Darlene Foster's Blog

September Sunshine, a Fair and an Island Visit

Posted on: September 19, 2014

We have been experiencing a phenomenal fall here on the west coast of Canada. There seems to be no end to the sunshine, and I have been making the most of it. Since I have cut my hours down to half time at work, it means more beach reading time for me!


A fun event every year for me is The Mennonite Fair. I work for Mennonite Central Committee in their Employment Services Division and volunteer at the annual fall fair which is a huge fund raiser for MCC. I love the atmosphere; everyone working hard toward the same goal with such compassion. It is the best example of team work I have ever encountered, and I’m grateful to be part of it.

Amazing quilts hand made

Amazing quilts hand made by the Mennonite women




I bought a hand made rag rug for my house in Spain

And then there was the food! I stocked up on German baking to take home and lined up for a feast of vereniki (growing up we called them perogies but they are the same thing and soooo good) All a wonderful reminder of my German – Canadian childhood. I returned home with my many purchases, full and happy.



Next stop, a visit to my daughter on her island in the sun. It takes two ferries and a small boat to get me there but it’s worth it.

Leaving Nanaimo Harbour

Leaving Nanaimo Harbour

Approaching Gabriola Island

Approaching Gabriola Island

The boat dock to take me over to Mudge Island in the background

The boat dock to take me over to Mudge Island in the background

My daughter and I attended a excellent talk by Gabriola artist Sheila Norgate called “I never met a blank canvas I didn’t like”. It was enlightening and motivating for both of us. We chatted, barbequed a huge salmon, I watched her water her lovely garden, spent hours on the beach, chatted and ate some more. I always feel so well rested after spending a few days with my daughter on Mudge Island.

Daughter's kiwi patch

Daughter’s kiwi patch

garden scarecrow, wearing one of my old skirts

Garden scarecrow, wearing one of my old skirts

a sink full of parsley

A sink full of parsley

Enjoying one of many Mudge Island beaches

Enjoying one of many Mudge Island beaches

A mermaid at the beach

A mermaid at the beach

My sleeping buddy "Gordon Lightfoot"

My sleeping buddy “Gordon Lightfoot”

An iced tea and a vege wrap at the Skol Pub before heading back to my real life

An ice tea and a vege wrap at the pub before heading back to my life in the city

I am so lucky to be able to enjoy this sunshine, work for a great organization and spend time with my daughter in such a picturesque setting. How is your September so far?

29 Responses to "September Sunshine, a Fair and an Island Visit"

September is going quickly. Between getting tax returns out the door and trying to enjoy the cooler weather, I’m not getting much else done.


This is a busy time for many. This is the first September in a long time when I’ve had time to relax and do some things I enjoy.

What a happy surprise to stumble across you here! I’m pretty sure I spoke with you and your daughter at “I never met a blank canvas I didn’t like.” Lovely to come across your work here. Hope we meet again. Cheers!

Thanks so much for stopping in. Yes I do remember talking to you at the presentation. I do hope we keep in touch.

What a gorgeous spot!

It is a beautiful place. I’m lucky to be able to enjoy it from time to time.

Wonderful weather your way. Ours has been pleasant as well. Thank you for all the gorgeous pictures. Nice to see what you’re talking about. The Mennonite quilts are awesome. When I daughter married years ago, my mom traveled all over to buy her one and finally did from the Mennonite community.
I can’t remember the last time I had a lazy day, just to stroll, talk and lunch. Sigh. September continues to zip by. 🙂

I’m sure your daughter appreciated that quilt and still has it. I seldom give myself the pleasure of a relaxing day so it was a treat.Where has September gone??

Yes, my daughter still has the quilt but it has been put away. I don’t know what she’s saving it for. 🙂

Hello Darlene, it looks as though you are having a wonderful September. I love the picture of your toes (and book) on the beach that is my kind of perfect day. Not quite warm enough for doing that in the UK at the moment although we are enjoying some good weather. Gordon Lightfoot is incredibly sweet and the pictures of Mudge Island make me long to go on holiday. Happy September, Barbara.

Thanks! I count myself lucky to have a daughter living in such a pleasant spot to visit. Gordon Lightfoot is adorable.

So glad you’ve cut down your hours at work. So did I 4 years ago and I haven’t regretted it, as it means I have more time to do the things I really like, such as reading, crocheting, gardening, cooking, walking the dog and looking after my family.

Your pictures are lovely and the Scarecrow wearing your old skirt is definitely a winner.

We’ve had a very warm September here too, better than August in France! 🙂

So pleased you enjoyed the pictures. The scarecrow wearing my skirt surprised me. Warm Septembers are always a nice surprise.

I learned so much more about you, Darlene, in this post, including the fact that you work at MCC. Before we became friends online, I published a blog post entitled http://plainandfancygirl.com/2013/05/01/loving-hands-homes-teddy-bears/ You’ll see the MCC logo on there and the role of other family members in extending their outreach.

Not surprisingly, the quilts are lovely!

I checked out the post and enjoyed it. I have found through my uncle and his wife,a Mennonite girl, and by working for MCC that you are so right when you say ‘at the heart of all the giving is love, pure and simple’. Your family has done some wonderful things in the act of giving through love. I loved the picture of your dear mom working on a quilt.

Lucky you – getting to enjoy time on Marcelle’s own little corner of paradise.

I would enjoy spending time with Marcelle anywhere but am truly lucky to be able to spend time with her on her island.

What a lovely place, and so restful! I’m glad “Gordon Lightfoot” didn’t hog your side of the bed, too. 🙂 I love the scarecrow, and mermaid, too.

Gordon Lightfoot was happy to snuggle up with me but gave me plenty of room. Of course he is still a kitten. I thought you would like the scarecrow. I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a picture of an owl sitting on a branch by the deck. You would have loved that.

I don’t see owls unless they are featured somewhere in captivity. I would have loved that!

Glad you had fun! 😀

I try to have fun what ever I’m doing!

Don’t know how I missed this lovely post. I would love to attend a Mennonite Fair. The quilts must be gorgeous like the one you showed. And the food… We have a lot of Amish in NE Ohio. And a community not too far from me.

I love your trip to your daughter’s Island. What fun the two of you have together. You share similar interests.

I read Lois Lowry’s entires series again before I watched the movie. Will pass them to my granddaughter in a few years.

My daughter and I do have a good time whenever we are together. Although our life styles are very different we do share many of the same interests and thoughts. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to read The Giver. I have yet to see the movie but I was so impressed by Lois Lowry’s book.

I hope you’ll read the other three. They are connected to the entire story.

I must do that. It did leave me hanging.

Darlene, what a lovely post this is!
The little Church of the Brethren I attended with my Brethren grandmother in Missouri was set out in the country, and the Mennonite congregation held their services there in the early Sunday afternoons after the Brethren congregation finished their morning services. So the quilts and home made jams and carved children’s toys and puzzles were familiar to me, especially in early October when the two groups also held a combined congregation Autumn chili supper and hymn sing.
Thanks for the pictures and details of your life!

I’m pleased you were able to identify with this post. What wonderful memories you must have of attending the little country church with your grandmother. I love how they shared the building. Tonight we are having piroshky for dessert. (i froze some of the baking I purchased)

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