Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Happy Birthday

Last year was one of the big birthdays, although it didn’t stress me out like some people had warned me it would. Today was very mellow. Ella and I started the day with another exploratory walk around town, checking out the pool and arena before swinging through the downtown while she slept.

I tested my 31-year-old bones in the afternoon and hiked up Giant’s Head Mountain. It was calm and around the freezing mark, with the sun poking out of the clouds once in a while. I crossed the street that runs behind our new place, then walked up the steep slope on Milne for a block before starting up the park road.

The narrow gravel lane zigs and zags up the side of the mountain in many switchbacks, cutting across open meadows and through glades of pine and spruce. Climbing up there on our bikes will be somewhat punishing. It’s often quite steep and relentless, but it looks like there are lots of trails branching off for detours. I’m so excited to explore the riding potential in spring -- it seems like the perfect backyard playground.

The view from the top is stellar – looking south, you can see miles down the lake to Penticton. There’s a monument up there with a time capsule that will be opened in 2067. I decided to try to live long enough to witness that event. Below the cliffs, orchards and vineyards make a patchwork quilt around the base of the mountain.

On the way down, I wished that I had been dragging my snowboard along – there’s probably enough snow to have a nice cruise down. Perhaps I’m still stinging from missing that 44cm powder day at Big White while we were moving. The girls slept most of the time I was gone and I started making supper right away. Enjoyed a couple of new beers to celebrate my birthday – Big Rock’s Kold (recommended by Ryan), which is a cheap lager that doesn’t taste at all cheap, and a seasonal ale from Nelson Brewing called Faceplant. I couldn’t tell that it was any different from their After Dark, but I like both.

In quiet moments today, I read bits and pieces of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. I loved Such a Long Journey, but for whatever reason had never started the newer one. Esther’s post about reading it while in India inspired me to pick it up, and it is outstanding. Grim, but so very human. I can’t imagine how cool it is for Angelo and Esther to be experiencing life there – we check their blog daily for updates.

Only a couple more weeks of parental leave and then I’m back to work. Four months has disappeared like a few weeks. Ivy has started to hit her stride in the last two days…thankfully. She was pretty grouchy for the first couple of days after the move, with good reason I suppose. She’s really a terrible roommate when she’s in that mode, so I was incredibly grateful to see her relax and switch to happiness. On Sunday night, I was pretty sour myself…crashing from the stress and fatigue of the move, disoriented and blah. Feels great to turn the corner and live again.

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