Friday, July 26, 2013

Window To The Past At Delta Museum

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN daylight and dreaming my thoughts have lingered on the not so distant past that has brought us to this moment in history.

My recent visit to the Delta Museum in Ladner Village had me reflecting on a different era fondly. Commonly referred to as the "good old days" we tend to romanticize the lifestyles and artifacts that have gone before us.

Indeed, there is much to admire about our ancestors who worked hard and struggled while seeming to maintain courtesies and a grace that currently eludes us.

People did not simply turn a dial or flick a switch to make a meal. There was more personal involvement and a fire needed to be stoked to roast a turkey or bake a muffin.

Pioneers exhibited a passion for niceties at home amid the roughness of untamed landscapes. Although the lighting in the museum was dim, it was easy to see that wallpapers were ornate and rich with color.

Women stitched and embroidered for hours on end ...

and many sewed their own dresses.

Women did the family laundry with vigor. Their arms must have been quite toned from using washing boards ... until the luxury of mechanical washers arrived on the scene.

Children could not insert a coin to ride a pony. They actually had to rock their bodies to move their toy horses.

The beds looked extremely cozy covered with handmade quilts and linens but the mattresses were probably less comfortable than the ones we now enjoy.

Pictures of people perfectly posed in their finery were hung like ornaments behind glass (along with brief histories) at the museum.

One could read about local pioneers who were wise and motivated enough to buy acres and acres of land to farm and to perhaps eventually bring future generations wealth because of their foresight.

The museum is housed in a Tudor style heritage home built in 1912. Of course, not all families lived in such elegant houses but the movers and shakers of their day certainly did.

There are also extensive artifacts and tools upstairs in the museum, including these somewhat modern looking tin cans that were ...

used to hold fish processed in the declining Delta canneries of that era.

Labeling those cans must have been a bit of a challenge with this contraption in contrast to the more convenient options technology offers today.

The Delta Museum is a relaxed setting where inquiring minds can explore local history to their hearts content. I must confess, however, it was the sign that said "Do Not Open" that piqued my curiosity in the end.

I adore glimpses of days gone by and do not want to close the door to the past. But if I had a time machine I would also like to go forward to what is yet to be discovered. What marvels await mankind and what problems solved and created and new museums built in our future world?

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sleepy Stillness Broken In White Rock

THE STILL MORNING was wrapped in a warm soft mist when I visited the museum in White Rock recently to drop off my Penelope Puddle greeting cards.

It was so early, in fact, that the doors were not yet open. This gave me a chance to take pictures of the pier from a slight distance.

I could see a few people had already started on their strolls. This was a week day so I was mostly seeing mothers with strollers and retired folk along the shore. School is out so there were also children picking spots to build sandcastles before the beach got too crowded.

Reflections of the pier could be seen in the low-tide puddles.

Here is the designated guard of some rather important stuff.

There was barely a breeze to ruffle the air. Nearby was the ever present and very active train track that runs through the waterfront area of White Rock.

Sadly, a few days prior a woman jogging across the track in the late evening was hit and killed by an Amtrak passenger train. Investigations are going on as to how this could have happened. The Amtrak train is shorter, softer and swifter than the freight cars when it runs down the track. Although I did not know the woman, I wished her family strength in their time of sorrow.

People are left to grieve and learn hard lessons from what had happened. When communities exist shoulder to shoulder with a bustling noisy railway its potential for danger can fade away like background music in our minds.

A freight train suddenly appeared to disrupt my thoughts and made the birds scatter. It screamed loudly and shattered the mood of the morning as local artists laid out their wares in a city waking up to one less person being there.

I hoped there was an inkling of truth in the words by author J.K. Rowling when she wrote, “ … death is but the next great adventure.”

Meanwhile, this tragic accident is yet another reminder that the world as we know it could end in the blink of an eye. The time to enjoy life is now and the future (whether one believes it to be fixed or not) will thankfully remain a mystery. Perhaps it really is the way Out Of Africa author Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) once said, "God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road."

