Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ultra-Violet Ray Protection

I took one last shopping fling in Paris.

I was thinking about coming home for the summer, being down by the water, thinking about the warm sun reflecting off of the pebbles, and I was wondering what I would do for a hat.

Wyona spotted some women wearing large summer hats at one of the markets.

The brim of the hats are stiff with wire and can be twisted and shaped into flowers, or the hats can be fluted or turned up on the left side only.

The beauty of the hat is that when stretched out, it goes from one shoulder to another, saving on the amount of sunscreen a person needs.

Bring your hats to the beach for protection from the summer heat.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Playing Dungeons And Dragons At The Shuswap

Some of you are already aware that I have a little blog where I post odd bits of trivia and thoughts about Dungeons and Dragons.

I'm intending to play some D&D while i'm out at the lake. If the mercenary characters pictured here, opening a chest full of gold and magic, inspires you to want to do a little treasure hunting of your own, then you are a good candidate to join our little adventure!

I will be bringing several copies of the old D&D rules from the 1970's, so we will be able to play it "old-school" ... that means very little in the way of rules, and lots in the way of imagination and shared story-telling.

If you already have miniatures or other Dungeons & Dragons accessories, bring them along with you, when you come out to the lake.

The games will be in the evenings, so bring your imaginations and your flashlights (you'll never know when you'll need them .... mwha ha ha ha ha!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gabe's Baptism

Here is Gabe, Art and Marcia at Gabriel's Baptism today. There were about 60 people at the baptism, which was from 4:30 to 6:30 today at the Tipton Road Chapel. Wyona and the Bates family, and Brendan Robertson and family, helped with the food and setup.

Nathanial delivered a thoughtful little talk on the holy ghost, likening life to traffic and the holy ghost to your own personal gps, helping you navigate your way successfully.

Gabriel led us in song after the baptism.

While the parents and adults relaxed and had a bite to eat after the service, the children put on their own little play, with Dalton acting as stage manager and the rest acting as actors and directors.

I snapped another photo, of Gabe and several of his cousins sitting at the kid's table and having a snack after the service, but I accidentally deleted the picture. Hopefully there are a couple of others who were taking pictures that can upload those to the blog.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Latest Book Order....

Well.. I was just surfing the web, wondering if the BF Johnson family organization was on line, and I got a hit!
Not only that, but I discovered that there are some books! A couple of the decendents got together, and wrote a series of fictionalized novels of the life of old BF.
So... of course... I just ordered the 4 volumes of "A Banner is Unfurled: The Ezekiel and Julia Johnson Family Story." .... that would be the parents of BF Johnson, our forefather of polygamous renown! :-)
Didn't even know such a thing (a series of fictionalized books) existed! I just had to pull out my credit card and place the order! I can't say anything yet about the substance of the books (whether or not they will be page turners) , but I promise to loan them around once I get them read! Here is what it says on the the back cover about the first volume:
"Ezekial Johnson feels like he is losing his family one
by one. It is the 1820's and years earlier Ezekial had fled his abusive stepfather and his loving yet brow beaten mother promising he would never return. He vowed that when he had a family that they would be bound together in freedom, happiness and love. But now this strange, new Mormon religion seems to have captured the hearts of his wife and
children inspite of the rumors that surround it and its supposed prophet, Joseph Smith.

As wicked individuals and strong temptations seek to block his family's path to happiness, Ezekial realizes that he must either allow them to join the church and risk losing them, or
tear them away from their new found faith - even if they end up hating him for it.
Now.... you gotta admit, this sounds great! :-) If you want to check out the webpage (which does not seem to have been much updated since 2006) you can find it here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Summer Haircuts To Remember Grandma Shirley

Ceilidh here. We got our summer cuts. Aren't they wonderful? I have a good reason for this. My Grandma Shirley died a few months ago from cancer, so we thought we would get our hair cut for cancer. Now since I have my hair cut short, I can run around without my mom saying to tie my hair back. Since its so short, when I go swimming it won't take very long to dry. Or it won't get in my face when I come out of the water. As you can see, my mom has also cut her hair. But her hair is 2 inches long and we raised $1,000 for cancer. Hope to see you all this summer!

