Friday, September 07, 2007

Canada Adventure: Day Five

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to the Canadian adventure...

Lovella's long time friend Kathy and her husband Scott were camping out up at a local camp ground the week I was visiting.
Apparently whenever one of the couples goes camping, the other couple comes up for some of the time to share a wienie roast and some platz, along with a little fishing and a lot of conversation.
I was so pleased to find that I was invited to come along for a visit and get in some good old fashioned woods/lakes/hills camp time.

When I was in Camp Fire Girls, we used to shorten the name of that kind of place to "Camp Wolahi."
It sounded more Indian (er, Native American) that way.

We pulled into the parking lot and there was Scott and Kathy.
A happy unplanned coincidence!

We were able to follow Scott and Kathy up the road to their camping site. Right next to the road there was a gorgeous buck nibbling away at a bush. I had never seen antlers still in velvet before! He seemed completely at ease with us in the car just a few feet away.

Once we got to the campground, the ceremonial platz was served with hot cocoa. It was just a bit rainy and a tiny bit cool out, so even thought it was August, a cup of hot cocoa was nice.
(The platz deserves the title of ceremonial because 1). it is apparently one of the official food groups of the Mennonite people and 2). Kathy had brought some to Lovella and Terry when they camped, so this was a return favor, and, I suspect, a tradition required of camp site visitors. Or at least it will be after this!)

The menfolk took off for a little fishing in a little boat, and we women folk went for a walk around the lake.
I thought these two boats looked dreamy reflected in the water. The green is created via a combination of the reflection of the forest edge and the depth of the water

I could have sat right here and painted...but there was more to see.
The bridge...

...and the trail.
Kathy and Lovella are great hikers! I thought they were so cute together, as they are about the same height, wore the same cut of jeans and have similar shorter hairstyles (how Texan of me to notice!)
Almost like sisters, they had lots to talk about and catch up on and I enjoyed seeing the glow friendship between them. It is so rare to have a friendship between couples these days, and Kathy and Lovella's husbands are equally in sync.
What a special blessing!

People have asked me what it was like spending time with people I had never met before.
Short answer: Just wonderful.
I went to Canada feeling like I already knew Lovella pretty well via our blogging, emails and fun little postal exchanges.
I felt like I kind of knew Becky through her blog and a few emails, and the same with Julie.
I felt that Becky had strong opinions, and a tough and tender type personality, while Julie was more of an unfailingly cheerful personality who was interested in beauty and making spiritual connections to what she saw.
It was interesting to me to find that their personalities and speech cadence matched what I had perceived them to be like via their written communication. Their writer's voice matched their oral communication style.

The only real surprise was finding that they all spoke with somewhat of a Scandinavian style accent.
Now they don't think they do have an accent, but the truth is, everyone does have identifiable regional inflections their speech. Southern California people have a characteristic "uhm" and "unkay" that they throw into their sentences.

I was ready for a lot of "eh?" to be spoken as part of the BC speech pattern. I certainly heard a lot of that from the east coast Canadians, and the Canadian that lived in my neighborhood.
Instead, the West Coast Canadians (or maybe just the Mennonite ones...I'll have to listen more carefully next time I am in BC) tend to end sentences with "yah", with the same lilt that I hear from Minnesota residents.

(Personally I like accents. I wonder how long it will be before television wipes out the Jersey, New York, Deep South, Texas drawl, Irish lilt, etc etc etc.)

It didn't take long before I found myself responding with "yah" and "oh yah" as an encourager to continue talking instead of my usual "uh huh".
(Think short "a" sound, like "yaw" not the long "a" sound as the western style "yeah", as in "yeah..giddy up")

I hope some time Lovella can make a trip down here to Texas. She will probably have a hard time keeping a straight face when she hears all the accents around here. I know I do!

Anyway, back to meeting folk:
Kathy was not an active blogger, and I had no sense of what she would be like before I met her. The pictures of her that I had seen of her on Lovella's blog did not do justice to her animation and energy!

