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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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.

 

 

 

empathy……we miss you

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The spiteful mean man with his fingers tweeting out vicious vindictive comments to make himself feel bigger and better.

The rush to vilify those of “the other side” regardless of circumstances while excusing the in-excusable.

Those wearing the badge of empath while cruelly hurting people who supported and loved them.

Empathy, we miss you.  We have become numb and desensitized. Continue reading

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.

 

 

overheard in the toilet seat aisle

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Searching out a new laundry basket, I was in close proximity to the toilet seat aisle. Like all those housey-type things are bunched together for convenience  in our shopping. It can’t be for the impulse  factor like end-of-aisle placement with these items that are less than dreamy.

I hear snickering and laughing and “toilet seat man? ya gotta be kidding” and I thought to myself we’re all just a little bit goofy about toilets and such no matter how  sophisticated we pretend to be.

Why, I feel like I’ve truly arrived in a new workplace when I discover the pooping bathroom.  You all know what I mean; the secluded bathroom away from the shared stalls where you can hunker down in a comfortable squat with the quiet of your own thoughts.

With chosen laundry basket in hand I walked around the end of the aisle and saw two young guys dressed in slouchy, baggy pants, faces sporting piercings and interesting tattoos pretty much everywhere.  Strikingly sculptured, shaved and coloured hair completed the look.  And I heard one guy say “yeah, I was at my Gramma’s last night and her fu**in’  toilet seat is cracked.  Pinched my ass! I’m gonna surprise her and buy this and put it on when I go over tomorrow”. The response from his buddy was “yeah, that’s a fu**in’ nice thing to do.”

And I smiled and thought it sure is.