Day 5: summer solstice

First day of summer!
Disgusting mosquito bites on my fingers from the previous day were not pleasant to wake up to – they worsened as the day progressed. My daughter and SIL thought they might horsefly bites, nope, no chunks, just the raised mark always left by mosquitoes. Not spider bites either. I put After Bite on them and hoped for the best. I caught a ride mid-morning with a neighbour then a bus downtown. Some days heading out before 7:00am is just not going to happen.

In my search for summer solstice activities, which I did not find, I stumbled across the Aboriginal Day opening drumming and remarks ceremony. Tucked in the shade, leaning against a rock wall, I could watch and listen comfortably. At one point I ventured into the sun to find the Sacred fire where I was smudged with sage. The fire pit photo was taken with permission. I hope I recalled what I was told correctly; over the head to clear negativity of yesterday, eyes and ears to see and hear only the positive, the mouth to speak positive words, heart to send positive energy and health to others. I saw many people touch the heart twice, so I did also. Extra blessings.

One of two sets of drummers. Opening ceremony.
 

Out of the activities I saw two drew my attention. A jingle dancer who invited others to join her. Energetic and full of grace, we can learn a lot about how the word inclusion should be used. I think it was important to have this dance of joy, welcome, happiness, and inclusion before the more solemn speeches. The jingle dance belongs to women and performed at Pow Wows.

Jingle dancer. Whenever she moved throughout the day we could hear her. It was rather comforting.
I do not know who this is, she joined the jingle dance. Her foot is poised to step, and her poise was so elegant.
 

A moment of silence was requested for the Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls before the speaker, whose name I did not catch, spoke about the Faceless Dolls Project. She was eloquent, non-accusatory, present. To date, there are 1200 dolls representing known cases of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. However, as the speaker empathized, “It is never just about the numbers.” 

One of I believe 8 panels of Faceless Dolls at the event

B

By noon my growling stomach, and the increased heat from the sun, drew me away to Apsaras Angkor for green curry chicken. I had to count my pennies – except we no longer use pennies – to ensure I had enough money after having to buy a small bottle of acetaminophen after forgetting to down my carefully laid out ibuprofen before leaving the house in the morning. Quick service, my choice must be a favourite of patrons. The place was hopping with regulars and tourists. Lunch was very good spicy, lots of rice to cut down the heat. My only complaint was having a cloth napkin – which I prefer – for sopping a sweating brow! 

Starving pandas. Like me they enjoy new places and meals.
 

An hour later, on heading back past the celebrations I discovered lunch was being as part of the festivities. Well of course it was I muttered to myself – sharing food in the myriad indigenous cultures of Canada has nearly always been present whenever I attend functions. I took photos. A simple, but most likely satisfying, bannock and vegetarian chili topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese. Oh well. At least my lunch was tasty.

A call from my eldest daughter meant hanging out downtown longer. She was rushing off from work to see my SIL receive a promotion. I later found out she was given the honour of placing the pin. After asking at least three times, and seeing it written down, I think the promotion was to Master Warrant Officer, Airforce. Do not quote me on that.

I headed to Crave for some reading. A stupid woman – actually downright rude – had her feet on the table where I headed to sit. Rather than cause a scene, while still maintaining my right to sit there, I said I wanted to use my side of the table. She would have had to pull it closer to her to use as a footrest. Heavy sucker, the table measures probably 3 1/2’x 3 1/2’ or more. Feet removed (read that as how I wanted to deal with it) the woman reluctantly pushed the table closer to me. I still cannot believe anyone would put their feet on a table in public. My daughter met me after the short ceremony. (The table hog left soon after) With all the rushing to make the event she had not eaten her lunch so had one of Crave’s fabulous cinnamon buns – topped with pecans. As these sinful treats are not anywhere near my allowable eating radar I was happy to gobble up her last small morsel.
To celebrate the promotion we had dinner at a local country pub. My grandson had gone off with his friends for the night – last day of school. I ate two pesto wings – I never have pub food – and had fish tacos, all pretty good. My travel companions refused to talk to me after I left them behind. Lunch and dinner out in one day is not healthy for pandas – nor for me.

2.75 bus; 17.00 lunch; 5.65 acetaminophen (to carry with me when pain is really bad – or on the way to bring so); 2.50 (borrowed from other daughter) coffee; 11,200 steps. My knees were grateful.

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