Love, Ceilidh

Richard Pilling - a Generous Uncle

From Matthew Wood

The big memory I have of Richard is how he used to give us his syringes after he used them so that we could use them to shoot water at each other.

Looking back, that was probably not the most sanitary thing for us to do, especially considering the fact that I used to drink that water from the syringe as well.

I also thought that he must have been pretty tough to draw blood from his own finger on a daily basis.

I also remember looking forward to going to his house as a kid because he would always provide us with a handful of double bubble gum right before we left.

Although the gum wasn't particularly good, I used to collect the comics that we'd receive from the gum wrappers.

The last time I saw him was when we visited him while he was renting an apartment in Kalispell, Montana. He was very generous to loan us his truck for the day so we could go skiing at a nearby resort.

Matthew Wood

Adoption Option

... Is the name of the company. Miranda and I went to a two day seminar on Adoption. So step 1 of like 6... done. To stay was a taxing choice. : ) It was about 16 hours of emotion and stress. So now onto the next step.

After all of that emotional effort we worked on the house. Put a second staircase off of the deck, put a gate in, mowed, weeded, laundry, and cleaned the house. Ron's weeding tool is amazing. It's the best tool by far. He came over to give us advice on the new tree, the compost, our growing vegetable garden, and then lent us this magical weeding tool.

The hardest part of cleaning this weekend was the baby oil all over the house. The dog found a bottle of baby oil, tore it apart, drank most of it, and walked the rest of it around the house. At least the hardwood got a good oil treatment. Now if he'll just do it again to get the spots that he missed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Watergun Warriors

Here are the Weekend Watergun Warriors: Zachary, Meighan, Gabe, Ceilidh and Dalton. They were in our backyard, getting ready for a watergun battle royale. Afterwards, they came inside and played in the basement, while the rest of us (Marcia, Art, Ron, and Anita and I) sat around chatting and chowing down on wings, veggies, chips and fruit.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Paris - Three Seconds or Less

To make the most of our Paris Autobus Tour, Wyona suggested that we get off the bus, take a quick tube ride to the end of the line, and pick up one of the variations of the tour that would take us to see the Bercy District again.

I had a bag in one hand and my underground ticket in the other hand.

We approached the doors of the brand new line underground, remembering that Greg had said of the station,"Stunning. New. Modern."

The train arruved and we stepped up to the glass doors. Two people, much younger than I pushed ahead of us to be first into the train. When the doors opened they entered the train first and stood toe to toe slower than one normally enters the doors and then they didn’t go for the seats but stood right in front of us, blocking our way to the seats they didn't seem to want.

At the same time, people behind us were pushing me to get in, pushing Wyona as well, but I was being blocked on one side by Wyona and on the other side by a younger woman.

I was also grabbing for the centre pole since I like to get my feet shoulder length apart and have one hand on a stable structure when the train accelerates out of the station.

My bag was in one hand and my ticket in the other hand was interfering with me getting a strong grip on the pole.

The jostling in front of me and behind me reminded me of the London tubes in the evening rush hours when people are travelling home and I have to keep close to Wyona or the doors will separate us. I was concentrating on getting a stable standing position.

I looked down at my hand holding my bag just as the girl who had been pushing me from behind slipped back out of the train, now deciding not to push past me to take the ride to the next station.

As she left, I saw her hand slid out of my purse that is strapped over my shoulder and rides on the front of my body .

“Wyona? That girl’s hand was right inside of my purse,” I said in quiet surprise.

“My purse. My purse is open too,” Wyona said, digging down into her bag. “I will bet she got my wallet.”

Wyona was right.

The wallet was gone.

She calculated her losses. At $2 a scarf, she could have bought 80 scarves for the money the pickpockets had lifted from her.

My money was fine. I keep it in an old envelope so that I don't have to carry the weight of a wallet -- a tip Wyona gave to me.

