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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that Wednesday feeling

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This happened:  It was a great day of co-presenting a couple sessions with a colleague.

This happened:  My friend had a snake in her office!! No, not a pet; a wild terrifying snake. Well, it was terrifying to her and it would have been a big NOPE for me. I would have  had to find a new place to work.

This happened: A co-worker shared a photo of her new baby goat that made everyone smile….lots.

It was a Wednesday feeling all day.

I must have a nap in the sunshine with an egg carton for a pillow.

from the passenger side window

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I feel like I’ve spent the past five weeks looking out the passenger side window at the world.  I’m not used to having to ask for help or what’s worse, needing help. And I’ve had to call up my Mother’s words “Susie, be gracious” rather than growl at the helpfulness of those around me.

The great thing about a broken leg is that it heals.  The not so great thing is that it takes time, crutches, walking boot casts and learning to navigate……not so great.  As I say to people who sympathetically look at me “it’s just not as much fun as it looks”.

My first week back at work (which in hindsight was at least a week too early) I hobbled out on my crutches with my armpits on fire – because well…… using crutches was a new experience for more than my legs – to my car parked conveniently in front of my office. My car parked in what had turned into a melted, then frozen, then melted  and frozen again lumpy mess of snow/slush/ice four feet wide and curb deep. Not to discount my terror of falling on the ice yet again since that’s how I ended up in this situation,  I was ready to cry until one of my colleagues basically lurch-carried me across the moat and tucked me in the driver’s seat of my car. (It’s the left leg – so I can drive 🙂

Every day until a week ago when I got off my crutches my colleagues escorted me out. Even when I said “nah, I’m ok”. The same colleagues who grabbed my coffee and carried it to my desk.  “Susie, be gracious.”

And shopping? My Daughter-ish person shopped for me and found me an awesome backpack since I discovered a dangling purse was more of a hazard than a convenience. Mark has been doing the grocery shopping and I’m liking the variety and sometimes surprises I find in the fridge. It sounds weird, but it’s hard to give up the control of being the one who buys the food but it’s been the good part of the whole experience.  I did have to tell him “no more Pecan pie since my fitness level consists of lurching around from place to place which I don’t think burns Pecan pie calories very well.

All in all, it’s been a real struggle and makes me more than thankful for usual good health.  I’ve been bored not able to do much and while I’m at work, it’s really very hard – which I won’t admit – because my leg hurts.

Mostly I feel like I’ve been looking out at the world, not able to do much in it and missing inspiration. Mostly it’s been a time of trying my patience with so much.  Mostly it’s been a time of gratefulness for the amazing support of family and friends even when I get a little growly.

And being grateful is good. There’s some inspiration for me.

 

 

 

those 5 things this week

  1. Rushing along on the way to work when it’s 27 below muttering “it’s damned cold, it’s damned cold” doesn’t make it any less slippery on the sidewalk.

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2.  When all you can do is rest, the famous Hudson’s Bay blanket is the best! Thanks, Bear and Mark for planning ahead with the gift at Christmas. IMG_0818 2.JPG

3.  Having a friend who’s happy to snooze the day away in the sunbeams with me while I mend…….priceless
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4.  The Ninja transformation of crutches is in the works……spring loaded spikes! Yeah, go big or go home. By the way, it only takes one time to touch the aluminum crutches out in the cold without gloves.  Kind like the kiss of liquid nitrogen.

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and ……5.  People are awesome!  From a husband who cooks the best poached eggs in the world and vacuums far better than I ever do to colleagues who have become pretty special in our short time together, and notes from all over to just a whole lot of caring. Makes me smile through the pain. Thanks, guys.

 

Saturday afternoon walking

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The snow has stopped and the plow and grader have been by plowing the end of our driveway in.  We head out and climb over the smallish mountain of snow for our first walk in a week and what a magnificent day to be outside! So much to sniff and see!

As we head around the corner from the house we see a lynx cross the road right in front of us.  It trekked into the woods and stopped just long enough to look at us and tease Jasmine for being on a leash and not able to chase him.  Then he trudged off to look for the neighbour’s chickens or maybe some rabbits out enjoying the sunshine. IMG_4266.jpg

A shiny black raven did a fly by low enough to turn his head and look at us as if to say ” nice day for a walk, eh?” because of course, he’s a Canadian raven.

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We followed our shadows for a while; not able to catch up as we crunched in the snow that sparkled like diamonds. My transition lenses darkened probably to the max with the bright light but I still marvelled at the amazing blue sky made all the more so highlighted with the snow.  It’s the kind of blue my Dad used to say was the colour of infinity.  I hope he’s up there surrounded by the blue he so loved. IMG_4369.JPG

The trail of a jet long passed by made me momentarily long to be away.  Just someplace away. Then Jasmine turned to me with her big Borzoi-ish smile and said “thanks for the great walk!” and I’m right where I belong walking with my girl on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.IMG_4368.JPG

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.