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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the past month or so

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I’m back this month, but I needed a break in January.  Needed it bad.

Lots of people do because basically January sucks…..because……

  • the novelty of living in snow country is pretty much old news and slipping on the ice hiding under the snow is a bitch
  • nothing good on TV to watch and the local theatre clearly doesn’t pay attention to award-winning movies
  • the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party of politics south of our border (that doesn’t have a wall and doesn’t need one) is making me weary with basically a new reality every single day based on the whims of the man with little hands and less respect for the truth
  • I’m ensnared and yet helpless in watching someone want to die which is a very, very terrible thing
  • 20 below celsius is just plain nasty
  • this whole deafness thing is just plain nasty and I’m frustrated
  • this whole “ate too many Christmas cookies” muffin top thing is just plain nasty

Yup, not sorry to see January gone but I survived by emersing myself in home, family and a good place to go to work everyday.

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And now, I look forward to spring coming.  The days are getting long enough to go for walks with  Jasmine after work and not worry about meeting a lynx or other critter in the dark.  And although this weekend brought a foot or so of fresh snow, it will shrink with a few sunny days.

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Into February I go; booked a trip to San Diego next month to feel some “no snow”, booked a new test for my hearing stuff, stopped gobbling cookies to lose the muffin top and am remembering to laugh and love.  Even when it’s hard sometimes.

Thanks, Pipy the parrot for illustrating the month for me. You make me smile.

 

 

things I saw this morning

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  • A lineup of traffic several kilometers long with more big trucks than I could count. Sitting, idling, waiting with lights glowing like a long string of Christmas lights.  A shout out to the truck drivers who are on the highways from here to there and back again in all kinds of conditions.  We need you; be safe out there.
  • A pair of socks and black underwear in the doorway of the bridal shop. They’ve been there for the past three days and a couple of weeks ago there was underwear and socks in the same place.  It’s minus 23 centigrade with fresh snow out here.  I wonder who would change clothes or disrobe in these conditions and leave their socks and underwear. A groom in a last-minute hurry to don the tux and make it to the ceremony? A student who got the early gift of socks and undies from Mom and couldn’t wait to get them on? Nah…..  it’s probably a superhero off to save the day somewhere because we all know superheroes wear much more colourful underwear and socks than these.
  • A business man I see on my walk from the parkade. We mutter “good morning” with frosty breath every morning as we pass on the sidewalk. This morning he had a saran-wrapped plate of cookies and I said “good morning, it’s a good day for Christmas baking”, and he said “my wife made these” as he unwrapped the plate and said “have a cookie for your walk to work.”  And I did.
  • And I smiled all the way to work.

baking bad…..that bake sale anxiety

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I’m sitting here catching a glimpse every once in a while of the Christmas Cookie Challenge on the Food Network as my background company.  Now those are some kind of cookies!! But to reality and my anxiety of the workplace bake sale.   Continue reading

tweeting for treats

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Piper Bird@realBadbird

OMG OMG Mom left the lid off the peanut butter jar and turned her back. Score!

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Bird Mom@realBadbird’smom

Piper get out of there! No birds allowed in the peanut butter. Bad bird!

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Piper Bird@realBadbird

Who me? Whatcha talking about Mom? MAKE PEANUT BUTTER GREAT AGAIN!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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