Today was my first day of vacation. It involved waking up to our middle child bringing us coffee in bed followed by my wife and I playing some video games in bed. After that it was Dutch apple pie for my breakfast with a coffee as I sat on our back deck.
Once noon hit, my wife and I ended up going out to do some shopping as well as window shopping together. It was a lot of fun to gather ideas and thoughts for future us to enjoy. Mostly ideas for the house.
When we got home, I wandered around our gardens just enjoying the flowers that were blooming. Some were planted before we moved in, others were ones we had brought to add a pop of color. There’s something nice about having flowers in your yard. It’s kind of like putting jewelry on your home. A little bit of yard dazzle!
Of course the family enjoyed the pool this afternoon as a way to cool off from the summer heat! I stepped away to make dinner- steak and potatoes of course. But as they continued to swim, we enjoyed music from the roaring 1920’s playing from the speaker.
Now I’m sitting on my back deck with our dog as we stare out into the fields and watch the sun set. My wife has given me a few minutes of space as she cleans the kitchen after I made dinner. Soon the two of us will just hang out. Perhaps we will catch the sunset and listen to the birds until the mosquitoes chase us inside. Or maybe we will lounge on the couch and watch tv as we fall asleep like an old couple.
Whatever we may do- it’s going to be calm and serene. Exactly what a vacation should be like.
I’ve always been appreciative of flowers. I have favorites- like roses and birds if paradise. Some other ones we have owned and planted that are among my favorites are lilies, daffodils and rhododendrons. Whenever they bloom, I know the spring and summer seasons are at hand.
Our new home has a couple of peony plants that were already in the garden. I had never heard of them. Seeing them grow was interesting. Little balls on the end of stalks. Tons of ants crawling around on them. And suddenly- BLOOM!
These things just POP. I am absolutely enthralled with the colour and the size of the blooms. My wife trimmed a couple of them and brought those inside for a vase to set on our countertop.
They look beautiful. I never knew that I’d like these. But then again, I never knew about them before this house.
Daffodils have started to sprout in our gardens. They are a lovely sight and we haven’t had these flowers at our previous home. We did have daffodils around a Sakura tree at our first house.
The flowers are vibrant, as I’m sure you know. Even though we are still in winter- I love that the bright yellow is a foreshadow to spring. Unfortunately, the flowers also make me sad.
The flowers at our first home were planted to remember my father. He had died from cancer. Daffodils are a symbol of hope for those suffering the effects of cancer.
Now that I am seeing daffodils in our current garden, I think of my father. I’d like to think he’d be proud of who I’ve become. Perhaps he would admire my parenting skills or career path. But that’s not the case. Cancer took him away in the year 2000. My children never had an opportunity to meet their grandfather.
As I walk around our home for the next few months, I will be thinking of my father in a positive way. The daffodils bring a new lease on life, and I love the yellow.
My wife had a bad day. So I did my best to make her have less stress in the home front. I did the grocery shopping early this morning. As I was out, I looked for some craft supplies for her. I also picked up a few more Christmasy items.
Before coming home, I grabbed a bouquet of multicolored roses for her. This is the first time in our new home that I have bought flowers for her. I used to pick some up from a kind lady on my drive home. Today however- I hit up a florist.
The flowers did in fact bring a smile to her face. The goal was accomplished.
My wife and I dropped off our son at the skating rink for his Saturday practice and laps. Due to restrictions, we are unable to stay and watch. Instead of driving home, my wife and I decided to go for a walk.
We wandered around a park and neighborhood that we don’t normally go to. I enjoy walks like this. We get to see how other people decorate and care for their properties. I love to see well manicured gardens. It gives me inspiration for our home.
As soon as the spring blossoms arrive- it all disappears into summer greenery. The life cycle of beauty keeps me smiling. Walking around and getting fresh air is also helping with the sanity these days. Much like last year, I plan on trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible this year.
We started our final day in Victoria by walking around Canada’s oldest Chinatown. There were the typical shops filled with cheap knickknacks. It was most fun to just squeeze down the narrow alleyways and admire the brickwork of the buildings.
