’t a big surprise. The bonus was that this one actually hit us and we got some RAIN! 








  A small part of the evening was spent opening windows to allow the breeze in. Storm side ones were not quite closed quickly enough and so those window sills were then wiped down. The storm then swung around and hit us from the other side while we weren’t watching which now means that 90% of the window sills in the house are clean. Bonus areas cleaned included the floors under the radiators. On the down side there are no windows open because it is raining and it’s like mega hot in our house. Raspberry lemonade to the rescue! 


Tomorrow evening perhaps you will read the musings of a raspberry picker. I hope you enjoy all the pictures. 

Bernie 

Life’s like a …

The sunlight dappled through the raspberry patch and while it was a beautiful colour it added a level of complexity to berry picking. The evening tinged light made the ripe berries hard to distinguish.  

She thought maybe life’s like a raspberry patch and not a box of chocolates. Chocolates are so pedestrian;  mass produced and if you read the key there aren’t even any surprises. It’s all so uniform and easy and she thought that’s not like life at all. Life isn’t easy. Those chocolates are tasty but they lack the smell, feel and taste of victory.  Because each bowl of raspberries is a little victory on so many levels and that’s much more like real life is.


No there was much more to it than walking out and picking the big juicy berries on the top. She thought of all the background work that most people don’t ever consider as they eat that berry. How all that time and those little decisions ripple along and collide with the factors we can’t control. The best maintained berry patch can be levelled by a hail storm so intense that there is nothing left but beat up old canes. The new strapping plants growing so pristinely for next year are desecrated.  

That’s what life is like she thought. Hail could so be a metaphor for a crisis like a car accident that claims a young life and cripples someone in their grief. Raspberry blight was like that bloody cancer. The one that robs young, old and in betweens of the life they wanted to live. Instead it replaces it with something they never dreamt could happen to them. Cane rot requires the whole patch be burnt and relocated which she reflected, was what those who had lost their relationships or their jobs were often forced to do. 
Better to live through a drought, she thought, even though that had its downsides as well. Less berries with a lower quality and perhaps there was some lesson to be learnt there as well. That smaller bowl was worthy of the same respect as the big juicy bowl full of prime berries. That analogy seemed to elude her grasp and yet sat in front of her face but the metaphor wasn’t jumping up at her.  Ps late at night these two thoughts intruded: racism and or white privilege. 


Pulling her mind back to the picking of the berries she mulled over that the work of keeping raspberries. The mulching, weeding, cutting back of the floricane at the year end so that the primocane could flourish the following year and the disposal of the canes. Those maintenance items were like seeing brushing your teeth, eating properly, getting enough sleep and stretching. Those self care items that people neglect on themselves but will take care of for others or as it turns out for plants.  Perhaps the bees were sent along to help like friends do in real life. 

But if the care of them was like self care she rationalized then the use of the berries was like the sweet things in life. Preserving the berries for a cold winters day or eating them fresh with farm cream was hugs and laughter all around. And if life handed you little raspberries then make lemonade. Now that was an analogy she could get behind; that some times difficult situations force us to respond to find the best possible outcome. Yes life definitely was like that. 


Bernie 

Perhaps I’ve been spending too much time alone in the raspberry patch!