Since I had not read anything of her writing beyond a few paragraphs, I had thought she would be a very reserved person, and a bit aloof.
Nothing could have been farther from the truth. She was warm, engaging and very outgoing!

It turned out to be a echo of the lesson learned in Switzerland about written communication vs visual communication.
In a post about that I observed that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a picture without words is often worthless.
At least that seems to be the case where pictures of people are concerned!

Hey you guys! Turn around! Let me get a picture of you two!
Oh, that would make a great picture!
Yah, it would!
I am always interested in textures, so I take a lot of pictures of tree bark.

And fern, especially when the fern is covered in rain drops.

Berries are another interest of mine.I once read an article in Victoria magazine about using vases of berries as a centerpiece instead of flowers, and ever since I have been fascinated by berries.
(I'd be happier if I knew the name of this particular berry...)

This flower looks like a fantasy flower. Seriously, if I made this flower up in silk ribbons, and showed it to you, wouldn't you have thought it was just a crazy flower idea and not a replica of a flower found in nature?
(I want to know it's name. Drives me crazy not knowing the name. Note to self: Never go anywhere in the world without a field guide to local flowers and berries.)

The way the forest smelled, and the sound of soft rain, and foot steps on the mulchy path...bliss.

Each lake I have ever seen seems to have its own particular color. The lake's color was muted because of the overcast conditions, but there still was a touch of the milky blue that always seems to be found in Pacific Northwest lakes.
The path wound through the forest, and the view of the lake wove in and out according to the meandering of the path.

Who doesn't love a wooden bridge?

Another berry, a kind that was always seen as a cluster of two.

What color would you use to draw a leaf?
Haven't you ever seen a purple leaf before?
(Wouldn't this picture be an interesting key to use to develop a room's color scheme pallet?)

Someday I'd like to see if I can put together a rainbow using berry pictures.

Hello Lupin! Have you been hearing about your cousin lupin flower, the Bluebonnet, from down in Texas?
Well, they say to tell you "howdy"!
Lupin seems to have varieties everywhere I go. I appreciated this plants late season effort to still be available for me to see.
It was a such a beautiful walk through the forest. Kathy had the perfect napkins to use for our post hike cookie break!

Once the gys got back (sans fish), we got down to the serious part of the day.

Campfire time...

and wieners!
Thanks Kathy and Scott for letting me share your campfire and a day in your beautiful mountains.
It was such fun!
You're welcome to come visit us at our campfire (or more likely, inside air conditioned space) any time!


Lovella ♥ said...

Oh I do love revisting the holiday through your blog. Now if we could just get the Texas blog people to stop puttin on the red x's we would be good to go.
So many pictures were missing. So sad.
You are however a fantastic writer and my mind is still quite clear and so I was happy with the few remaining pictures and the very vivid walk around the lake.

Kate said...

Oh! I just loved taking your walk with you. Yes! Isn't it lovely meeting new people that you feel you already (sort of) know from this amazing internet? I can feel the soft air and smell the forest (and those weiners)in my mind. Thanks! K Q:-)

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh Jill, your pictures are just great of manning park. I'm still remembering how fragrant the forest was on our hike.

Now I'm hungry for platz. . .I'm just thinking that a year ago you sure wouldn't have known how many Mennonite friends you would acquire in one short trip. HOw fun is that?

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

What a gorgeous collection of photos, I enjoyed seeing them in the large format...those ferns with raindrops are amazing, for example. And the bridge reflected in the water is fantastic. Enjoyed your thoughts on written versus face to face conversations, etc. I feel like I've gotten to know Lovella, Julie, Becky and others a little more through your blog too. Thank you for sharing. Yah!

That platz (a new term for me) looks delicious...another baked goodie with fruit, yum!

Anonymous said...

You re-capped the day at Manning so well that I felt I was once again walking that path and taking in the fresh air. I was so glad that a trip to our holiday spot was worked into your day trip plans. Enjoyed your beautiful photos. Kathy

Becky said...

I had passed on going with you to Manning so I could get some school work done before the next adventures. I think I missed a good time! The picture of the buck is amazing, along with your other shots! So, you think I have strong opinions, hmmm... :)