I calculated our gains.

No broken arms. No broken bones. No concealed weapons used to attack us. Both of us still standing.

That is not to say we weren't bewildered and angry at ourselves for being both pushed, blocked and having no inkling we should be resisting the pushing.

The above happened in 3 seconds or less, a much shorter time than it has taken to type this.


Paris - Sunday

We were headed out to church in Paris, Eric with his triple combination in hand, the kids in their church clothes.

Tom’s shirt hanging out of his pants, a tie just a little off centre of his neck, the girls with their hair combed and me, even with a skirt on.

“Did you bring that skirt for church?”, asked Catherine.

“You gave me a hint that we might be going to church," I replied. "I do go to the opera in it as well,” I laughed.

Walking down the streets of Paris at 9 am Sunday morning is a solitary experience. No one else is on the sidewalks, but a couple of women who seemed to want to talk, but we hurried on by them, worrying about beggars.

The younger woman persisted in making contact. “Are you Mormons? If so, go no further. There is a sign on the church door. Regional conference is being held somewhere else today. I didn’t know if you were Mormons, but not many other people are out on the streets this morning dressed as you ... and then I noticed that the man with you was carrying scriptures.”

I wondered if they had watched Catie. She had on Catherine's new scarf. It was tied around her waist, then twisted around her neck, theand n thrown over one shoulder. Next, she had it twisted under her arms and around her neck and tied in a lovely bow, and finally it was swinging in the wind, gracefully hanging from her wrist.

"She is often wearing scarves," said Catherine.

On the next block a man interrupted us. “Excuse me,” he said. “Are you Mormons? The church ahead is closed, but I know the way to a place where another meetinging is held.”

Onto the tube we followed Kola, a new Nigerian member of the church. To our group we added another lost church – members from Salt Lake City they said.

Kola was surprised to find the doors of the next church building shut. No meetng there either. Catherine and Eric's train tickets were to be used in a couple of hours and there was no time to search out another service.

We returned home for a short sacrament meeting of our own – a song, the sacrament, a few shared words and our service ended. Oh, Tom wanted to make sure that his dad had said the prayers on the sacrament correctly and asked if Eric had read them or just said them.

Eric passed the test assuring Tom he had read the prayers.

The hardest part of having a sacrament meeting in a small room in Paris, using a French baguette for the bread, is that the outer crust of a piece of torn bread takes a long time to chew and that slows the service down. I thought about the bread and the many forms of it that have passed by me – deeply molasses-flavoured dark brown whole wheat bread in Salmon Arm, my own home-made white Hutterite sized loaves that I sent to our ward meetings one day, and now the use of French baguettes.

“Do you think the kind of bread matters?”, I asked Eric.

“Only in that it doesn’t distract from the purpose of the service,” he answered.

The Jarvis Family headed for northern Europe. Wyona, Greg and I headed to church again, Sacre Coeur, the first time Greg has ever been there when a service was going on.

I can’t imagine a Mormon service where visitors walk the perimeter of the church and while the worship service goes on in the centre of the church.

The organ played in full majesty. The voice of the soloist echoed through the vaulted ceiling. The arch bishop’s hand was raised to bless a small child who was staring over a velvet rope, partitioning the travellers from the worshipers. Lovely sights and sounds.

Lovely services for me – Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.


The Pearl Fishers

Greg, Wyona and I went to Camden today, not for shopping, but for one last meal at the fast food fish and chip spot that overlooks the street where we think we see a slice of life of the real London we love. People walk by with their baby strollers, their hair spiked in spokes circumnavigating their head, their lugging their packages from shopping, and workers carrying their sandwich boards that advertize restaurants or body piercings.

We sat there making tributes to the times we have had in London with everyone at that restaurant, toasting those times with our soft drinks.

