Coming Home

Yesterday, before my flight home to Vancouver, I woke up thinking of a song that hadn’t entered my mind in many years. Even though I am not particularly religious, I love good country gospel music, where passionate belief has sparked such creative beauty.

“When I Sing for Him” is a song by Porter Wagoner, sung by a young Dolly Parton. I’m not a comfortable flyer anymore (even though I was when I was younger) and I was hoping that the lyrics weren’t somehow prophetic about the end of the flight:

When I sing for him… in person, “Hallelujah”
When I move to my new home, oh “Hallelujah”

Luckily, we were in good hands, with the captain noting that he and the co-pilot had a combined 75 years of flying experience. Even so, during the turbulence, I made myself focus on some calming lyrics from the song “Lullaby” by Shawn Mullins (who actually has an interesting story, being a “one-hit wonder” who is a working musician):

Everything’s gonna be alright
Rockabye, rockabye

The sky when we left Toronto was a brilliant blue.

(Funny… whenever I sit over the wing, I always think of that old Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner, but no gremlin appeared this time!)

Coming into Vancouver, though, we were astonished to see the smoke in the air from the forest fires.

The air smells of smoke and we can’t see the mountains at all. There is an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver, with a health index of 8, with 10+ being the most dangerous. At 8, healthy individuals are advised to “consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors”. I wiped one of our kitchen counters today and after having the windows open, the cloth came away black!

There are currently 600 fires burning in British Columbia, with a lot of new fires caused by lightening strikes. All the rain was in Toronto last week, where there was flooding downtown, but BC has been really dry. Still, even though there are more fires than last year, the area that has been burning is smaller than that record year. Here’s my post from around this time last year.

I really hope we get some rain here, to help douse the fires around the province. In the meantime, I’m going back to work in the morning, and at least I get to work in an air conditioned office away from the smoke. I can’t imagine what it’s like where the fires are actually burning.

Now that I’m back, I’m hoping to have a little more time to blog about my vacation adventures, the books I read, and the movies I saw. And also, of course, to finish the RA Fan A to Z challenge!

49 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. I love your pic over the wing! I always sit there. I read a long time ago that the wing is the safest place to sit on an airplane. I hear you about the flying jitters–my trouble is on take-offs, once the plane is airborne I am ok. The best remedy I have found is audio ie Juliet and Romeo which I still haven’t finished yet. I think the soothing voice transports me and my mind is concentrating on what he is saying and not what is happening around me. Hope Toronto was great! I love this post because you put a lot of things in proper perspective. I too sit in an air conditioned office and don’t have to worry about forest fires where I live and consider myself extremely lucky given other people’s situations now a days. It was a nice little wake up call to not engage in pity partying which admittedly I had been the last few days. Looking forward to hearing about your vacation adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somehow I couldn’t figure how to choose seats, so we negotiated with the person beside us to trade the aisle seat for the window seat. I listened to a bit of Dan Stevens reading Frankenstein, but his voice doesn’t have quite the same effect on me as Armitage’s.
      Toronto was fun but busy. It was great to visit with family, because I don’t get to see them often enough.
      The smoke has started to clear a bit here, but it all depends on the wind and on how many fires are burning.
      Glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you are feeling more positive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for that, I got a call a couple of days ago that really threw me for a loop. I almost always sit in a window seat. I was just wondering if you’ve seen the series Broadchurch which I get on US Netflix just fabulous David Tennant and Olivia Coleman are sooo great together although he has a thick Scottish accent so I’m straining to understand what he is saying sometimes. I just started Season 3. Glad Toronto was great.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I can’t sleep so I am perusing around and stumble on Gracepoint which is the Americans take on Broadchurch done by FOX w David Tennant curious if you’ve seen this and if you liked it? I think I’m gonna give it a go bec I like his personality as an actor and I like Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad..

            Liked by 1 person

              • Yep but Tennant apparently blew away the other competition and I would be curious how he stacks up w Anna Gunn plus there’s 10
                episodes shorter than Broadchurch in running
                time and apparently from reviews on line it
                deviates some from Broadchurch S 1. It is set
                in coastal California which if it is anything like
                the scenery in Big Little Lies will be gorgeous.

