On The Point

Words and images to capture the joy of vacation, the value of family, the chaos of kids, and the beauty of The Rock.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday, July 30th, 2007 - Hold me now, oh-oh warm my heart

What better way to start the day than with a picnic? We spent the morning and the early afternoon at the Ferryland Lighthouse eating oatmeal bread, brie, curried chicken, pasta, chocolate cake, fresh lemonade, and more delectable treats, all while looking out over a million-dollar view.

The picnic wasn't all eating, though. We did fly Maggie's birthday kite...

...and get away from the group for a while to sing a little Thompson Twins. Go figure.

To get to the picnic we walked about an hour from our parking spot at the Colony Cafe. A long walk like that a person needs to take a few breaks for photo ops...

...for naps...

...and for, well, other things.

While we frolicked at the Lighthouse, Nan was busy working, cleaning bakeapples that Grandma and Granda had picked at Cape Race a few days earlier.

After supper we all went to the cemetery for the annual outdoor Mass there, which drew a huge crowd and (although brief) was lovely. We visited the graves of some of my family, including the grave of my great-grandfather Mr. Jim O'Toole, whose portrait hangs in the kitchen and who Ed is quite attached to. That was a nice moment.

The boys needed a little pool time to unwind after a full day.

Ed needed something a little stronger.

Sunday, July 29th, 2007 - Hippy-dippy-doo

After Mass this morning we did a little exploring around Aquaforte and Ferryland, taking in the fabulous sunshine, the beautiful old homes, the sparkling harbours, and the duck family crossing the road in front of our van. (Who knew David could speak quack?)

Then we came home to a sumptuous turkey dinner, complete with blueberry duff and sauce. After dinner, we rolled ourselves out to the the van and, after a number of false starts ("I need to pee"; "I should get a cup of coffee"; "We forgot our sweaters"; "I need to pee again") we drove out the driveway for Cape Race.

We entertained ourselves with musical games on the way. then stopped at the Interpretive Centre in Portugal Cove South to read the information panels (David and Silas), use the bathroom (Ed and Maggie), enjoy the echo (Josh), run around like a madman (Jacob), and chase kids (me). A good time was had by all!

Then we continued out the gravel road to the lighthouse at Cape Race. Despite the totally underwhelming tour guides (who almost spoke to us a a couple of times) we still had fun exploring, and walking up the 200+steps to the top of the light.

Not everyone made it to the top!

David made it higher than anyone else, going right up into the light. What an overachiever!

On the drive back, Ed got a little peckish and decided to try out some wasabi peas that Silas and David were snacking on. "Tasty and sour", he declared.

And of course, no Sunday evening is complete without a feed from the snack bar. The visitors have now been initiated into a proud Power tradition!

And Ed finished the day happy, curled up on the couch between two "alpha males"!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday, July 28th, 2007 - This icing tastes like burnt rubber

Today we celebrated Maggie's 5th birthday, and it was a day perfectly befitting such a special girl. The food was beautiful (and didn't taste that bad, either) and the games were a great success. Face paint and water balloons stole the show.

Some other nice moments after the party included Ed's communion with the drying fish, David and Maggie's drawing on the driveway with her new sidewalk chalk, and Maggie's visit with Aunt Bridie.

Friday, July 27th, 2007 - Gold-digger

Today we took a quiet day to help the vacationers recover from their trip. Grandma and I did a quick trip to St. John's to get supplies for Maggie's birthday, while the rest of the crowd hiked out to Stone Island to see the view, and a few whales in the mix.

The culmination of the day was a trip to Jim & Sheila's Chalet for a top-notch dinner of steak, chicken, brie in phyllo, baked potatoes, beer wine, you name it. Grandma supplied the dessert, and Ed cut the rhubarb for the crisp.

The dinner was fantastic. Ed entertained, at one point declaring that he was leaving to go to Halifax and chase women. We wished him luck!

Thursday, July 26th, 2007 - Revealed, your opinion is

Today was a much-anticipated day, the day that David Shumaker and Ed Johnson arrived! We spent time yesterday getting ready. Maggie was especially concerned that the guys be welcomed well. She wanted to cut fresh flowers to put in the trailer where they will be staying.

We did lots of laundry so there would be clean towels and sheets...

And one or two other things as well.

And the guys did arrive safely, but they were more than a little bit tired after a long day on the ferry and then a late night drive to Calvert, on the look-out for moose. We tried to help them get some rest.

When a person is tired, nerves can wear thin quickly. Ed found the boys' yelling and revelry a bit more than he could handle by times. Whereas as some of us might have tried to quiet them by providing a diversion or removing them from the scene, Ed chose a more unorthodox approach. "Josh", he sternly warned, "I've got a ray gun!"

But Ed was much more Zen at the end of the day when Grandma and I got home from yoga in Admiral's Cove. Ed thought he might try a few poses. We suggested the pigeon or the warrior, but he preferred to stay with a pose of his own design, the "Dead Man's Pose".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 - Back on the chain gang

A few days, no blogging. A few days, not much of anything, truth be told. That strep just kept getting worse. Two trips to the doctor, what seemed like a thousand gargles with salty water, and more rest than I usually get in a month. And then, pinkeye. Woohoo!

But enough of my germy details. I am on the mend and that is good. A few things to report from these past couple of days....Maggie has taken to photography. She has learned to operate both our and Grandma's camera, and has earnestly set about expressing herself in photos. A few samples of some of the stand-outs:

Also over the past few days there were some amazing scenes out the harbour. We tried our best to capture them.

And then yesterday morning Francis' wife Annette came down with a gift for Nan, an absolutely beautiful silk scarf from one of the First Nations of British Columbia. She said that now Nan could "think of Francis whenever she wore the scarf". Nan was very grateful, but then quietly said, "I don't need a scarf to think of Francis." Another reason to love her.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 - I'm the queen of the world!!

Those of you who know me, but who may not have been in touch with me lately, may want to sit down before reading the next sentence. Today, I ran the Tely 10 Road Race in St. John's. Yes, me who literally does not have an athletic bone in her body, and who has been known to be, in the immortal words of Colette Shannahan, "as big as a horse", ran ten miles through the streets of St. John's, and not because someone was chasing me. Last march I decided (secretly) to run the race, and today I actually did it. My finishing time was 1:52:09, which placed me 1609 out of 2020 runners. I made it to the top 79%. Perfectly respectable. Downright miraculous when you consider the fact that, the day before, I was diagnosed with a rather nasty strep infection and started on massive doses of penicillin. I choose to blame the strep/penicillin infection for the fact that, about 15 minutes after triumphantly crossing the finish line, I gracefully made my way to a garbage can and promptly threw up. Sense of accomplishment was intact; sense of dignity, not so much.

My determination and grit got me to the race, but my family got me over the finish line. Not only did my folks forgo Sunday Dinner in order to be at the finish line (yes, you heard right - my running the Tely 10 pre-empted Sunday Dinner!!), but Silas and the kids all wore custom made T-shirts to give me a boost. I am the luckiest granddaughter, daughter, wife, and mother in the world.

Thursday, July 19th, 2007 - Lord have mercy on them all

The welcome home party went off without a hitch this morning. Balloons, bacon, and beer glasses, all chosen by Maggie herself. She was awful proud and Dad's eyes teared up at the sight. Family is a marvel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 - Four strong winds

Today was simply too lovely to stay indoors, so we all piled in the van (and the truck) with blanket, chair, and lunch and headed for Lamanche Park. Some of us swam, some of us splashed, and some of us watched from the shore. A lovely time.

The evening, though, was the much-anticipated time of the day. Maggie and I left to go to the airport to pick up Dad! Maggie was very much in the excitement of welcome. She insisted on a "Welcome Home" balloon, and has planned a "Welcome Home" party for tomorrow morning (don't tell Silas!). So we waited at the arrivals area of the St. John's Airport, a mom and a young daughter, with a balloon welcoming Dad home. Turns out there was a flight from Fort MacMurray arriving just three minutes before Silas's flight from Halifax. We really blended into that crowd! Somehow I felt dishonest...

One proud moment for a Newfoundland mom...on the way to town Maggie had some pretzels in a bowl to snack on. As the pile diminished, she exclaimed, "Wow, Mom, I'm after eatin' a lot of pretzels!" Her first Newfoundland dialect!!!

Tuesday, July 17th - Come East, young man

Yesterday was a grey, rainy kind of day. Grandma and Nan and the kids and I went to Cape Broyle and did a little exploring, through the harbour gawking at houses, and then in to Horsechops. Nan kept insisting that she ought to make a wish, as it was her first time up the country road. Then we came to Ferryland and descended upon the Colony Cafe for lunch. All things considered, everyone was very well-behaved. Nan had to discipline the boys a couple of times, in particular when Jacob tore off his shoes and flicked them onto the neighbouring table, and when Josh grabbed a hold of the tablecloth an did his best to pull it off. ("Now by's, your not in your own house now!")

Today we visited with our new neighbours - Francis, who grew up next door but moved to BC some 35 years ago, and a whole crew of his friends and family. Nan even walked up the lane with Grandma to visit, and to sit at the kitchen table at Josephine's, where she would have spent many hours over the years. There were a lot of memories in that kitchen, and seeing Nan there at the table with Francis and Lorraine gave me a lump in my throat.

Of course, sentimentality never lasts too long when there are kids in the mix. When I came down the lane after my little moment with Nan, Josh had been quite busy...