Dear F&F (friends and family!)
Well, things are bumbling forward. With daycare now obtained, Kate has been able to get to the storage unit. Lane and I shovelled out the garage, and paintings have gone up on the walls. Some of them. Unopened boxes, suitcases, and plastic containers are still in abundance, but for the most part, we have landed.
Today, I met up with an old school chum. Paul (a wonderful jazz guitarist) and I went to school together, from elementary through to high school. We decided to meet at the coffee shop on the corner and walk the streets — all the places where we hung out as kids.
I have dreamed about this place. I have dreams about the school, about the laneways, and the downtown. Seems he does too. We went to his old house — just a three-minute walk from my door — and asked if we could look around the property. The holly tree was still there, but it’s huge now, and the hedge was four feet taller. We went to our elementary school and walked about the grounds. The same trees ring the perimeter, and the same steps are in the courtyard. The principal invited us to take a tour, but not until 3:00, so we drove to Lynn Valley and walked over the suspension bridge to the swimming hole we called “Thirty Foot”. They call it “Ninety Foot” now. The new generation, they exaggerate everything.
It was wonderful to climb over the same rocks with the same footholds — pulling each other up, and talking about our eyesight and our need for better shoes. Lynn Valley Canyon is a really dangerous place. There are high wire fences all around the parking area now, but when we were kids, we clambered around the precipitous edge like monkeys, and we rocked the bridge like a swing.
We talked about the people we hung with, the bikes we rode, the alleys we roamed, and the places where we spent our pocket money. We talked about playing marbles and named the different types: dake, peerie, steam-roller, and cobb! Nobody but a kid from North Vancouver would know that stuff. We were absolutely gleeful! By 1:00 we were famished and we went to a pub in the valley and split a sandwich. After two beers, we were still talking about North Vancouver and where we had gone from there. It was a great day. There’s nothing like finding a chum who “remembers when”. We never did get back to the school. Our tour will happen another day.
So, here we are. Kate, Lane, the kids, and I. We’re still feeling like visitors, but we’re meeting people every day and getting our bearings. Laura loves the day care. Ryan isn’t so sure, but there’s a boy his age there, and the two of them get along fine. There is a little girl from Russia, and a boy from Quebec, who are both learning English. With luck, Ryan and Laura will learn some Russian and French as well.
I have started a discussion with the folks at Universal Press about a new project. I’m still working on the designs, and Kate has made room for the studio swag, so we can ship out the Christmas orders. Christmas. Hard to believe we’ll be in a place with no snow. I’ll continue to keep you posted on our “pilgrims’ progress”. Hope you are well and enjoying the fall colours.