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              • Oh no but I just googled it and it is written by
                Mike Bartlett! I’ll have to see if it is available
                on US Netflix or Hulu but I’ll let you know
                how Gracepoint goes …it’s available in US
                Amazon so I’ll see if I can rent it via the link at. at the donations page bec I haven’t done
                that yet and I’m not gonna get the Guy or Claude doggie RAPS bec bids are outta my
                pocketbook reach unfortunately 😫

                Liked by 1 person

                • Oh yeah I forgot that was Mike Bartlett. It’s on Cdn Netflix, but I guess it’s not always the same. It’s 2 seasons, and the kid is the actor who plays the young Uhtred in the TV show of The Last Kingdom. I haven’t watched that yet, but The Lords of the North audiobook that RA narrated is part of that series.
                  I haven’t even managed to put any bids on anything yet. I have two household birthdays this week, so I’ve been too busy.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • So I finished Broadchurch really wishing that Hardy and Miller had gotten together in the end kept waiting for it and I know I know it would have been cliched and not fit in the mold of the series but the die hard romantic in me kept hoping. I’m gonna start on Gracepoint which is available on Amazon US but not prime so I’ll test the waters first and let you know.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I kind of liked that their relationship evolved into one of supportive friendship, though. It seemed to really fit the characters. Yes, definitely let me know about Gracepoint.

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              • I sure will! I am about 4 episode in now and I have to say I like Tennant’s American accent. Emmett Carver is more animated and the interaction between him and Anna Gunn’s Ellie Miller is more sparring and spicy. Olivia Colman’s Ellie was much more maternal toward Hardy so I like the contrast so far. The same writing team/showrunner and director who did Broadchurch did Gracepoint and had Gracepoint been renewed for a second season I don’t know how any of them could have bounced between California or Canada and Cornwall. Logistically it would have been a nightmare.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Interesting. Although British shows don’t necessarily film annually and they often have shorter seasons, so maybe something could have been worked out. By the way, I just found out that Gracepoint was actually filmed here in British Columbia!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Oh wow that is cool.( I’m trying to go to Vancouver next Spring for a few days, fingers crossed.) The visuals on Gracepoint are majestic but I like the Cornwall scenery better and I won’t divulge some of the other camera work if you do end up watching Gracepoint. I did some digging and the reason it wasn”t renewed was bec it got poor ratings and many thought it was a rip off of Broadchurch which was huge in 2013. Tennant and crew filmed Gracepoint between seasons. I apparently was so out of touch with reality then bec I had never heard of Broadchurch and I haven’t watched network tv (aka Fox) since Seinfeld and ER days in the late 90’s. I think Gracepoint is riveting and I hope you end up watching it so we can compare notes. I would love to know what you think of the two actors who play the parents in the American version. Also Broadchurch only got 8 episodes bec that is what BBC commissioned whereas Fox said go for 10, maybe gave Chibnall and Strong more laissez-faire on Gracepoint than on Broadchurch. I had read Chibnall said after S3 of Broadchurch no more.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Are you coming here just for a pleasure trip? Cornwall is beautiful, so rugged. I always loved the scenery on the original Poldark show. I only just watched Broadchurch fairly recently, too. I don’t watch a lot of network TV either. Another really great series, by the way, is The Sinner, which Cdn Netflix just added. Jessica Biel is amazing in it — very raw, no makeup, etc.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes I am trying to get my sister to go with me during her Spring break from her school in TX but not sure yet. Vancouver has been on my travel bucket list for a long time and I went to Montreal in March (there’s a story behind that which I’ll have to share w/you soon) for a few days as a get a way trip. Cold and snowy but I loved it. My dad is a huge Poldark fan we were discussing that show last night on the phone. I’ll have to try the Sinner-Jessica got a lot of rave reviews and an Emmy nod I believe for it although I was never a Seventh Heaven fan. I think Netflix US also is carrying it. I still have Doctor Foster (your recom.) to watch so a lot is in the queue (sp?). Looking forward to seeing Toronto pics, I love that city also!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Well, if you wind up out my way, maybe we can meet for coffee or something. Montreal is nice too. I was born near there and spent some of my childhood years there. Is your dad a fan of the new or old Poldark? My problem is, that after watching the old series as a teenager and then reading the books, I have a hard time seeing Aiden Turner as Ross and Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza. The Sinner is great. I watched Seventh Heaven a lot when I was on mat leave with my second son and my first son was at school. Kind of a guilty pleasure. Of course, now it’s not on TV with the scandal about Stephen Collins — that wrecked it for me.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Sue you are so sweet! I would have coffee w you anytime!👍😀my dad likes the new Poldark series a lot. As for Stephen Collins that
                      is such a shame. I remember him from the Indiana Jones inspired Tales of the Golden Monkey which my sis and I used to watch in
                      junior high school. Apparently he blamed his
                      inappropriate sexual behavior toward three female minors on an older woman doing the same to him🤮🤭so there went his career aka the Kevin Spacey pre #metoo.
                      I love Montreal was just a tad cold for me in March. Did get to see Ottawa finally for a day trip.

                      Like

  2. Is it always as bad with forest fires this time of year in BC? That photo is… scary…
    Glad to hear you arrived safely. I totally feel you re. being uncomfortable with flying. Exactly the same with me. I really, *really* need to go on that fear-of-flying seminar, because this summer I experienced panic attacks in the plane for the first time. It took everything I had to keep myself together in front of my daughter and my mother (who both are uncomfortable flyers, too). I hate this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s gotten worse the last few years. Climate change, they say, and there is speculation about the potential health effects even in the city of breathing smoky air for two to three weeks every summer.
      It’s so funny. I used to do a lot of travelling for work and I absolutely loved flying. Then suddenly something changed. I have fearful anticipation leading up to the travel, even. One flight, my anxiety was so high that I wanted to just open the airplane door and jump out mid flight to get it over with! Luckily, I seem to be in a period of relatively low anxiety and I was not too bad this time. It helped that the pilot mentioned the 75 years of experience. The flight to Toronto, there was a really nervous flyer behind me. The flight attendant was so good with her, reassuring her that the turbulence was normal and that he was still walking around and it was therefore not dangerous.

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      • It’s all highly irrational, but that doesn’t really help when one suffers from fear of flying. I have the same kind of development like you – used to love flying, am now avoiding it whenever I can. (Living on an island doesn’t help, though… no real alternative to planes.)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Did you ever see the movie French Kiss w Meg
      Ryan and Kevin Kline she takes a course to help
      her overcome her fear of flying at the beginning of the movie, is that kind of what
      you are referring to w fear of flying seminar?
      In the movie Kevin was the best remedy for
      the panic attack she gets when they are taking
      off mine luckily hasn’t gotten that bad. But
      the fear is very real!

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  3. I’m rather a nervous flyer so I’m with you on that!
    I was talking to my son today and my daugher-in-law’s sister and family are on evacuation alert. They live up North and there is a wildfire across the lake from them. Not good news to say the least! 😦 There is only one road out of their area so her brother who is a firefighter here told her they should leave NOW!! So scary!! The whole Province is on a State of Emergency! Fires everywhere and thunderstorms only with “dry” lightning! Not good 😦 And NO rain in sight, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s really scary! I’ve seen some pictures from up North. It seems amazing to me that big fires can be blazing beside large lakes, but those pictures show that they can. Hope your family stay safe. We usually think of thunder storms with rain, but unfortunately they are just bringing lightening.

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      • Thanks Sue. They did leave and are in now in Prince George where they thankfully have an apartment. Safe there so far but there are a few family members where they can stay down in the Lower Mainland if the situation deteriorates further. I sure hope they don’t lose their home but lives are more important than belongings.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I sure did! Went with two of my granddaughters and we all loved it! Great fun as we went for lunch first! We went to a theatre not far from here and they had the most amazing seats – the best I’ve ever sat in – more like really luxurious recliners! (although I’ve sat in similar ones) I felt like a little kid as it was so much bigger than me 😀

            Liked by 2 people

  4. This is what I associate with “Coming Home.” Maybe not a great association.

    I used to fly constantly — once or twice a month, transatlantically 4 times a year, but I have flown many fewer times since 2011 as the nature of my work changed. It was also my only really severe avoidable environmental “sin.” Now I think my last flights were to see Pilgrimage at the Tribeca FF in 2017. I don’t have any anxiety around it but I do dread it — the whole thing has become so much of a hassle in terms of ID, arrival times, hanging around, delays, pricing, etc., etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s true. My hubby came after I did and he forgot his picture ID, so he ended up missing his flight while he went home for his passport. The airline was great and got him on a flight an hour later, though.
      I’d forgotten how massive the Toronto airport is. Luckily I had allowed lots of time because just getting to the right aisle for check in and then to the gate was a huge amount of walking.

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      • yeah — I don’t like that airport. No place to wait, really. I was here once with then SO, now exSO, and we were very early because we wanted to have breakfast at the airport, but there was no place handy, so I said, we’ll just go through security and then have a coffee on the other side, but our fights funneled us in different directions (he was flying back to Germany) so we didn’t even get to say goodbye. (OTOH the Canadian health care system was excellent to him, so, no worries Toronto, I still love you and especially your Chinese and Indian food)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue, while we are on the David Tennant bus
    He did a movie w Rosamund Pike called
    Things We Did On Holiday (2014) set in Scotland that got rave reviews on Amazon US
    So I’m gonna try to watch that this week also
    So much for tackling my long reading list now🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen that movie. I watched a lot of him in Dr Who, with my younger son. And then he was just an amazing evil villain in the Jessica Jones series on Netflix.

      Like

          • Oh yeah she is great and I just finished the episode where Kilgrave forced her to play photographer and send him selfies of her and her look in them is just precious
            When he is sitting in that restaurant/bistro and yells “Everybody shut up!” I was just howling bec who’s not thinking that at some point and he is perusing Zillow looking for her childhood home which I only realized at the end of the episode! They do work well together !

            Liked by 1 person

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