Sunday, August 3, 2014

August Begins

It's BC Day weekend here in my province in Western Canada.

Every first Monday of August is known as British Columbia Day, BC Day or B.C. Day, in the province of British Columbia. It is a statutory holiday and gives Canadians in the province the chance to celebrate their achievements or relax with friends and family members.

This is always a busy week/weekend in the city. Not only is it Gay Pride week and many gay and straight people alike come from out of town to take in the parade. I've yet to attend.  It is also the week for the Celebration of Lights, an international fireworks competition. It is rather difficult to get down to the waterfront to watch the lights unless you are capable of walking far distances.  Parking is impossible and traffic is cut off from the area unless you are a resident.  If you have a friend in the downtown core or who lives on the waterfront you can avoid the beach crowds.  The last time I took in the Celebration of Lights was a few years ago when I was staying at a downtown hotel with a view. It's beautiful to see the light show from a balcony on an upper floor if you don't like crowds.

I am often out of town on this holiday weekend but not this year. It is a very hot and so I'm staying close to home and mostly indoors. It has been too hot for me to go out and about except for the things I absolutely must do.  It is much more comfortable staying at home near my fan and watching movies or reading good books.

A friend of mine has been raving about Medicine Walk and wanted to lend it to me after her husband reads it. Medicine Walk is written by a new to me First nations writer, Richard Wagamese.

On Friday I had to go to the library to pick up a different book on hold and I saw Medicine Walk on the "fast read" shelf.  I started reading it right away and finished it the next day

Here is the description of the book from Amazon

By the celebrated author of Canada Reads Finalist Indian Horse, a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells the universal story of a father/son struggle in a fresh, utterly memorable way, set in dramatic landscape of the BC Interior. For male and female readers equally, for readers of Joseph Boyden, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas King, Russell Banks and general literary.      Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, Eldon. He's sixteen years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they've shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.
     What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken childhood, to the Korean War, and later the derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates both the desolate moments of his life and a time of redemption and love and in doing so offers Frank a history he has never known, the father he has never had, and a connection to himself he never expected.
     A novel about love, friendship, courage, and the idea that the land has within it powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals the ultimate goodness of its characters and offers a deeply moving and redemptive conclusion.

I'm finishing this pile of books I featured in an earlier blog post.  I'm at the tail end of Beautiful Ruins and about half way through  Laced with Poison and The Lost Art of Gratitude.  As I read the latter book by Alexander McCall Smith, it seems so very familiar. I think I've read it within the last two years but there is no harm in reading it again. I'm enjoying all 3 of these books and will likely finish them all this week.

I also picked up the book, That Part Was True, in large print at my local library just because it was on a shelf with Medicine Walk. I will often read the first few pages of a book that looks interesting and if it grabs my attention, I take it out. Here is how the book is described on Amazon.

When Eve Petworth writes to Jackson Cooper to praise a scene in one of his books, they discover a mutual love of cookery and food. Their friendship blossoms against the backdrop of Jackson's colorful, but ultimately unsatisfying, love life and Eve's tense relationship with her soon-to-be married daughter. As each of them offers, from behind the veils of semi-anonymity and distance, wise and increasingly affectionate counsel to the other, they both begin to confront their problems and plan a celebratory meeting in Paris--a meeting that Eve fears can never happen.

I've been going out several times a week to the Kitsilano ("Kits") neighbourhood. It is related to something new that I'm trying lately for my health (and which I may post more about later).  While I was in Kits on Friday I stopped in at the local Flight Center.

I'm now researching whether to take a trip to Europe in the Fall when the crowds have largely gone home. There is a lot to figure out first:  travel arrangements and availability of travelling companions, hotels, tours, passport renewal and visas.   If I can accomplish everything and actually get to a destination or two,  I will certainly be posting more about that later!

August too is a busy time this year for catching up with friends near and far. Three of them have birthdays this month so I managed to send out birthday cards and send birthday greetings by phone.

I  have one friend that has started a new job and has been trying to get together with me for awhile  but so far it hasn't worked out. I tell her not to stress too much as it will happen in due time. I have another friend in Colorado who I've been busy with in email and phone calls. A long time friend just moved back from Winnipeg and it took us a week but we managed to get together for a cool refreshment last weekend.  Then another long-time friend from Calgary was in town doing renovations on the family home.  Plans to get together didn't pan out but we managed an impromptu get together the night before she left which was very nice.  Finally a newer, local friend and I were able to catch up over coffee and lunch earlier this week despite a few weeks of being unable to sync our schedules.

