wild strawberries today

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The wild strawberries are ripe.  Little splashes of red winking at us as Jasmine and I wandered on our walk today.

I used to pick wild strawberries and make jam.  It took hours to pick enough  to make even a few jars of jam and it was a labour of love for Mark who appreciated the effort and loved the jam. There was time.  Time to spend long afternoons picking wild strawberries, saskatoons, blueberries and after a hike up to the abandoned mine on the mountainside, prized huckleberries.

There was time.  In Hazelton we had two television stations…..on a good day.  Letters and updates – contact with friends and family came by way of letters in Box 84, South Hazelton. If we were home to answer the phone we did and if we weren’t home the phone just rang and rang. There were no voicemail messages, no robo calls, no text messages. Term papers were typed on a manual typewriter. There were no ear buds keeping us plugged in and it was just the quiet;  the sounds of the river, the birds and the occasional bear crashing through the woods in search of the same berries I was after.

Now my  phone is in my pocket on my walks and listen to CNN on my bluetooth hearing aids as I walk .  I snap pics of Jasmine just to text to Mark as he is at work.  I watch television shows chosen from hundreds of channels and movies on demand. Work follows me home with laptops and cell phones and doesn’t end with an 8 hour day.

Today my heart hurts because someone I knew only from television and books took his life.  We’ve become interconnected with strangers in intimate ways sharing dreams and sorrow in ways I never could have imagined all those years ago.

Today I am a bit scared at being called back for a second more intense MRI with all that can mean again in ways I never could have imagined all those years ago.

Today I feel frustration, helplessness and anger watching the shit-show the selfish, spoiled child running the USA is spreading around our world in ways I never could have imagined all those years ago.

I’m not saying it used to be a better place all those years ago, but there was time to pick wild strawberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cherish the company you keep

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Taking my ratty 2017 calendar down and thumbing through the months is a time for reflection. The charity and minor hockey raffle tickets I purchased in support with draw dates long gone and no phone call. The receipts for my hair appointments paper clipped to the side and the dental appointment cards to be moved into next spring.

Never mind resolving to lose the muffin top; that’s important sure, but instead  I take stock of where I am and who I am.

I’m thankful that the close call to someone I love was left unanswered and he came back from the precipice to be with us.

I wave goodby  and wish those well who unceremoniously  unfriended me when I didn’t fit in with the changes they made.

I embrace the new opportunities and friends that showed up at the same time this year.  Both enrich my life.

I feel blessed.

It’s a time for reflection as I hang my 2018 calendar up and as a dear friend once said to me   “make new plans, Susie”.  I am, and in doing so I have good reason to cherish the company I keep.

Happy New Year, my friends.  I wish you all the best.

 

and then it was winter……

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Those of you who don’t live where there are seasons; I mean REAL seasons don’t experience the dramatic here-today-gone-tomorrow of the warm summer on the deck and the empty snow-covered deck in six short months.

The laptop and glass of wine move indoors and the wood heater radiates warmth as I look out the window at the wonder of my winter white world.  Sounds all smarmy and romantic, doesn’t it.

Winter reality is, well……. kinda different.  Crazily slapping and cursing at mosquitoes is replaced by crazily slipping and the graceless fall on your ass on the ice. And it hurts bad.

Winter reality is doing that weird little double tap on the running board of first your right foot and then your left to kick the snow off as you climb in the car.  The tricky part is remembering not to do that when you visit your brother in Santa Clara so it doesn’t look like you have OCD.  Or not….. he knows me well 🙂

Winter reality is watching the cracks appear and spread like a virus across the windshield from the “sand” on the road.  “Sand” that in reality is just rocks.  Rocks big enough that with a little mortar could be stood up as a retaining wall. Just saying, Department of Highways; maybe grind it up a little more?

Winter reality is the greeting “how’re the roads?”

Winter reality is moonlight on snow with sparkles in the air like fairy dust that take your breath away from the cold.

Winter reality is that it will switch again in six months to a memory as I sit on the deck in my flower garden with a glass of wine.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving, PTSD and kindness

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This weekend is Thanksgiving for us here in Canada.  It sort of sneaks up on us with still warm days leaning into fall.  We hang onto our (not politically correct anymore) Indian Summers with rays of late afternoon sun blinking through golden leaves as we pause and give thanks for the bounty of our lives. Continue reading

something I learned from her

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There are things that stay with us. Words that matter and have meaning far beyond the moment they are spoken.

I was always a little intimidated by her quick wit; the ability and forthrightness as she said what was on her mind. In awe of her intelligence. In another sphere she could have been a doctor, lawyer, an author. As a cherished Grandmother and lover of Christmas, her days were full.

She let me know that contrary to what I was taught, it is ok to drink beer from a bottle. It’s ok to sit on the beach with the wind blowing our hair and laugh and drink beer as we sat huddled in down jackets determined to enjoy the frigid day at the beach.

She hugged me tight the last time I saw her and said “…we had a good run, Susie.  We had a good run”.

She taught me to look at things I can’t change and be able to say “….we had a good run” while I step into tomorrow.