Monday, July 28, 2008

a deep breath

After several non-stop days (I'm not complaining as the busy-ness was all of my own choosing!), I spent a couple hours re-visiting several favorite bloggers this morning.

As usual, my favorite bloggers are open to being awed by their gardens and by life, and are generous in sharing that with the rest of us. To borrow a quote, " awe is what feeds the soul". Besides enjoying beautiful photographs of flowers, bugs, animals and landscapes, there were the thoughts, the questions and the beautifully phrased writing to enjoy.

One of the first questions that brought me to a stop was this by Autumn Cottage Diarist , who asked : Tell me about your desk or table - what does it say about you today? Oh dear! Oh dear! Do I have the courage to show you my desk?? I think not!

Then I noticed that Kate (of Kate Smudges) recently had an open garden day! Again, I asked myself, would I want an open garden day? Certainly not!

There are so many things in my life that have me screaming, I'm not ready! It's funny how at the same time one of my acquaintances is complementing me on my accomplishments, I am saying very loudly in my head " no, no, no! I'm not ready!" You see, this area or that, this project or that, this aspiration or that, is far, far short of the ideal picture of it that I have in my head, the ideal that I think I must reach before sharing it with you!

Certainly, some projects go better if one shares the process with others. And then, other projects just seem to be more tender and fragile, more likely to be trampled upon by certain people in your life. And yet again, some parts of your life are unfairly tormented by standards of perfection that you don't subscribe to, in your heart of hearts, but you are vulnerable in some way, to the judgments of people in your life who are important to you and who hold those unfair standards!

All those thoughts have gone tumbling through my head today as I slowly recover from my weekend of frenetic activity.

This weekend, I ran the 1/4 marathon locally on Saturday, coming in at a satisfactory 68 min 2 sec and third in my class! The rains held off until the end of the race. During the awards ceremony, one of a steady march of threatening thunderstorms broke directly overhead, dumping rain and hailstones down on us. Already soaked to the skin with sweat, I didn't have time to dry off before the rain washed over me and hail stung my shoulders. However, I'm more or less certain that I managed to improve upon my personal best by a minute or so.

I also volunteered at the Whitby Waterfront Races on Sunday, learning about what it's like to run a 1/2 marathon by watching the runners pass by my water-station, as well as cheering on my running buddies who had entered the 10 km and 1/2 marathon events. The cool early-morning start made for a buggy morning, with mosquitoes an annoying presence everywhere. By mid-morning the temperatures had climbed and runners fooled into starting too fast were struggling with heat and exhaustion.

Nancy entered a walking event while her husband, who is in the same 1/2-marathon clinic as I am, chose to volunteer for this day. Jim was also resting up after coming in 3rd in his age group in the 1/4 marathon event the day before! You look very important in your orange vest, Jim!

Kieran and Mary, our intrepid and slightly crazy clinic leaders (through the local Running Room store), ran the 1/2 marathon event. Here, in the dawn light pre-race, they look fresh and ready to go, don't they?

Getting the timing-chips on!

Henry (in the green shirt) entered the 10 km event and Kieran playing with a water bottle.

Jim, again, discussing race strategy with our other Jim, who entered the 10 km event.

Busy with our duties at the turn-around point and water-station, respectively, neither Jim or I had time for more photos until the end of the race.

After we had packed up and returned to the Yacht Club, we were privileged to watch a blind runner we had already admired out on the race-cource, just as she crossed the finish line!

Those two events pretty much ate up my free time and energy, and mid-day naps notwithstanding, I was quite tired by the time I had to work my evening-shift at my paying job on Sunday! Passing by the OVBG on my way to work, it was a relief to see the raised beds of the formal plantings are looking good despite relentless rains and flooding.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

miscellaneous pretties

Out and about today, here are some more of the plantings I enjoyed in my neighborhood.

more lilies

more OVBG


He said, "It's not going to hit us. It's passing north of us. Brooklin is going to get it."

But the sky was so very black as we looked out the windows at work yesterday. The wind was kicking up and there was lighting.

"Believe me," he said. "Brooklin is going to get it, not us."

At lunch time, the sky was positively ominous, but the barbecue out in the hospital court went on. I had my veggie burger lunch and went back to work.

But then the rain started to bucket down. And then, so quickly, it was over. Then the rumours started trickling in.

"Taunton Road is flooded. It's blocked. Firetrucks are there. Vehicles are stranded."

"Ritson Road is flooded." I pictured all the low spots near creeks and rivers that I'm acquainted with around this city.

"Yeah, the man was just standing there, looking at his house. The tree fell between the houses...He was just standing there, looking at his house. The tree smashed in the corner of his roof and tore off the eavestrough..."

By the time I was finished at work, the rain had stopped.

As usual, I walked through the OVBG on my way home. When I got to the gardens, I realized I'd have to make a detour because the formal gardens were flooded. I wondered if I would be able to cross the bridge!

looking down into the formal gardens from McMillan Drive

looking southward from the path on the east side of the bridge

looking northward, toward the formal gardens, from the path east of the bridge

looking westwards

looking northeast, towards the formal gardens

looking eastwards

Today, I went back to have a look, hoping there would not be too much damage. There is obviously some debris that marks the top reaches of the flood.
The formal garden's plantings are intact, although some of the logs that make the raised beds were shifted and will have to be put back into place. Some soil has washed away. The steps were also dislodged by the flood waters. Silt has muddied up the pathways and covers some of the plantings.

I talked a little with one of the park's gardeners today. She said she spent some of her morning today lifting tiny rainbow trout back into the river. They were splashing about, stranded in the puddles left behind when the flood waters receded. She hesitantly hoped for a little, gentle rain to wash the mud off the flowers...
This is our rainiest summer on record, I believe.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Lisa's story continues...

This story doesn't need words, does it!