Skip to content
Summer Flowers Depart + Tea & Toast In Spain + Voices in My Head

Summer Flowers Depart + Tea & Toast In Spain + Voices in My Head

Good Morning and Happy Fall from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island

October has a party; the leaves by hundreds came-
the chestnuts, oaks, and maples, and leaves of every name. 

-George Cooper

It is such a beautiful time of year, and we have been blessed with a lovely fall on Prince Edward Island. 

“Go, sit upon the lofty hill, And turn your eyes around, 
Where waving woods and waters wild 
Do hymn an autumn sound. 
The summer sun is faint on them— 
The summer flowers depart— 
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone, 
Except your musing heart.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Autumn

A big thank you for the photos below goes to Katherine MacLaine, our talented graphic designer and photographer. For more photo beauty check out her Gardens of Hope Blog.  

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

 "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it." ~ George Eliot

"Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?" ~ Hal Borland

Tea & Toast

A few months ago, I shared an idea about starting a blog called “Tea & Toast” and requested personal stories sharing the joys of food, family or friends around the table, sort of speak. We received five or six stories, but summer came and “tea and toast” moved to the back burner on the stove of life. 

I wish to honour those so kind to send stories by sharing them in this blog over the next few weeks. 

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Story #1 ~ The Lowther Family..written by Linda Lowther

My mother, Emma McGraw, passed away three years ago today. Listing her gifts and qualities will be for another time as I want to describe how she is to be remembered extraordinarily. She passed on to me the importance of family, get-togethers, and special occasions.

When she left us, she also left us a modest inheritance. I wanted to do something unique with that inheritance, and it had to involve family. We have two sons, both married and each of them has two children.  So, there are ten of us. My husband and I have been lucky enough to travel. Our children and grandchildren are busy as young families tend to be and had never left North America. So, I decided we should blow that money on a big trip.

I asked each one of them where they would go if they had a chance. Answers varied from wherever there is no snow to European countries to anywhere you could see a real soccer game! (This comes from Jaxon, the youngest of the crew.)

On Christmas morning in 2018, the two families opened their gifts to discover, clue by clue, where I had chosen to take them. The first clue was a plane ticket. We would fly to Barcelona and spend some time in that magnificent city. Next, a guessing clue suggested that a boat might be involved, and they discovered that we would take a cruise that would take us to France, Italy and Malta and finish off back in Barcelona.

When I saw ideas for this blog, it brought me back to our first day in Barcelona. It was our oldest son’s birthday, and to celebrate, I had chosen to do a Catalan cooking class with a wonderful chef in her home in Barcelona. The two youngest boys were in charge of chopping and spiralizing the vegetables. The birthday boy oversaw dessert. Katie and William had their first taste of cava.  Ryan and Dianne peeled the artichokes. Melissa braved the onions. There was a lot of stirring, chopping, laughing, and tasting. 

In the end, and dozens of meatballs later, we shared a large table and ate food as we had never eaten before. We shared what was going on in our lives, and the chefs told us stories about Spain and Catalan culture. Chris blew out some candles, and we toasted Emma, for, without her, this would not have been the beginning of the most memorable adventure our family could ever have. Food and families around tables are the best!

P.S.: As for Jaxon, he saw Barcelona FC play soccer in the Camp Nou stadium. And, if you know anything about soccer, seeing Masi score a goal was a bonus!

Father & Son


The Family

Thank you sharing this with us, Linda. Loves ya! 

Local News 

P.E.I. students intervene as crows bully owl. CBC Story here. 

For Classical Music Fans. 

The XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition was held from 2 to 23 October 2021 in Warsaw. Initially scheduled for 2020, the quinquennial competition was twice postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you wish to watch all the performances from the competition, you can do so here.

Eighty-seven pianists from 18 countries took part in the main stage of the competition, which was divided into three stages with 87, 45 and 23 participants each, and a final with twelve pianists. 

The first prize was awarded to Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu of Canada.

Below is Bruce Liu’s final performance. If you cannot take the time to watch, please take the time to sit in a comfortable chair or lie down, close your eyes and just listen. The beauty of the sound brought tears to my eyes. 

The last few weeks availed more time to spend with my family. And we have had lots of laughs thanks to the antics displayed by Millie. 

I didn’t capture any on video, but you can get a little fix of the joy dogs can bring by watching the video below. 

Thank you for spending the time with me today. I hope your visit was pleasurable. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce + Millie

ps. Your Morning Smile

When I look at chocolate, I hear two voices in my head.

The first one says, "You need to eat the chocolate.”

The second one says, "You heard. Eat the chocolate."

Previous article Those Who Find Beauty + WE Can Do This + Feel Sorry for Him?
Next article A Year of Wonder + Three Day Road + Whoops with Words


Linda - November 20, 2021

Love the Chopin competition message. Who could keep from laughing with the dogs! Made my day.

Jack & Lillian Paul - November 1, 2021

Thank you Bruce for another great Blog. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of my favourite poets… I also loved the story of the Lowther’s trip and the dog video.
Waiting for the next one..
Lillian Paul

Kay - October 31, 2021

Beautiful pictures, beautiful music and loved the dogs!! Thanks for sharing & as always enjoy your blog.

Lynn - October 31, 2021

Hi Bruce,
thanks so much for your blog once again. I loved the story about the kids rescuing the owl. And of course, the pet videos were great! I keep telling my husband we should get a dog, but each time I get the same response. So far no dog.
I watched the Bruce Liu piece a week or so ago, sent by a friend. That was lovely break from the rush of everyday. I highly recommend it to your readers.
Thanks for all you do for us Saturday PEI blog readers!

Julie MacKenzie - October 30, 2021

I loved the blog today. I enjoyed the family story about the Lowther’s trip. I also enjoyed the 2 videos. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading it every weekend.

Mary E. Olsen - October 30, 2021

Bruce, I so enjoy your Blogs. Thank you for taking your time to do this. Many blessings to you and your family.

Sharon Kalich - October 30, 2021

So good to see Millie again…
also that you are spending time with family. Making these memories and holding them close are what makes life special.

Victoria Wienke - October 30, 2021

Loved the Lowther family story! It reminded me of our family doing a similar idea using an inheritance from my Dad to take our family on a trip to the Bohemian countries. Our two girls and son-in-law laughed because they felt all our vacations were history lessons as my husband was a Social Studies teacher. However this was a phenomenal trip and gave them the opportunity to taste foods they wouldn’t normally have at home but also experience the history of their forefathers! Love your blog Bruce…keep up the good work!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields