Sunday, April 24, 2011

A memorable Easter

We had our Easter family dinner at our house yesterday. My wife Hilkka cooked her specialties, and other members of our extended family brought their special food as well. Derek's and Airdrie's friend Steven, and Derek's on-line friend Jean-Hugues took part. Jean-Hugues connected with Derek when both were diagnosed with colon cancer at about the same time; he came all the way from Paris, France. Thank you, Jean-Hugues. You, Laurence, and your family paid us all a great honour.  

For us, this dinner get-together was bitter-sweet: it likely was Derek's last family dinner. He managed to stay for around two hours, then he had to go and rest. Fortunately, he can still enjoy the taste of food. I think that he inherited his wide-ranging tastes from his mother.

We're lucky to have Derek, Airdrie, and our granddaughters Marina and Lauren adjacent to us - our porches connect - so it is easy to go back and forth.

This was not a maudlin occasion. Lively conversation is always part of our family get-togethers and this one was no different in that regard. Although Derek's voice has still not come back, he can "rasp" clearly enough to make his points. His mind is as incisive as ever.

Here are some casual pictures I took:

We hope that you all had an enjoyable Easter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A little cheer on a dreary day

As many of you know, I'm interested in Astronomy. Accordingly, above is a picture of a "Stargazer Lily", of which we have some sitting in a vase on our living room table. Notice the "liquid sugar" on the stem to lure insects, I would think. That's probably what gives these flowers their heavily sweet odour, which seems to be particularly noticeable in the evenings. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Below is a picture of the camelia "bush" in our neighbours' back yard - these blossoms were not there yesterday. Click on the image.

This has been a rather unpleasant week, and not just because of the weather. Derek has not been feeling well, and yesterday we received notice that a very good friend of ours, Al, had died. We've known Al and Ernie, his lifelong partner (over 55 years), for more than 25 years. Al was almost 85 years old, and he had not been in shape for the last four years. A sad day for all of us who knew Al.

I posted these pictures to show that there is always something beautiful in nature. A little cheer on a dreary day...