It rained, most of the time I was there.

West coast rain is powerful: the air turning to liquid, the colours an impressionist palette of blues and greys. You find your resolve melting, your initiative fading. It’s fragrant; monotonous; soulful. If you’re around it long enough, it changes you.

For some reason we didn’t cook as much as we usually do. I made a gazpacho, but we ended up eating my her leftover (ambrosial) vegetable soup, while watching a cheezey Hollywood movie and sipping on homemade wine. The next day, the rain continued to pour, so I demanded, and got, potato pancakes. My mother’s are wondrously crisp and flavourful: lots of oil, lots of onions. Plenty of sour cream to go with.


Then there was my mother’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. For me, a dedicated pie-maker, it can almost make me cry, to have someone else serve me a wedge-shaped piece of heaven. If I can get her to share the recipe for her streusel topping I’ll pass it on here.

What are a mother and her grown-up daughter to do, in all that rain? We each had our novels. We watched hours and hours of Food Network: I logged three reruns of Iron Chef!

I took her to Dockside Grill, for chowder and crabcakes. The chowder was mediocre, but the crabcakes were crunchy and soft in all the right places, and deliciously seafoody. The rain washed over the marina as we ate, and made the boats look vivid and innocent.


The rain can be beautiful. The rain can test your patience. The rain can make you go over things you regret, cause you to miss your lover, make you forget the best parts of who you are.

The sun comes out eventually. I hopped a ferry to Sidney Spit and walked along miles of sand and horizon, grateful for all of it, rain and sun.


My mother made cherry perogies for me to take home.


  1. Hahaha, NO WAY! That chowder is AMAZING! Full of so much seafood, its like an ocean in there. Easily my favourite thing to get a Dockside Grill in Sidney!

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