I get late afternoon sun in my apartment – but something you need to understand: my windows face NE! Not west. The sun shines in strongly – bouncing from west-facing windows in the building up on the hill across from my apartment. Depending on the season the bright afternoon sunlight can last for a few minutes to more than half an hour. It has no warmth but it brightens the rooms noticeably.
Today, as I was walking by, the shadows of the orchids on my studio/livingroom window ledge caught my attention. Difficult to photograph because the large Pfaff embroidery machine on the desk blocked me. Nevertheless, the photo is about shadows and those stand out – even their reflection in the plexiglas surface of the desk.
Another day, I might move the machine to try getting a better shot. Today, I was wanted to capture what I could before the reflection disappeared.
I received this pair of photos from a Manitoba friend I’ve kept in contact with. That’s me in the yellow fleece on the right side.
Those were my hang gliding days – I wouldn’t be surprised if that photo was actually taken on a late fall weekend fly-in in Dauphin Manitoba. I don’t recognize the glider but I recognize, and can name, all but one of the people in the pictures.
I did love flying. I didn’t get to do a lot of solo flying – my technique never got good enough that I felt safe in the air on my own but I did a lot of flying at the control bar with a number of different instructors. What a wonderful feeling to be high in the air with just the wind whistling past, the fields below, and the wide panorama in front of us.
I even got to fly, after launching, high over Makapu’u Point on a couple of occasions, from the California hills somewhere near Santa Barbara, even outside Bendigo Australia with the chill Antarctic wind reaching us.
This all took place when I was living in Manitoba.
When I returned to Nova Scotia, in 1997, I switched to paragliding – trying to get a hang glider to the various rustic launch sites available to us was just physically beyond me and I wasn’t about to ask a fellow pilot to carry my glider to the top of the hill for me! I could manage the paragliding gear (glider, harness, helmet, arm pads, gloves) myself, though.
It took quite a bit of training before I felt confident enough to actually push myself off launch after inflating the glider. I remember clearly my first real parading flight on the hill at Fox River. I’d inflated the glider (I’d got good at that), but was reluctant to start the run – Brian Wheaton gave me a big push and I was in the air, aiming for the landing site beyond the trees at the far edge of the blueberry fields. The flight lasted less than 2 minutes but I landed successfully on my feet!
That was it. I made the trip to Parrsboro regularly over the next many years hoping to find good flying conditions when I arrived but often the wind was too light or too strong. However, once in a while I managed to get into the air.
I’d have kept at the sport except I discovered I had osteoporosis and suddenly a hard landing on my bum wasn’t such a good idea. My flying career was over.
I hung out with the pilots for another couple of seasons – I loved being at the top of the hills watching the gliders weave back and forth along the shore edge.
Eventually I stopped attending the Annual Flying Festival. Life moves on.
The other day, Deb and I again this year made the Sweet Kugel – 4 of them to be exact. One for me, one for her, one for MaryAnn, and one for Marlene.
This time we had Deb’s 6 year-old grandson Huxley as an extra pair of hands – he made short work of peeling/slicing the apples using Deb’s handy dandy Apple Peeler & Corer! (This is a very kid-friendly recipe and project, it turns out).
While Huxley was prepping the apples, I made the dough, cut it into four portions, rolled out the first.
Huxley topped the dough with strawberry jam and whole berry cranberry sauce, then he added a quarter of the apples, sprinkled raisins on top, I sprinkled the cinnamon and sugar on top of that, then flopped the dough around the topping and tipped it into the baking dish.
Huxley helped with all four kugels, making sure the one with the most apples was in his grandma’s dish.
The whole process didn’t take us long. We were done, washing up and all, in about an hour.
The kugels were left to bake for an hour and a half at 352°. I took them out and cooled them, then wrapped the one for me and put it in the freezer. The other three are in my fridge, each waiting to be sent to its proper home.