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Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Friday, July 19, 2013

Basking In A Little Heart-To-Heart

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Lindylicious Dog-Meet-Dog Day

MY FRIEND Kay, and popular blogger at An Unfittie's Guide To Adventurous Travel, visited the West Coast from Alberta recently. She was with her husband and their much-loved pet Lindy who was setting paws on BC soil for the first time during this trip.

The weather was sunny and there were lots of bright spots and noontime shadows flitting about the patio of a restaurant in Ocean Park, Surrey, where we had lunch.

Kay wisely brought her large brimmed Penelopesque hat that deserved a seat of its own.

While Kay had a hat, Lindy escaped the heat by settling under a chair from where she received a yummy snack or two from empathetic patrons.

There were also friendly dogs to greet at the outdoor cafe.

Although this big fellow had a nice scent, Lindy eventually moved on to visit her adopted doggy cousin in the neighborhood that she had yet to meet.

Here is Lindy wagging her tail and giving her cousin a really good sniff. I was glad to have captured this historic pet version of "Stanley meets Livingstone" and their "getting-to-know-you" rituals with my camera.

They were a bit shy at first and did not look each other in the eye. Nonetheless, Lindy's cousin's glance seemed to say, "Nice to see you and glad you brought my aunt and uncle along for the ride."

It was easy to tell this was a special meeting not just for these mellow creatures but for the people who care for them as well.

When pets become part of a family their presence can be inspiring. The late Gilda Radner once said, "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, July 1, 2013

Trip Through The Rain To Sunshine Coast

UNLIKE THIS cute little guy outside an ice-cream shop at the Langdale Ferry Terminal, I left my sunglasses at home.

I did not need them last rainy Tuesday when I drove along a busy wet highway and sailed the sea to eventually visit with family in Sechelt.

Clouds shrouded the treed hills surrounding Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver when I parked my car and walked onto the BC Ferry that would take me to Langdale.
It was easy to forget as the vessel glided from the Horseshoe Bay shore that I was not heading to one of the Gulf Islands but to another part of the Mainland that is difficult to reach by road.

Although the area is known as the Sunshine Coast there were no rays anywhere except for a small brave glow from some guiding lights.

Reflections in widows mingled with the charcoal hued view. Light fixtures on the ferry caused rectangle shapes to hover like spacecrafts in the sky.

A woman on board told me that when she was a little girl (before ferries were equipped with radar) she and her mother would clang spoons on metal objects so that approaching vessels would know they were there.

I noticed an axe (one hopes to never need one) bearing the ship's name Queen Of Surrey. There are currently 35 vessels and a proud albeit controversial history to the BC Ferry fleet that you can read about HERE. They carve a fluid trail in the Howe Sound waters that quickly disappears but perhaps leaves a mark environmentally.

The fleet now run as a private company has linked family, friends and businesses along the rugged BC coast for decades. These vessels have transported millions of people over the years as well as increasingly larger vehicles … many of these carry goods to hard to reach places.

When the ship arrived at the Langdale harbor ...

I saw another vessel across the way that looked much like the one I was on.

Thanks to the showers flowers were brightly blooming.

It took almost two hours to drive to Horseshoe Bay from my home and another forty-five minutes to get from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale where I was warmly greeted by family waiting to take me on a forty-minute drive to Sechelt.

We shared hugs, good conversation and a delicious meal upon arrival at a restaurant with a nice view of the steadily falling rain.

Because I had things to attend to back home it was a short but distinctly sweet visit. A seagull stretching its wings expressed what I felt.

My drive to Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry to Langdale put me off balance a little because of the heavy rush of traffic and ongoing road construction along the way. So I felt a sense of accomplishment ... as though I had stretched my own wings when I set off that morning away from my comfort zone.

And although my traveling there and back was relatively simple with no need for airplanes or a passport, I related a bit to what travel writer Paul Theroux once said, “You define a good flight by negatives: you didn’t get hijacked, you didn’t crash, you didn’t throw up, you weren’t late, you weren’t nauseated by the food. So you are grateful.”

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World at the sidebar.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms