On My Parents, Tea & Autumn Leaves

One of the best things about living at Woodward’s is that it’s easier for my parents to visit me. They know the location of Woodward’s well, as many people do, and they go to Chinatown regularly, so popping by is stress free and convenient. Lately, it seems the frequency of parental visits have increased to perhaps once or twice a week; and while this may sound like too much for some people,  I enjoy their visits, typically about an hour long. This post features an afternoon visit with my parents.

1. My parents never buzz up. They phone me when they are a few minutes away from the entrance, and then I go downstairs to meet them. If you ever see an older Chinese couple standing outside Woodward’s, it’s a sign that I’ll be down shortly.

2. They always bring food. Today they brought over some persimmons, black cod, frozen homemade wontons (these are exceptional), bought steamed dumplings, tofu, blanched soup bones, and one third of a winter melon she grew. Mom excels at making herbal as well as “cooling” soups.  At present, I am working on upping my soup making abilities, and I  suspect Mom is relieved. She thinks J. and I are unhealthy because we do not drink soup regularly.

Above photo shows some of items in the care pack.

Mom: Why are you taking a photo of this?

Zoe: I don’t know.

3. Mom inspects the kitchen. A few weeks ago she gave me a few chayotes she grew, and I had one left.  She said now that it has sprouted, it won’t be good to eat. Instead, I should keep it at room temperature and plant it in February or March. I am giving this chayote seedling to my friend Marie. I don’t want to grow anything except basil.

Mom saw me rinsing my strawberry shaped tea infuser made of silicone.

Mom: What is that?

Zoe: It holds tea leaves and works like a tea bag for one cup.

Mom: Is it made of plastic? Yes, of course it’s made of plastic. You shouldn’t use it!  You never know what negative effects can come from plastic. What’s wrong with having some tea leaves at the bottom of your cup? Why do you use it?

Zoe: I don’t know.

Of course she is right. I’ll probably never use this charming tea infuser again, and if I do, I’ll have to ask myself: what IS wrong with having tea leaves at the bottom of a cup? I am reminded of how my grandfather took tea. He put leaves directly into a thick glass, poured in water, kept it covered, and sipped it throughout the day, refilling water when needed. How simple! Why do I need a plastic strawberry shaped infuser? Truly, I don’t know.

4. Dad sits in the armchair in the corner. This is the best seat in the house because one can see the whole room and both the North and East views outside. If J. happens to be home,  Dad talks to him about current events or internet related topics. Today J. was at work. Dad dozed off for 15-20 minutes while Mom went through my kitchen, and supervised me while I started the winter melon soup.

5. Mom & Dad look out the window. Today they noticed the wind turbine on Grouse Mountain and challenged each other to see the individual propellers. The Eye of the Wind is a 65 metre tall wind turbine which doubles as an observation deck.  It is also a deadly bird and bat killer.  See the Vancouver Sun article Grouse Mountain wind turbine threatens birds, bats, April 25, 2010.

It costs $65 to visit the observation deck. $40 general admission to Grouse Mountain and $25 for The Eye of the Wind Tour. Find more information at Grouse Mountain.

I’ll go with my parents someday. I’ll take photos of Woodward’s from the observation deck. Wouldn’t that be wild?!

This short YouTube video about The Eye of the Wind by Grouse Mountain is enjoyable:


The next subject of “I spy with my little eye” was this car in the parking lot across the street. From my living room window, the windshield looked to me as if it had been smashed. My father adamantly disagreed, saying it was a trick of reflection. I was getting annoyed because I was so certain! Luckily, I said nothing because, as you can see, he was right.

Today was one of the days Mount Baker was visible.  Let your eyes begin with the moss covered rooftops and tree-lined streets, and then see the many  shades of autumnal colours in East Vancouver and beyond.  Solemnly, Winter sits in the distance.

Above is a photo of Andy Livingstone Park. This is my first season of fall living at Woodward’s. How marvelous it is to watch neighbourhood leaves turn deep reds and rich golds!

6. My parents always leave abruptly. We chatted some more, there was a bit of nagging and then they went to Chinatown. The End.


One Response to On My Parents, Tea & Autumn Leaves

  1. colene November 5, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    your parents sound very much like mine, especially the soup and the questions from your mom….but aren’t asian parents mostly the same? 🙂

Leave a Reply