Late this month is my mom's birthday and I hope to make an out of town trip to visit her then. My brother, nephew, niece and I always visit her for the day and get a dinner and cake organized.  This year my nephew can't join us.

Next week I will be meeting an elderly friend I haven't seen since around February. We were actually supposed to get together in May but sadly she tripped over a lamp cord, fell and broke her hip and landed in hospital for hip replacement surgery.  I didn't even know until about two weeks ago.  She is still recovering but has invited me to lunch next Wednesday. I volunteered to take lunch to her but she has hired help so she said she will be ready for my visit. It will be nice to see her again. She and I always have so much to talk about, lol.

In closing, I want to let you know that Elvis in Kenya, pictured in the lab coat is hoping to finish classes in just over 2 weeks.

If you can help him to have a graduation ceremony and possibly contribute to a small fund to help him make the transition from student to adulthood, that would be awesome.  I will continue to write about Elvis for another month or more as he makes the transition in case anyone would like to help him.  Donations large or small are greatly appreciated and can be sent to kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com

Please also keep my friend Jonah in prayers He is waiting on so many things right now and just praying for the doors to open.

Have a wonderful August!

Joining in with Our World Tuesday


  1. I see you been having extreme hot weather as well. I too need take my fan in every room I go. I find late evening when its cooled down I can enjoy the outside. I wish your mother happy birthday and hope you have a lovely birthday meal x

  2. Hi Joyful, First of all, let me wish you a happy B C Day. It does sound like a busy weekend in B.C. As you probably know, this was Seafair weekend in Seattle, so we both had somewhat of a holiday weekend. The big deal here was the Blue Angels air show … and, to be quite honest, although it is impressive, the truth is, “seen one, seen ‘em all” … or at least it seems that way to me. The traffic here is terrible on just an ordinary day and when some main roads are closed for the Angels’ practices and shows … well, it’s just that much worse. Also it has really been hot here, so again, like yourself, I have just been staying inside a little more than usual. I did go to the Park this afternoon and while there snapped a photo of the Angels … we will see if it is any good I may put it on the blog. Thank you for the info on the books you are reading. Medicine walk sounds really good … I see that Amazon has it in hardcover only right now. I may check the downtown library and see if it is there. I hope you will tell us more about your trips to the Kitsilano neighborhood and something new you are trying for good health. Wow, a possible trip to Europe? … sounds wonderful. Fall is surely a good time for travel for those of us with flexible schedules. In closing let me thank you once again for your kind comments on my blog. Your encouragement is appreciated! Best wishes to you for a good week ahead. John

  3. yes I understand the heat gets to some of us; I'm not a hot weather fan either. I did that northern Australia journey in early June. Day starts at 1 degree celcius ....warmed up as the day went on. Keep cool

  4. Fabulously different capture of the Eiffel Tower. (Thanks for visiting my blog)

  5. I am sure you will enjoy a fall trip to Europe.. I am sending my thought and prayers for your friend that fell, I hope she is recovering quickly.. The Eiffel Tower looks beautiful and the flower is lovely.. Enjoy your new week!

  6. I love reading your book reviews-- this is so often how I choose my books to read. Medicine Walk sounds like a wonderful read- thank you for your review.

  7. Interesting post and I love your eiffel tower image.

  8. Oh that's a lot of books to munch on! I have shelved my books for a while, i guess my time to read dwindled these last few years. I still have a few in the waiting too! God bless and take care, together with your friends and beneficiaries.

  9. With your interest in Libya, I thought of you as I read this book. Just about finished, and once I began, it was hard to put it down. It's a memoir called My Personal Jihad, by Krista Bremer. The book is about her marriage to a Libyan immigrant, her visits to his family in Libya, and the great cultural differences. It's well written, thoughtful, and memorable to me. I think you might enjoy it.
    I hope you have cooled off in BC and can enjoy the outdoors a bit more soon.

    1. Hi Cynthia, I think you may have me confused with another blogger. My interest is in Liberia, not Libya. But given the history in the last decade or so, the book you've mentioned is a probably a good read and look into the culture. Thanks for stopping by!


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