Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rain & Other Things

I've been a bit spoiled this Winter. It seems to me that we've had far less days of rain this season where I live.  I don't remember getting any snow either, though there may have been one day of light snow around Christmas.  We also seem to have had far more sunny days which was a welcome change.

As I get older, I'm finding it harder to deal with weeks on end of heavy rain and gray skies without a break of a few hours here and there.  Fortunately this year we had many breaks from the rain and I think more sunlit, bright days though I didn't research the statistics to see if my observations are real or wishful thinking, lol.  When it did rain, it rained heavily, making up for the drier days.  In fact the rain has pounding the patio both last night and tonight.  More rain is forecast all through to early next week.  Besides fewer days of rain, I think it has also been warmer than usual though my heating bill doesn't reflect that (I believe the heating rates have gone up quite a lot this year and I did not want to shiver in the cold this year so I've also used more energy than previous years though not nearly as much as many people I know).  The apple blossoms on the trees on a side street near my home are in full bloom right now and it is at least 4-5 weeks too early.  They were early last year too but about 2 weeks later than this year.  Last year the blossoms fell off in heavy rain before I could enjoy them in sunlight. I have no idea how the annual Cherry Blossom Festival made out last year because it isn't held until the 2nd week of April if I recollect and the blossoms in my neighbourhood were not so nice to look at by then.

I haven't posted to my blog in awhile and some of my regular readers may have wondered what happened to me.  I was out of town for several days. I've been back for a week but have been busy.  I've also been recovering from a very bad bout with the cold and haven't had the motivation and energy to resize all the photos I planned to share with you as a result.  All photos in this post were taken with my phone camera and most of them from a moving vehicle.  These factors affect quality but I think the pics will still give you a good sense of the weather and the locations.


These first two photos are about an hour north east of where I live. I always seem to take photos at this point in the journey because it is the first place where there is a wide open field and a clear view to something. In this case, the beautiful mountains. It is farming country as you can see from the fields, the barns and silos.


The next photo is about another 30 minutes up the highway and is the place where the highway starts it's ascent into the mountains.  You can see the  mountains loom large and are quite close to the highway at this stage of the journey.


It was quite a misty and foggy day. I thought it added to the atmosphere. At least it wasn't raining or snowing.




In the next photo we are getting close to the small City of Merritt, BC.  The city is nestled just in the valley to the left of the photo.


And in the next photo we are in the outer fringes of Merritt.  This is cattle country and you can see that the area is semi-arid.


When we get to Kamloops another hour to the north east, the gray skies are still with us.  But no matter because we spend most of our limited time indoors while we are there.


On this trip I was away a little longer than usual because I also attended my cousin, Patrick's funeral.

The next few photos show the landscape are on the way to the funeral venue located approximately one hour east of Kamloops.


The weather on the way was still very inclement.  Road crews were out widening portions of the highway so there was also a bit of traffic delay for some of the funeral attendees. Fortunately, we left early for the hour drive and got there in plenty of time.



The crowd was overflowing at both the church and reception. Many relatives made the 12-16 hour road journey to attend from the north or the 5-6 hour journey from the south. One of Patrick's sisters flew in all the way from Australia. Having made that trip several times myself, I could well imagine how tired she must have been from the journey let alone fatigue from grief and the shock of suddenly losing her younger brother.

It was easy to see how well loved Patrick was. The officiating priest made a comment at the service about how "amazing" the turnout was and how one person's life can impact so many in a positive (or negative) way. The graveside service was not so packed. It was raining and the grass was waterlogged so it was a bit tricky to figure out where to stand or walk.  I was grateful I was wearing boots to keep my feet dry.

 

My mom could not attend the service so I ordered the floral wreath on her behalf from the family. The flowers are white because other floral arrangements (not in the photo) were all in white.  The roses each of us were given to place on the casket just before the body was lowered, were also white.

After the reception and our quick goodbyes to relatives who had journeyed so far, we made the hour's drive west to see mom again.   The sun was setting nicely and I captured these colourful clouds and the pretty, pastel and yellow coloured sky.  Look how some of the colour in the sky perfectly matches the Denny's signage! I always appreciate the small moments of beauty in an otherwise dreary looking day.  It's important to look for those moments especially in trying times.
 


We had a nice visit with mom and while in town we stayed in new to us accommodation at the top of the hill. The hotel  is small and quiet. The staff were all super friendly and efficient.  Complimentary juice and coffee were on offer all day as well as a complimentary breakfast. I was feeling very tired while away so didn't take advantage of the breakfast.  I preferred to sleep in a bit and get breakfast later.  The room had comfortable beds and a small discreetly placed microwave and fridge as well as the usual complimentary in room amenities like coffee/tea/ironing board/hair dryer, toiletries, television and good Wi-Fi.  Before check out I realized there were also free newspapers in the lobby each day.

The hotel is well situated near banks, restaurants, gas station, pharmacies and coffee shops.  It also  has easy access to the highways. The only thing that wasn't appealing was all the dirt on the floor in the hot tub/exercise space.  But it is Winter and hard to keep things clean when there is outside access to the gym. I think overall, the value was excellent. If one is interested in an indoor pool and a fully fitted fitness room then this facility wouldn't be suitable (they do have an outdoor pool).  But I believe they have arrangements with the hotel across the parking  lot for use of the indoor  pool and water slide for children.

After we spent some days visiting, we made our return journey home.  The weather was still raining a bit but the highways were clear of ice and snow. While I was drafting this post tonight I heard the weather man say there would be 15-20 cm of snow tonight on the same highway through the mountains.



