some things I saw and did this week

I'm clinging to the waning summer like a security blanket.  Where I live, it's the most glorious and gentle changing of seasons, warm and sunshiny days lingering on and cooler nights sliding in.  I stood in the street the other day admiring the freshness after some spectacular thunderstorms the night previous, and imagined what it will look like in three or four months.  Then I told myself to STOP IT and get right back into NOW.  We're blessed with so much this time of year, and the older I get, the more I relish it for all I'm worth.

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Last Saturday my girls and I had a picnic in Kelsey's backyard under the canopy of grapevines. It was our favourite kind of meal – a hodgepodge of contributions from each of us: new potatoes roasted with rosemary and olive oil, corn on the cob, Greek salad, lentils and rice, cucumbers, cherries and chardonnay while we listened to Blue Rodeo songs, some of which we've been listening to since those girls were tiny.

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After dinner we jump in a taxi to go hook up with cousin Pati and a couple of her pals to see the very band play at their annual summer show in the Molson Ampitheatre on the grounds of Ontario Place.  It's a fun event – a very "Toronto" experience, with the local guys playing and lake behind us and the city skyline to the east and the just-opened Canadian National Exhibition (CNE – or "the Ex") to the west. 

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Pati and I agree that they knew what they were doing when they designed that stage with its giant windows showing those views behind the performers. Both audience and band are outsanding, as is supporting act Steve Earle.  There is a spitting rain, off and on, and nobody cares.  Little kids dance and run around, people lounge under umbrellas and drink beers sing along to favourites.

After the show we walk through the CNE and eat junk food and ride a ride.

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And we enjoy this rather spectacular view of the city from a quiet corner of Ontario Place.

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It's rainy off and on again the next day when we go to my sister's for supper.  As usual, Cathy and Stan lay on a gorgeous meal; this time: barbequed roast beef, corn on the cob, green and yellow beans, field tomato drizzled with olive oil and French bread.  Need I mention wine?  We try to grab a few moments outside but the impetuous stormy weather won't cooperate.  My sister does manage to take a few moments between raindrops to plant the Pearly Everlasting which she'd brought home from the Manitoulin Island the day previous. 

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My father had transplanted a hunk of it from what was his grandparents' farm to his cottage, and now my sister has this living family memento in her garden.

The other day after work I take the short walk over to City Hall to look at the ongoing tribute to Jack Layton.  The public response to his death has been remarkable.  

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Here in Toronto where he lived, and where he was an activist and member of the city council before he got into national politics, the tribute has taken the form of what started as a few chalked messages in the City Hall squre, and has grown to cover the square and the adjacent ramp up to the buildings. Where the rain washed messages away, they were soon replaced. 

The week was both happy and sad.  Thinking about the loss of one of the rare politicans who actually inspired people and the public's response to that loss makes me grateful for what I have, for being alive and for sharing these moments with my family.  And for the humanity we all share.  It's another reminder of how important it is to stay living in the NOW; after all, it's the only thing any of us can be certain of, isn't it?

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Chalk Love – Beautiful thing number sixty one. 


  1. Reply
    Selma August 28, 2011

    It is hard to lose inspirational people especially when they are politicians and can make a difference. Your photos are fantastic. I enjoy hearing about what you do and the yummy things you eat. Must be so nice to eat under the grapevines!

  2. Reply
    Jennifer August 28, 2011

    Yes, he was a progressive thinker who made a splash in an increasingly conservative world. But his funeral was a celebration of hope, and everyone who witnessed it seemed to feel some sort of change in the wind after it.
    My favourite thing about the blog world Selma is the glimpse I get into others’ lives, and knowing their stories. I love what it’s become!

  3. Reply
    LindyLouMac in Italy August 28, 2011

    Lovely post, you are so right about living and enjoying the now ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Reply
    Susan Tiner August 28, 2011

    A picnic with daughters under a canopy of grapevines sounds like bliss. Have a beautiful week!

  5. Reply
    Susannah August 29, 2011

    A beautiful post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for letting us share this glimpse into your week, and your life. x

  6. Reply
    Jennifer August 29, 2011

    Thanks Lindy Lou. I think bloggers, by the nature of what we do, are mindful of living in the moment!

  7. Reply
    Jennifer August 29, 2011

    It was bliss, Susan – no two people I’d rather be with. You have a beautiful week too my friend!

  8. Reply
    Jennifer August 29, 2011

    Thanks Susannah – and thank YOU for sharing it with me! Have a great week – will check in on you soon!

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