Friday, April 30, 2010

Sister Lyn

Marie and I were pleased to welcome the arrival of Lyn earlier this month! She had driven up to Cambridge, Ontario in her Saab to celebrate her birthday with Rande and family before heading east to Montreal for four days. It was an exhausting trip for her and I get the distinct feeling she'll be flying next time! We had a good time together, zipping around the city on the Metro, walking up to Mont Royal Cemetary to see Patrick, shopping in only a very small part of the enormous Underground City, checking out the goodies from all over the world at the Jean Talon Market a few minutes walk from where we are staying, having lunch with Chad and Lara, meeting our new friends Rafa and Pilar and, of course seeing Phil, Fernanda and her mother Rosalia in the new duplex. You can't appreciate Montreal in four days so we didn't try, just spent time together and enjoyed seeing each other again. The few days here went by quickly and then it was back to Florida for the arrival of Carolyn and Rachel from Utah. Perhaps though when she returns I can promise better weather!

Coffee and French pastries, rue Henri-Julien

with Rafa and Pilar

Marie and Lyn acting the fool on autobus 90, NDG

awaiting metro train at station Vendome

on the orange line Metro, station Lionel-Groulx

fresh rabbits at Marché Jean-Talon

fruits and veggies, Marché Jean-Talon

enjoying the free samples, Marché Jean-Talon

Lyn and Phil, 2027 de Clifton

at the entrance to Mont-Royal Cemetary

Mont-Royal Cemetary

station Jarry, Montreal metro

Lyn in front of painting I did for Phil and Fernanda

The following Saturday was lovely and warm so Marie and I decided to drive out to the property. Although the snow was gone and it had been raining the roads were surprisingly dry and easily manageable, and the dreaded spring thaw seemed to be almost over. I even managed to get up our driveway without sinking into mud. We aired the cabin, picked up some gardening tools and my wheelbarrow from the shed to bring back to Montreal and tramped about in the woods - it was another beautiful spring day, tiny salmon bellies, bloodroot and trilliums were just starting to pop out of the damp leaf mold. You have to be quick to spot these tiny flowers that are gone once the trees leaf out and shade the forests floor. But for now, as we near the end of April, our thoughts turn to warmer weather, preparing the garden and making plans to renovate our duplex before moving in at the end of May.


Marie and I, with Phil and Fernanda, had the opportunity last night to attend "Totem" the new Cirque du Soleil musical/spectacle/event in Old Montreal! Wow! If you get the chance don't miss it at a big top near you! The stunts and performers were spectacular, funny and sexy and the music amazing! TOTEM traces the journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle. This is supposed to represent the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. The show presented, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species, but I still am wondering where exactly the two bimbo beach boys that strutted about and swung through the air fit in! We had excellent seats and felt the $100 per ticket was well worth it. Word of warning : bring your own liquid refreshments if you can. At $6.00 a bottle for water I guess Mr Laliberte needs to pay for his trip into space last September...

"Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on."
- Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs

Till next time...peace gws

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April in Montreal, Canada

View of Montreal from Columbarium

Marie and Patrick, Columbarium, Montreal

Cesar and Gary, Columbarium, Montreal

Patrick Penagos-Steward, our little angel

It has been over three weeks since I last posted. Here in Montreal and beyond we all still mourn for Patrick. His death, like a pebble thrown into a still pond where the ripples of despair sweep out in all directions, has affected many people but we are finding solace in the thought of our little Angel watching over us. And now, with the passing of Easter, the coldest days of winter have retreated north and spring buds and fresh green grass remind us daily of a new beginning - life and love and peace are all new born. For Marie and I it was a real honour and pleasure to meet and spend this time with Fernanda's family: her father Cesar and her mother Rosalia, her brother Cesar and sisters Anais and Rocio. We explored the city together on foot and metro, worshipped at St Patrick's Basilica and visited with Patrick at Mont-Royal Cemetary. He has a niche in a beautiful Columbarium that overlooks the city - it is peaceful and, although still in its late winter grey, will be a green and inviting spot to visit during the summer. I had the opportunity to take Cesar and his son out one very warm day earlier this month to visit the property in the Eastern Townships. They were both amazed at the views and the fact we still had snow! It was a sight to see them struggling up the driveway in summer shoes through three feet of snow, the temperatures nudging 80F, and the sound of rushing water tumbling off the rock face. We drank from the stream and dried our socks in the hot sun before returning to Montreal, stopping off for a quick view of Mt Megantic Provincial Park. Cesar and Rosalia finished their month here with a day trip with Fernanda to Quebec City. And now, as they return to Mexico City, we wish them many blessings and happiness - May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; and May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you! (An old Irish prayer) We will see you again in December! To our families and friends in the United States, Canada and Mexico who have sent flowers and cards I would like to thank you all on behalf of Philippe and Fernanda. God bless you all! gws

Un ángel siempre está contigo ahí,
Un ángel te ayuda,
Un ángel es algo celestial

Phil and Fernanda, Columbarium, Mont-Royal

Marie & Rosalia, Mount Royal Funeral Complex

organ, St Patrick's Basilica, Montreal

St Patrick's Basilica, Montreal

The two Cesars, eastern Townships, Quebec, now official Canadians after visiting Tim Hortons...