Monday, May 21, 2012

Uplifting Day At Crescent Beach

CRESCENT BEACH IS a seaside community in South Surrey, BC, that maintains a village feel. Aside from a few shops and restaurants, the ocean rolling in and out of the spongy muddy bay is the main attraction.

With accessible pathways ribboning the shoreline, the area is a great place to take scenic strolls year round. Early May, however, was the perfect time to visit there with Carol, Bill and Black Jack from bikesbirdsnbeasts. Pets like Black Jack are not permitted at some beach locations during late spring and summer. I was glad we got there just under the wire.

In the picture above, Carol looks like Penelope with her windswept hair. I have met a few people with personas that remind me of my fictional character. Carol is one of those with her zest for life and bright outlook.

Many people and pets have discovered Crescent Beach. But in the early years the area was mostly a summer retreat for folks from New Westminster who built small summer cottages there. As a result, there are also plenty of cozy alleyways with backyard fences to explore and puppies eager to say hello.

Some backyard fences send a message without obstructing the view.

Others I needed to peer through.

On this fence, a grandfather proudly displays handprints of his grandchildren. At the bottom left corner of the plaque is a tiny handprint of the newest arrival.

There was much to be found on the ground.

Black Jack was curious and investigated interesting places lower down.

I stepped over flowers that rested their heads on rough pathway pillows.

At the beach, a shell was pinned like a butterfly to the sandy floor.

Horses silhouetted into view lending a sense of adventure to the scene.

The local pier was behind a curtain of branches drenched with blossoms.

The wind swept a chill over the water.

This surfer with Strong & Free tattooed on his chest wasn't feeling the cold.

The young men clung to surfboards that looked like large freshly caught fish. The tide was out and there were no big waves but that did not stop them from venturing out onto the water.

It was early in the season and few people in the neighborhood were sunning or shading themselves. These starter plants on the patio were the only signs of life under this umbrella.

Carol (above photo) does not hesitate to venture out on her own when something catches her eye on the horizon. Click here to see her unique perspective of our day.

It was uplifting to explore Crescent Beach with the bikesbirdsnbeasts trio from Vancouver where, last year, I visited their favorite haunts. Most recently, however, I have been at my computer starting another blog Postcards From Penelope Puddle where I will share new adventures and local sights.

To enjoy more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cystic Fibrosis: Longing For A Cure

AS THESE BANNERS hanging over a Vancouver City street show, May is Cystic Fibrosis month in Canada. Coughing forcefully and frequently coupled with great difficulty breathing are common characteristics of this inherited disease that attacks the lungs and threatens the very young. I joined the Great Strides fundraising event at Queen’s Park in New Westminster last year. The weather and setting could not have been better. It appears the annual walk will be held there again this year on May 27. Click here for details.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Runaway Rainbows In My Room

THEY ARE IMPOSSIBLE to grasp as they flit about the room dancing on walls and snuggling in corners from ceiling to floor. It only takes a speck of sunshine to seep through the crystal at my window for the show to begin.

The ornament refracts light similarly to a raindrop. Dozens of wee rainbows flutter like butterflies in a wink of an eye. Red, yellow and green-blue wisps run around the house as if escaping from magic lanterns. When thinking of words that begin with "R", dreamy rainbows easily come to mind. The illusive creation has charmed mankind throughout the ages and inspired hope for better outcomes in weather as well as in life. It is no wonder that when Penelope Puddle waves her umbrella, a rainbow bursts out.

The rainbow is a popular symbol for numerous causes and objectives. This coming together of differing hues has been used to illustrate harmony in diversity. It is also said that a rainbow has a treasure at its end. But whether this myth represents an unattainable goal or a reward at the end of a difficult road, it is only part of the attraction.

As someone wisely once said: “Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.”

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "R" for rainbow, room and runaway. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dunkin' Ducklings On Mom's Day

Gems At The Bottom Of My World

STARS THAT GLITTER in the night sky and birds that swoop and glide as they fly have their glitzy glamour but gems can also be found further down.

Looking at the ground has its advantages. The tiny mosaics I recently captured tucked into a corner of a walkway can easily be missed.

The artist arrangement of colorful stones bordering the sidewalk (at right) are on the Surrey side of the street. The City of White Rock (where the apartment building is pictured) is on the opposite side. The much smaller community of White Rock is surrounded by South Surrey on three sides. The Semiahmoo Bay and First Nations Reserve bordering the US are on the other. The community of some 20,000 people rejected invites to join Surrey, the second largest city in British Columbia that wants to grow bigger.

As appealing as Surrey can be with its over 6,000 acres of parkland, White Rock takes pride in its independent status. This gardener does fine work tidying the tulips in the uphill portion of the city.

Upper and lower White Rock have a bevy of hills and grassy slopes from where to enjoy pretty seaside views. The railway winding along the lower portion (photo taken in winter of 2010) is in Canada. But perhaps due to a lack of foresight on behalf of Canada decades ago, the American BNSF Railway gained ownership of waterfront areas so White Rock must lease this land from the company for various purposes such as parking along Marine Drive.

Being nudged on all sides, it can't be easy to maintain a separate identity for this small city that nowadays has no industry other than tourism. But when something is worth keeping such as this natural geographical treasure, how can you not stay strong and stand your ground to remain autonomous.

To enjoy more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Quid Rocks!

THE QUID IS A COOL ROCK BAND that gained some success during the Garage Band era in Winnipeg. My husband Bill is the very young lead guitar player seen standing in the middle of the photo holding his Gretseh electric guitar. A careful look shows an imitation shrunken head hanging over the drum to suggest edginess in their music. The band went through several stages as it evolved. My husband composed the instrumental Mersyside that can be heard here inspired by the British/American music invasion of the 60's.

Other members of The Quid (as seen sitting in the photo) are drummer Lennie Fidkalo on the left, bass player Morley Nichols on the right and guitarist Colin Palmer in the middle who remains my husband's lifelong friend.

Sadly, Ron Rene the lead singer standing next to my husband passed away suddenly a few years ago. Ron's voice can be heard singing Crazy Things here. Ironically, when Ron took a break from the music scene in his prime, the famed Guess Who, also from Winnipeg, wrote a song titled Friends of Mine that with hindsight might have foreshadowed Ron's too early passing with the line: " ... and fade away like Ron Rene."

Information about the Quid can be found at the Manitoba Music Museum.

Most recently, band members were surprised to discover their timeless Quid tunes were included in a compilation album of early garage rock.

When looking for a word beginning with "Q" for ABC Wednesday, The Quid came to mind as the quintessential rock group of a bygone era.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Penelope Puddle Meets A Rainbow

PENELOPE PUDDLE is an imaginary character my daughter began painting when she was small. She might have been inspired by the stories I used to tell about a little girl named Penny and her favorite teddy bear. Merging those adventures with the rainy West Coast weather, the drawings depict a little girl with unruly hair who wears a raincoat and a cap pulled over her head. With rare exceptions, the teddy bear is not there and Penelope explores the outdoors with her treasured sidekick umbrella.

Over the years I preserved these bits of drawings and paintings gifted to me on special occasions. I developed the concept further and adapted the art into handcrafted greeting cards, calendars and booklets. Brimming with ideas for the future I have had endless hours of fun with the character.

You could say Penelope Puddle is the imaginary friend I never had as a child. I am hooked on this little girl who is a creative outlet for me as well as a therapeutic tool to help weather life's storms.

When thinking of a word starting with “P”, a painting of Penelope holding her teddy bear instead of the umbrella comes to mind. I took a picture of it one day when a crystal ornament at my window caught a sunbeam and washed a rainbow over the painting hanging on a nearby wall.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "P" for Penelope Puddle and painting. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.