We tooled around the tourist part of downtown Victoria and stopped in at a bookstore followed by a macaron shoppe. Both places were greeted by our kids with enthusiasm.
On our drive back to the ferry terminal- we stopped at The Butchart Gardens. I always wanted to visit this place, but never made the time to do so. Unfortunately, because it is autumn- the garden was rather lackluster. I’m sure it is far more vibrant and lovely in the spring and summer when the rose garden is in full bloom.
I did enjoy walking through the Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden. The time of year was good for the fact that it wasn’t crowded. Perhaps one day I shall see it in the spring time. But it has taken me until ages 44 to go my first time, so there may not be a second time. Especially since there is so much more of the world to explore.
At the end of the day we got lucky and made it on a ferry an hour earlier than planned. All of our walking had made us very tired, so that hour made all the difference in our trip. I do look forward to visiting Victoria once again some day. I have always enjoyed traveling there.
I enjoy pausing during my day to admire nature- even if it is for the briefest of moments. It helps to put me in a state of comfort and contentment. “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”
Usually I try and snap a picture. Many times I’ll share it on Instagram. Look at the beauty I just saw in nature! #sharingeverythingisee #iloveusingfilterstomakeitlookbetter
Taking a deep breath and smiling on the inside works wonders for the mind. Seeing flowers bloom and trees grow foliage makes me happy. I’m out there watching the world go about it’s business while I’m just here for the ride.
A ride that has many sights and sensations waiting to be savored. All I need to do is hesitate momentarily and smell the flowers.
Trust is something that you can’t come by easily. But to have a complete stranger trust you is even more scarce. Especially when it comes to money. My story here is a simple one, but made my heart smile nonetheless.
Yesterday as I was driving home from the school with my kids, I stopped at a person selling flowers on the side of the road. She has set up in the same location for a couple of years now selling flowers out the back of her van. We often drive past without thinking twice. Yesterday I finally decided to stop and surprise my wife with a bouquet of flowers.
As I was talking to the lady, I realized I had no cash on me. So I asked if she takes debit or credit cards. Since I’ve worked conventions- many people set up a Square account to be able to make such transactions, which seems to be the trend nowadays. Unfortunately, this lady did not have a card reader. I was ready to thank her for her time…
Immediately she asked me which bouquet I wanted and told me to pay her back another time. Even with my repeated objections, she insisted. I chose a lovely full arrangement of flowers. The flowers looked great when put them on our table at home.
But it gets better.
My daughter this morning texted me that she put $20 in my wallet to cover the cost of the flowers. I was not expecting that from her. It seems that kindness can rub off on people. Seems like our parenting skills are paying off.
But wait there’s more!
I returned today to pay the flower lady the $20 for the bouquet (which is a good deal for the amount of flowers btw). She was smiling and thanked me for the payment. Before we walked away, she handed my son a large yellow daisy.
Kindness is contagious. This stranger trusted me. I could have chosen to not pay her back. But the guilt would have eaten at me every time I drove past her. Because I’m not that type of person- I could never have done that.
Instead, I will have a smile in my heart when I see the back of her van propped open and buckets of flowers placed around her feet.
I bought my wife one of her favorite flowers today:
She loves the multicolored roses. I try and pick up different blends whenever they are available. I used to buy them from a place called “Awesome Blossoms” but their shop has since moved. So finding a rose in blue and purple is a bit more difficult these days. My wife still enjoys the “fire and ice” roses that I get for her.
Today being Valentine’s and all, I also picked up some tropical flowers to go with the single rose. There was a small dumping of snow overnight, so I thought they would remind her of our trips to California and Hawaii. The flowers brought a smile to her face. (And allergies…)
A sweet moment today was brought to us by our daughter. She made us some origami flowers and card for this morning. She is getting excited about our family trip to Tokyo and is getting in the mood because practicing her paper folding. These flowers did not cause allergies.
I love that there is a sweet spot for romantic and kind gestures in our household. That makes my heart full. Have a great Valentine’s Day everyone!