Bizet’s Pearl Fishers was on at the Coliseum tonight, so Wyona and I hopped the tube for Charing Cross to get in the line-up for concession tickets. We noticed at the door that one of the leads would not be doing his part tonight. An actor would be playing his part and a singer would be singing from the side of the stage. As well, the prima donna would not be there. But we are saying good-bye to London and didn’t need a perfect performance, but only a near perfect one.

And we did have a perfect second act.

On the way to the performance, Greg looked at our tickets and informed Wyona that the opera started at 6:30 pm and not at 7:30 pm, the timeline we were on. We arrived at the theatre doors just in time for the intermission, so we stood at the bar and watched the costuming of the theatre goers as they came out of the auditorium to enjoy their interval drinks.

“Oh, it looks like you got here for the second act,” said the theatre patrons to the left of my seat who had parked their purses and coats where I was to sit. “Do you know the bad news? The very bad news.”

“Yes, I heard about the substitutions for tonight’s performance,” I replied.

“Very bad news,” he said again.

How bad can the news be?”, I thought.

I looked at the box seats full of people eating their crustless cucumber sandwiches and drinking their wine.

Out of a niche near the top of the ceiling I looked at the 3 golden lions pulling a chariot and that seemed to be leaping through the wall and into the auditorium. The orchestra was warming up and I could hear the drum being tuned and an oboe doing scales going up and then coming down.

Greg and Wyona burst into laughter in the rotunda as he had opened a bottle of sparkling water for her. Sparkling means the liquid bubbles come out of the bottle as though a cork had been popped on champagne on every occasion that he opens one of those bottles for us. They were both wet.

The "bad news" of being at the opera wasn't feeling all that bad to me.

If you pay half price for your tickets, but you only see half of the opera, no loss.

We stopped at Waitrose for some fig boursin, some caprice de dieu, some gouda, some brie and ate in in Parisian style when we got home.

A lovely second to the last day in London.

To be really truthful, a few things have gone wrong. I took a picture of my new fushia hat, my camera sizzled, the flash did not go off and I could smell burning. Neither of the toilets work in the apartment. One is being fixed professionally, which in London means that it takes men from 3 or 4 unions to coordinate getting all of the parts and then doing the service on it. The other toilet needs a full time service agent to flush it 10 times between each use. So ... missing the first half of the opera doesn't seem like all that much going wrong.

Wyona says that we can dissolve our troubles by getting some money out of the bank and going to shop at Petticoat Lane tomorrow.


Calaway Park Trip

Today's trip to Calaway Park was entirely unplanned.

Waking up this morning, and off to deliver a presentation to new employees, regarding a benefit plan that we administer, my intention was to mow the lawn and take care of some chores around the house after the meeting concluded. Calaway Park was not on my radar: we did not buy park passes this year, since Dalton, Ceilidh and Meighan want to spend their summer at the lake.

As I was finishing up my benefits review to about 50 new employees, the manager made an unexpected entrance into the auditorium. "We're having our Annual Family Day Party at Calaway Park today," he announced to his new employees. "If anyone would like to attend, let me know, as I have a few extra tickets."

What a nice gesture to his new employees, I thought. After finishing my presentation, I packed up my things. Heading to the door, I felt someone's hand on my elbow. "Bring your family down too," the manager said, "we really appreciate you coming down to do these presentations to our new employees every month."

I called Anita on the way home. Once I walked in the door, we packed up the kids and drove down to Calaway Park. Ken, the manager, was waiting at the park entrance, met the kids, and gave us park passes, meal vouchers, and some extra spending money to use on the park grounds.

Dalton, Ceilidh and Meighan had a great time. We rode the bumper boats, where Dalton and Ceilidh soaked their Dad, and Meighan went on several of her favorite rides. We left early, as it was really busy at the park and the lines were long.

Richard Pilling And Fish And Chips

I have a lot of fond memories of Uncle Richard. He was in his mid to late twenty's when I was in my tweens, and I remember many a road trip with him, in that old, beat-up truck he used to drive.

He would often ask me if I wanted to take a ride with him while he ran an errand. I always jumped at the chance. There was always someplace interesting that he was going, and he had a great sense of humor.

