Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Walking with dogs

Image by stinne24 from Pixabay

Dogs are incredibly strong creatures. I found this out while accompanying a friend who owns a dog walking business. 

I agreed to take charge of a small poodle. After all, how much trouble could it be? Just a leisurely stroll on the promenade with my bestie, I thought.

Wrong...

Right out of the gate - literally - I was dragged onto the flagstone path. It was all I could do to keep a firm grasp on the leash that was stretched beyond taut. I bounded forward in fits and starts, half dragged on my lagging heels, but mostly just tugged along by the dog's tide of restless energy. I was nothing more than a movable anchor that created friction and an unwelcome drag to the singleminded pooch.

No wonder my friend books regular visits with her registered massage therapist - to soothe her muscles and mend her joints.

Since then, I have developed a deep respect for dog walkers, especially those with multiple clients. How do they untangle their legs from so many leashes and control canines that constantly pull away in different directions? And how do they clean up to prevent others from stepping in the mess that inevitably gets left behind?

However you manage, kudos to you all. Keep calm and carry on with your do-si-do doggie dance. 

The rest of us will just stand on the sidelines and cheer you on.

Monday, July 8, 2019

B&P Ice cream



I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Remember growing up with various posters promoting the universal appeal of combining cream and/or milk, sugar, and eggs?

As though it was ever necessary. 

No one, even those afflicted with lactose intolerance, could resist a tempting scoop perched on a crunchy cone.

And if you ever walk or drive past B&P ice cream in Steveston, you know this is true.

A long line of people, big and small, young and old, would snake towards the order window. Most of them judiciously use the wait time to scan the list of treats on the wall or sandwich board. The shop's offerings appear to be growing all the time. Last time I looked, B&P has branched out to bubble tea and shave ice.

But never fear, their mind-boggling selection is nicely paired with budget-friendly prices.

But the best thing about B&P ice cream is the warm and engaging staff. As they all bear a striking resemblance to one another, you can't help but conclude that it is a family owned business -which would explain their gold-star customer service standard.

My favorite is the durian ice cream on a plain waffle cone. I know, it's not for the faint of heart - with its overwhelming signature scent that seems to cling to your breath longer than it should. My husband, on the other hand, stays well away - preferring to stick with the (yawn...) more traditional flavours.

Regardless of your preferences, however, B&P is a great place to cool down, especially on those hot and sticky summer days. Yes, you have to join the long line that sometimes stretches all the way to the sidewalk, but it will be worth it.

I promise.

While you are at it - give the durian ice cream a go. Come on, you know you want to!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Richmond Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store



Here's a building that has reinvented itself many times over.

And yet, despite multiple transformations, it has remained relevant and central to the community it serves.

This heritage structure was, first and foremost, connected to a place of worship. My husband, a native Stevestonite, even recalled spending time there as a preschooler though he was short on details (let us know if you have similar recollections). More recently, it was home to a bicycle store where you could purchase new bicycles or get yours tuned up, fixed, and restored by expert technicians. Since then, it has been re-purposed as a thrift shop offering donated goods to budget-conscious shoppers.

But what pleases me the most about the structure is its down-to-earth welcoming exterior. The front lawn is pleasantly carpeted with green grass with islands of flowering bushes that cuddle and jostle together for space and attention. If their profusion and vibrant colours do not qualify as eye candy, I don't know what is. 

At one time, there were posted signs, in ornate cursive handwriting (remember that?) identifying the plethora of plant life on display and inviting passersby to be extra cautious lest they accidentally trample on the nodding buds and blooms.

Should your footsteps ever lead you to the corner of Chatham Street and Second Avenue, linger awhile and take in the rich history and beauty of this heritage building. Then go in, meet the cadre of red-smocked volunteers, and browse to your heart's content. You might just pick up a piece of history from someone's attic or basement!


OpenClipartVectors from Pixabay


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Looking down

People always laugh at me when they observe me from afar. "You look so low just staring at the ground." Or, "Hey, it doesn't hurt to look at up now and then." Some even say that my posture suggests a low self esteem. Who knew?

If truth be told, although I don't look down primarily for serendipitous gains, I have come upon mini treasures on my walks. I picked up a beautiful bracelet (with a faulty clasp) right at the entrance to the cruise ship terminal in downtown Vancouver. Then there was the time when I found a sparkling "diamond" studded charm at the door of a Richmond Centre jewelry store. And yes, I even managed to pluck a $20 bill off the frozen ground at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Amazing, right?

But looking down pays off in more ways than the occasional cash and trinkets. It can also delight your eyes, nourish your soul, and feed your community spirit.

Have you noticed the display of landscaping artistry around our neighbourhood? Especially in the spring when mother nature slowly awakens, and in the summer when she lays out her bounty at your feet, you can feast your eyes on strategically placed stonework, ornamental fences, and clusters of budding bushes. Add to these the riotous explosion of seasonal colours and scents and you'll feel swept up in the swirl of life unleashing.

Look at these examples and tell me if you agree:





In the meantime, I will keep on looking down. You should too!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Thirsting for refreshment




Locals rejoice!

It's summer and, at the corner of Steveston Hwy and No.1 Road, you have even more choices in hydration stations.

Of course, you are already aware of 7-11's signature Slurpees - multi-colored streams of flavoured ice crystals that kids love to catch in plastic cups, usually to overflowing. And, just across the street, Dairy Queen serves up Blizzards to calm customers' craving for thicker textured treats.

But hold on! A new kid just jumped into the ring. It's Boba Boy! Making a splash with offerings of milk tea, specialty slush and smoothies, fruit tea, and lattes. Since grand opening time in April, the shop has been abuzz with chattering teens and the clickety clacks of laptop keys.

Amidst such plenty, there will not be a single thirsty Stevestonite left behind! And that's a great reason to rejoice!