 

  By the time we got closer to home, it started raining heavily.


A magical rainbow came out.


Closer to home, a beautiful pastel and blue sky appeared at sunset.


As always it is good to get home.

~~~

I'm not sure when I'll post again.  This cold I have has been lingering and interfering with my motivation levels.
I'll take it as a sign to rest and catch up on a few others things.

While I've been recovering from the cold, my friends in Kenya continue in their recovery from the serious affects of the venomous snake bites the suffered in late December.  I received news that my friend Jonah, Missions of Hope Kenya  had a relapse over the weekend.  He collapsed due to heat exhaustion and dehydration while attending an outdoor event. He spent the day at the local hospital and is now on medication and bed rest.

 Just before that occurred he told me that the Pokot man was recovering well in hospital. I haven't had a further update on either of them.

It has been very concerning that these two men are struggling so much to regain equilibrium. Both of them have had a circuitous journey to healing.

They need continued support and prayers.

Joining in with a few memes this week:


15 comments:

Denise said...

love the pictures.

Elisabeth said...

Hi, Penny, I'm a bit confused now, can't even remember if I commented back to you from last week or not, your title of your blog is different...yet, you are also on blogger, so that mean I can also change the title of my blog and still remain with the old URL address and not have to start all over again. I love all the photos you've take from your phone camera while traveling in your car...been there, done that so many times, but I was 'the passenger' in the car. Just be very careful taking photos while driving, unless you pull over, or stopped at a red light or quick stop sign!

Another thing, I took the time to stroll down on your blog to check out the other posts and fabulous photos...one particular photo, so magnificent caught my eye. The beautiful old tree in the city. BTW, there's a 'glitch' in the title...SKYWARCH...instead of SKYWATCH! I do pay attention to detail, although I may be forgetful...comes with old age...LOL!

Red said...

My sympathy to you for the loss of your cousin Patrick. Why is it when we go to memorials the weather is so terrible? The trip to Kamloops is a bit of a challenge with such a long stretch to Merrit.

Anita said...

first ..what a beautiful place!!Really love the mountains covered with snow-and what a drive!!

Sorry to hear about the funeral you attended..Death is always difficult to handle.

here i norway we also have many changes in the weather.From rain to windy orcans and then snow and cold..right now its soo frezzing i sit here with a blanket beside my oven..but as you tell springflowers is soon blooming and we have joyful days again!!

I wish you a good recovery from your flu and hope to see you soon again :)))

Many hugs Anita

Joyful said...

Thank you Red for the condolences. I've often wondered myself why the weather is so terrible when we go to funerals. It almost seems as if the earth grieves with us. There are more towns and cities between Vancouver and Kamloops like Surrey, Abbottsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Merritt, then Kamloops. I don't photograph Surrey because we don't see anything from the highway. I did capture the others in this post except not the town proper of Hope. Have you been on this highway when visiting?

Joyful said...

Thank you Anita. Somehow I knew you would like the mountains :-) I saw in your last post how much snow you have got lately. It looks so pretty but I know you will want to see flowers soon. Thanks again for visiting. xx

Joyful said...

Hi Elizabeth, yes you did comment back to me last week. The title of my blog is not different. It's been the same since I started so I'm not sure what that is all about. I do change my blog header seasonally though. I am the passenger in the car so I can take photos galore. Keeps me from getting bored :-) I'm glad you liked the tree photo. I did spot the spelling error but haven't bothered to change it. As I get older my own perfectionist tendencies are loosening. I'm wondering, is that a good thing? LOL. Have a wonderful week. xx

Joyful said...

Thank you dear heart ♥

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Hello Joyful. I love the way your name rolls around in my mind. Gotta smile. While I was reading the first part of your post, I wondered if you live in Central California, as your weather patterns describe my area. We're supposed to get a lot of rain starting on Saturday. I'm looking forward to that.

Hope you get over your bug quickly. Best wishes to you.

Joyful said...

Hi Su-sieee, welcome. I appreciated your kind comment. I live a few states north of California and over the border, in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Enjoy the rain. I could send you some ;-)

Jeanie said...

I know what you mean about the rain bringing you down. It's that way with me, too -- and day after day just causes all loss of motivation or cheer. Add to that the sadness of Patrick's death and service and no wonder you've been away and not so very happy. I'm sure it was of great comfort to the family to see how loved he was by friends and that this helps heal the heart.

I hope by now your cold is getting better -- at least those early apple blossoms remind us of spring!

Stephanie said...

It has been raining a lot here on the island too. Sometimes the sun peeks out for a few minutes and then back to rain. That was quite a long trip you took. Great post and photos.

Joyful said...

Thank you for your sweet words Jeanie. You are right that it helps to heal the heart when so many friends and family turn up to say goodbye to a loved ones. I was so pleased to see it for the sake of his wife and only son left behind.

My cold is (hopefully) on it's last leg. I said that a week ago but this time I think it is real. Yeah!!

Joyful said...

Hi Stephanie. I think you folks on the island usually get a lot less rain than here in Vancouver. But I can't complain much because like I said we've had a pretty good Winter as far as rain and snow goes. Today was a bonus day. The sun came out. I also took photos on another street (not so close to my home) when I spotted a whole street of blossoms.

Mereknits said...

I am so sorry about your cousin and so sorry you have been ill. Quite a lot to deal with!
Hugs to you and get better.
Meredith

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