Once, after helping someone get rid of an old refridgerator, Uncle Richard asked me if I wanted to get something to eat. We had worked up a bit of an appetite, loading and taking an old refrigerator to the Calgary landfill, so I said yes.

He took me to Captains Fish and Chips. It was the first time I had ever gone to a fish and chip restaurant (in fact, it may have been my first sit-down restaurant ever). The malt Vinegar, deep-fried halibut, tartar sauce, steak-cut fries ... being my first time eating fish and chips, it was like ambrosia from heaven to my unsophisticated palate.

Thinking about Uncle Richard's passing reminded me of that special moment, where he and I sat together, in a dingy little restaurant, drinking our colas and eating our fish and chips. Two boys enjoying a little piece of culinary heaven.

Unbelievably, 30 years later, that restaurant still occupies the same little corner of an unassuming little strip mall in Brentwood Village, right beside where the old Consumer's Distributing storefront used to be.

My dear Uncle Richard: I will go to that restaurant, have a plate of fish and chips, and remember all the good times I had with you.

Loving Licorce and Lugging the Tuba

Richard’s favourite candy was red licorice.

He liked the green shoelace licorice too.

He would go up to "Jim's Corner Store" which wasn't on the corner. It was up near Briar Hill Elementary School.

He told me, "Licorice was the hardest thing to give up when I got diabetes."

Richard got a scholarship while at Queen Elizabeth High School. He played the tuba and was able to go to a conference for two weeks in Missoula, Montana. He made great music with that down deep Tuba. Not only did he play it but he lugged that big instrument up and down the hill behind our house after school so that he could practice.

Richard was also in the Calgary Stampede Marching Band.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Paris -The head with the ear in the park

The first thing I heard from Catie, Rebecca and Thomas, was that their apartment was near a park that had a statue of a head with an ear.

Seeing the park made me believe their story.

As well there were a set of pools, with water that flowed from one to another, creating beatiful steps.

No one laughed louder than Rebecca when she ran down one set of the pool steps.

She made it to the bottom, only to slip into the last pool, but only with one foot.

I thought going up the Eiffel tower would be enough to suck all of the possible energy out of Catie and the twins.

In fact, I started suggesting to Catherine that she feed them less.

She doesn't think that will work, either, though she thanked me for that valient idea.

Together the kids and I were testing out the sports option on my new camera.

Tom can run along a promenade.

But even more than that, he can run the promenade, using the benches as hurdles to make his run more interesting.

We ran up and down the pools that surround the park beside the church.

Well, not we ... they.

The only time we got to rest was beside a church building while Catherine and Tom went into a shoe store to check out a new pair of runners for him.

He had either walked, run or skipped the sole of his shoe right off so that there was nothing left for him to walk on.

He could select this shoes, and then get out of the store to meet Rebecca on the steps of the church and make her laugh before Catherine could join us for more of our walk around the streets of Paris.

I continue to have days that I never dreamed I would have.

One of those times I had never previously imagined is that I would have a trip that would intersect with the Jarvis family in Europe.

How is that for more on my "70th Year to Heaven".


Paris - Pastries

,Catherine, Catie, Rebecca and Thomas met me at Le Gare du Nord.

They hadn't eaten and there was a smoothie shop right across from the flat where they were staying.

Catherine is an enigma.

I cannot tell what it is that she likes to eat on the streets of Paris.

To watch her one would think that she likes to eat whatever it is that is left over after the rest of us are finished.

However in the instance of our first time on the streets, there wasn't much left from the smoothie shop.

The kids had three straws and one extra large smoothie.

We headed for the pastry shop next.

Not much left over there, either.

What is a trip to Paris without buying at least one religeuse, one apple flan, one pain du chocolate, one tarte citron ... where would the list end?

At the whole grain baguette?

Would the list end at the mussels with blue cheese sauce?

Or at the duck with pepper sauce.

What Catie, Rebecca and Thomas have is a high tolerance for speciality cheeses, which surprised me.

