Special, true moments

December 4, 2013

I was thinking that the last year of my father’s life we drove to his cabin on as many weekends as we could. He loved it there.
Up there on East Twin Lake, six hours out of the city, up there with the loons, the morning moose, the northern lights and the millions of stars making up the milky way, up there he was at peace.

One time we left Vancouver quite late and got there after dark. I remember driving along the dirt road and the headlights illuminating the bone-white birch trees on either side and I remember seeing a cameo reflection of those birch trees in a puddle in the pitted path. It may have been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and, combined with the harsh winter settling in, and not knowing if my father would be able to visit again, I captured that image in my memory.

This painting was born from that memory. I like it here, in the hallway outside my bedroom. I haven’t hung it on the wall because I like the way the lamp light puddles the image. I’m not sure I’ll ever hang it up.

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Do you have a visual memory of a special, extraordinary moment? I don’t really know why, but seeds from the garden always remind me of my grandfather.

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I suppose that, growing up in Europe where things are treasured and shared more than they are here in the North American built-in obsolescence consumerism culture, I remember my grandfather folding little paper envelopes to store his garden seeds in.

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I remember doing that with him while he wrote the botanical names of the plants on the outside of the paper. That’s something I’m always compelled to do…to collect and store the seeds form the garden flowers, (and paint puddle paintings…lol) But what does one do with millions of white Japanese anemone seedlings, or a grove of maples?

trumpet vine

Mind you, as I was carrying the trumpet vine seed heads thru the house, seven seeds fell to the floor and I scooped them up in my hand. I put them on the mantle. I think they’ll stay there for a while.

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Snow puddle painting: Oil on canvas
Fox: Oil on the cut-off end of last year’s Christmas tree

It's beginning
Morning, afternoon and evening round here

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  • Reply dawnsrays December 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    What a lovely scene you paint with your words. I love the thought of a young you watching the hands of your grandfather folding paper envelopes to hold precious seeds. How special a moment for you to keep.

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 3:53 am

      Thanks Dawn. I have my grandfather’s journals where he writes about me and I love reading them. The only problem is he wrote them in several languages (to keep up his skills) and so some entries are a bit harder for me than others because I’m so rusty. 🙂

  • Reply Shawn Stoen December 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Veronica – I came upon your blog completely by accident. Actually I was looking for a Veronica Roth – author of a series of books i am reading. As I scanned your blog I realized that you were from Vancouver and I just couldnt leave without becoming a follower. I am originally from North Delta – now living in Minnesota. I love to read your reflections about the area and about your family and past. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog and I look forward to each post. Thank you.

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 3:51 am

      Hi Shawn, thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re here. Do you have a blog? Or maybe a flickr account? I’d love to get to know you. What an adventure, Delta to Minnesota..wow. 🙂

  • Reply vastlycurious.com December 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Your post evokes too many memories for me to accurately comment but it is beautiful .

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 3:49 am

      Aw, hugs Kathryn. 🙂

  • Reply Joanne December 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    What a beautiful way to capture a memory of place and time.
    Your snow painting of birches and the reflection is lovely.
    And what a great idea – painting that fox!

    • Reply Marian Bonelli December 5, 2013 at 2:42 am

      One of my special memory captured moments, I was driving through a storm, thunder lightening, the works… Storm ended sun came out, I was in a narrow country lane in Hartfordshire, the vehicle infront threw up a spray of road water and the sun caught it just right! I saw, just for me the most beautiful rainbow through which I drove through! This I have kept amongst my mind memories!

      • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 3:48 am

        That’s a beautiful memory Marian. 🙂 I remember Robert driving us down from Lord Hereford’s Knob in Wales. We were in his mini and he was hooning down the narrow road with 12ft hedges either side and I remember being worried that some oncoming car would crash into us head on! We survived. 🙂

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 3:49 am

      Thank you Joanne. I was just thinking that this year I have to not only pick up our end but everyone else’s ends too. Love the way that fox turned out and now I think I need a badger and maybe an owl. 🙂

  • Reply kristentoneycampbell December 5, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m not sure what it’s called but I associate memories with smells. Is there a name for that? You express yours so perfectly!

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 6:46 am

      Thank you Kristen. I know what you mean; Olfactory memory. The first time I ever went to Hawaii I was a teen and wore watermelon lip gloss; you know, one of those fruity Bonnie Bell things, and anyway, the smell of watermelon brings me back to Hawaii. 🙂

  • Reply kungphoo December 5, 2013 at 4:57 am

    After reading this, and seeing that picture.. wow.. your words came to ife!

    • Reply Veronica December 5, 2013 at 6:47 am

      I’m so glad Kung, thank you so much. 🙂

  • Reply Christie December 5, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Your words has me thinking about images, sounds and smells and the memories they evoke. I was surprised to find so many centered on my paternal grandparents. I grew up in a military family, so no place was ever really home for long. Visits to their home gave me a feeling of family and belonging that I might not otherwise have had. Your beautiful post and images have put me in a wonderfully reflective mood. Thank you.

    • Reply Christie December 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

      Sorry, your words “have” not “has”……

    • Reply Veronica December 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      So sweet Christie, I’m so glad. I know the feeling of moving on; it’s what my family did after we immigrated from the Czech Republic. I guess that’s why I long for a permanent home at the same time as am happy to live like a Bohemian without a home. Go figure. 🙂

  • Reply Daryl December 6, 2013 at 5:11 am

    well you could scatter them next time you are wandering the woods with your clippers .. tell C you are taking but you are also giving back!

    • Reply Veronica December 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Nooo, Can’t do that because those darn Japanese anemones will push out the indigenous plants…but, could take them to the cabin to take their chances there in the cabin garden…hmm. 🙂 Good idea Daryl.

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