fall walks

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Fall came in and shoved all the summer pastels to the back of the closet bringing out the golds, the ambers, the deep rust colours. It’s as if Fall knows that gold tone eyeshadow makes blue eyes pop and is using the nearly iridescent gold leaves to show off the dazzling blue sky.

It’s unusually beautiful this year; drier than usual and no storms so far, so the leaves are staying as crisp as the fresh air. Makes for stunning walks and a yard carpeted with gold.

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Mr. Bear was out doing his fall fattening up and climbed over the fence onto my sundeck to chew a hole in the garbage can feasting on remnants of rotisserie chicken. Can’t really blame him for that – I’ve had much the same inclination to chew through a pizza box after catching a whiff of hot bubbling cheese on pepperoni pizza. Still, I don’t want to run into him again so the garbage cans are secured in the pump house for now.

The sound of a chainsaw singing its way through dry pine and the smell of wood smoke drifting by like the faint contrails of a jet off to somewhere….feels like picking the last of the crab apples to make beautiful clear jelly.

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As we rounded the corner on the homeward stretch of our walk, we ran into Young Buck. He said “Hey, how are you?” in quiet deer talk.  He said ” haven’t been around your place since I ate your spring tulips, but I’m out looking for a bedding down place under your trees for winter.  I always liked your yard”.  He and Jasmine stood for a minute looking at each other and I told him to go back into the forest until hunting season is over and he bounded away in disappearing in the trees.

I love fall in the north.

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reflections in the bridal shop window

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Walking to work every day I pass by the bridal shop on the way to and from my office.  I stop and check when the dresses in the window change and I wonder if they’ve gone off to walk down the aisle or to the marked down section in the back of the store.

I took a picture one day with the intention of writing a bit of a bitchy blog post about it.  As bitchy as I am when I talk about my wedding dress. Bitchy to say all these years later that I made my own wedding dress and had no one; no mother to care. So, that’s what this post was supposed to be.

But it’s not.

You see, a couple of days ago as I hurried up the block on my way to the parkade after work , I saw a lady stopped on the sidewalk looking in the window at the dresses.  Something about the lady and how she was looking in the window slowed my march along the sidewalk and I stopped beside her.

We stood side by side quietly looking at wedding dresses. Me, fresh from work with the dress, details like fancy nails and lipstick, briefcase and designer purse, and the lady slightly stooped over in a faded looking beige sweater, short bowl-cut shaped grey hair with a few soft whiskers on her chin.

I said “they’re lovely, aren’t they?”  and she said “yes, they certainly are”.  For some reason I blurted out that I’d made my own dress and it wasn’t lovely like these and I told her I ended up throwing it out last year because I hated it so much.

The lady said “oh my dear, that’s sad”.  She said “I still have my dress after 56 years and still love it. It’s turning a bit yellow now, but still beautiful”.  With our faces bathed in the soft tulle, satin and lace reflection in the window I  said “and I can see you 56 years ago as the beautiful bride you were.”

I continued on my way warmed by her smile reflected in the bridal shop window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken things and the hummingbird

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As I moved the table to sweep behind it this morning, it fell apart.  The legs separated like they were too weary to stand and the side piece fell out.  I was upset and tried to put its legs back to where they belonged and get them to stay there so I could provide first aid and mend it.

Why was I so upset? After all, it’s kind of regular little table. My son recently bought a house that has two matching tables left in a pile of other discarded stuff in the garage.  I said to him “hey those match my table.  You should take them in and use them.”  He said “nah, I don’t really like them.

This little table was left in the first house we bought and with little to no money for extra furniture, I spent hours stripping the turquoise paint and sanding it to turn it into a useable table. It’s come along to every house and home with us for 30 years like an old friend.

It’s not a big deal; just something broken to be fixed.

A change of scene took me outside to water my flowers for some nurturing zen- in- the- flower- garden time.  I know that the hose connection leaks.  I’m reminded every time I drag the hose clear down to the road to reach the farthest hanging baskets as the hose spurts, gurgles and squirts water out of the joint.  And yes, I have tightened it and tightened it and tightened it complete with new washer in it.  I need a new hose, yup.

As I pull the hose and stretch to reach the hanging baskets, the leaky joint took direct aim at the front my  shirt and with a fountain now having graduated from a single squirt, it got me full on.

In the seconds as I looked down and grabbed the hose to yank it away, a tiny blue-green hummingbird darted in and hovered  six inches in front of me in the spray of water.  I stood still and didn’t move and watched the delicate tiny bird play.  It darted to the flowers and back several times returning to hover in the droplets of water. I stood there as background for hummingbird play until it darted off to whereever hummingbirds dart off to.

Heading back up to the house, dragging the hose and dripping wet I smiled.  It’s not always about what’s wrong; what’s broken.  Sometimes, it’s just about what’s right.

 

 

 

i’m here not gone

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Every once in a while we run into an urgency  in our lives that makes us stop the car and run out to deal with it. Somewhere between the first and second MRI was my moment to slow the car and pull over.

At first all you can think about is the urgency.  The “this is here and now and if I don’t deal with it I will explode” feeling. Overwhelming. That’s what it is.  And we’ve all been there; not one of us is exempt from it hitting us in varying degrees throughout our lives.

So pull over and stop for a few minutes and understand the dynamics of the situation.  My hearing is hurt because… or my life is changing because….or my life hasn’t really changed because….. so many variables to understand.  Stop and pull over.

We’re not defined by the moments we need to be held up but by how we climb back up the bank, get back in the car and continue the adventure. I’m back in the car and on my way.

By the way, this photo is of my Mom and sister – which yes, has provided my brother and I endless amounts of sibling glee over the years and I have to admit…..it still does. It seems we never really grow up.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.