We looked at stores full of spices -- large baskets of them with tin ladles by their sides.

We stopped to warm our hands at grills full of roasted chickens.

We took looks again and again at pastry shops.

What could be more charming than eating as one should in Paris -- a baguette in one hand and some cheese in the other.

There is no end to the infinite variations of butter, nuts and flour in France.



Paris - Provins Costuming

Our second day in Paris was spent at a medieval festival in the town of Provins.

How lucky we were, to land there the week-end of their two day festival.

“The tickets are half-price if you wear a costume,” said Catherine.

But”, she continued, “I just couldn’t see packing costumes all the way through Norway, Sweden and into Amsterdam, to save the money on the tickets.”

A wonderful festival.

"The equivalent of the Calgary Stamplede, but set in Medieval times", said Eric, laughing.

Here the kids are with the court jester, just as we entered the city walls of Provins.

And a walking troup of musicians playing 16th century instruments had just walked down the street in front of us.

There were people dressed in the costumes of every walk of life: kings, queens, knights, satyrs, beasts, yoemen, monks, and pilgrims.

In one corner of the village was the simulation of a leper colony, one of whom you see here with the kids.

In the now empty moat, on the outside of the city. were the tents of people hawking their country wares.

“And inside the city walls, there was a small village: potters, rope makers, black smiths, and even a chain mail specialist, making head dresses.

Catie, Rebecca, and yes, even I tried on that head dress.

The chain male maker was in a booth of his own, as was the herb specialist, the basket weaver, and the potter, turning dishes on a wheel operated with his feet.

The felt maker was carding her wool, then stretching it out on the table and then pouring hot water over it.

To put on the head dress, we had to first put on a small white bonnet to make slipping the hat over our heads a little easier.

Tom stood behind a shirt of the chain mail.

There was no time to climb into it, but a little crouching makes it look as though it is his.

And it is in one of the vendor's stalls that Tom decided to spend his money.

A beautiful medieval dagger.

"A fabulous instrument to peel potatoes with," I told him.

The rope maker had 4 smaller ropes, ready to twist into a larger one.

The ropes were stretched on a form and at either end, some turned the ropes, either clock-wise, or counter clockwise until the 4 ropes were turned into one large one.

Other fair-goers were involved as well, each holding one of the ropes before the twistng began.

A small boy with billowing shirt sleeves was helping.

His shirt got caught in between the four ropes and soon he was yelling, “Stop. Help.”

He was being twisted into the rope.


The process could not be reversed far enough to get him out and so they worked on slipping him right out of his shirt.

You will see Catherine and Rebecca laughing at the antics of all of this.

“Not funny,” the naked-chested boy cried out as he ran for the safety of one of the medieval tents nearby, to the laugher that could not be stifled by all around him.

Funny to everyone but him.

We watched horses and riders gallop in a ring as a narrator told some of the myths of Provins.

Catherine's and Eric's 18th anniversary was celebrated that day as we walked along.

Their family enjoyed playing ancient games in a small clearing outside of the city walls.

They walked on stilts -- all of them, even Eric.

And I decided to bring along my medieval costume should I be in France and at this festival
another year.

Not, I think, as dressed here, though.

Something different for me next time.


Paris - The Eiffel Tower

When the Jarvis family got to the plaza of the Eiffel Tower the adults diversified into 3 lines – one to ask the about the price and timing of the walk up the tower and 2 of us in separate line-ups to find tickets that would take us up the elevators.

“Twenty minutes to walk to the first level. Forty-five minutes to wait in the line that will take you up to the first level,” I heard the attendant say to Catherine.

I was in the line to go up the tower in the elevator.

I wasn’t going to wait 45 minutes in the line-up while the rest of the Jarvis family made it up the tower in 20 minutes.

The man lifted the barrier line aside slightly and I ducked under it, letting me go with the Jarvis’s on our walk up the tower.

“Are you sure you can make it,” said Eric.

“Only 300 steps to the first level,” coached Tom as he would run ahead up the steps and then come back down them to check on how we were doing.

“One step at a time,” I kept thinking, at the same time reminding Catherine that for coffee breaks at the library I used to ascend and descend stairs, so I was sure I could manage that walk.

I wouldn't have missed that delicous burn that comes to the upper thighs on such a walk for anything. The number of steps is debatable, but from the way I am leaning onto the rail for suppport, I am guessing the approximate number would be 600 for me, -- considerably more for Tom who ran each flight going up the tower, both up and then down to check on how the adults were doing.

Catie had something else on her mind on her climb.

She had seen a hawker on the square, selling a mechanical bird that would fly.

Every 20 steps or so up the tower, she would remind Catherine, “Don’t forget. I want to buy that bird when we get back down to the bottom of the tower.”

And Catherine would assure her, “Don’t worry, I will remember.”

“O.K.,” said her mother when our feet had descended the last of the stairwells and we were on terra firma again. “Now is the time to barter.”

And we went off to find the hawker with the mechanical birds.

“Fifteen euros,” said that man who was wearing an umbrella hat.

Catie said only shook her head.

“Twelve,” he continued.

Still she shook her head.

The hawker looked at her mother and dad.

They shook their head at him.

“It is your money, Catie. You decide,” they both said as she struggled with the problem of to buy or not to buy.

“Eight,” he said.

Catherine leaned over to see what Catie’s resistance to the price was, given that she had been dying to buy that object on every stair case level as she climbed the Eiffel Tower.

She was so nervous.

“I don’t have the change to give him,” she whispered back to her mother.

“Don’t worry. Eric can help you with the change,” said Catherine and the deal was made.

The vendor shot away as soon as he had his money.

His exit speed alerted Catherine to a scam.

She saw the package had already been opened and that it was missing some vital parts.

She grabbed Catie’s hand whose feet were now barely touching the ground as Catherine was dragging her across the square behind her.

She was leaving the rest of us stunned where we stood and saying to Catie, “We are going to have him put this together for us.”

Catherine was whipping across the plaza after the hawker.

“No,” he said, when she caught up to him and said to him, “Please put this together for us, or give us another package.

“Yes,” she insisted. “You put this one together or give us another.”

“No,” again he said.

By the time we got over there the conversation between them had heightened in intensity.

“You, don’t understand. Go away,” he said. “The police are watching us and they will take me away. You don’t know how hard this is for us.”

“I do undertand.” Catherine was at her finest, firmly insisting to him that she understood but in her best French, also saying, “You have taken the money of a child. Give it back.”

Of course she was speaking in French, though she is a very reticent French speaker.

I could only understand the fire of her intensity of her words, “C’est l’argent d’une enfant,” she repeated over and over again to him.

He buckled, took the damaged package back and tossed another package at Catherine’s feet before slipping away into the crowd.

Catherine nonchalantly picked it up, gave it to Catie, and they walked away, hand in hand.

Problem resolved.

In the evening we sat at the park by the church, the bird now assembled and flying through the air.

Maybe you can see the red airplane there at about Catie's shoulder level.

Other children in the park stood by and watched Catie played with her fabulous purchase of the day.

A local comic was making Eric and me laugh so loudly.

You can see him there behind Rebecca and Tom. They are still playing at the statue of the head, the ear and the hand. The kids are tucked between the hand and the head and the comic has slipped up behind them to scare them. He must have let them see him approach -- otherwise one of them would have lept off of the statue in fright.

His costume was a simple red knit tam and a red nose that he would put on and off.

He would then walk behind people strolling through the park, unseen by them, a red bulb on his nose, imitating their gait and gestures.

Five and six year olds would then follow the comic, walking behind him, imitating his imitation of the adult in front of him.

Eric and I could not contain our nervous laughter.

I said to him, “What is it that is making us laugh. We know he is mocking others, and we can’t stop ourselves from joining in on the pleasure of his antics. Look, he has the people he is imitating, dissolving in hysterics as well.”

Another lovely day.