Tissue Town

When Man-wonder picked up a cold I avoided him where ever possible. We air kissed hello, goodbye and were seldom in the same room. Didn’t matter a diddle-squat—I still inhaled germs somewhere along the lines. So that’s the highlight of our lives at this point; waiting for bedtime so we can collapse. Sometimes our coughing and hacking almost sounds synchronized—like the mating call of the moose, or geese on the fly-by.

Living in this MHP has been a bit like taking a can-opener to my foggy brain. Here I was—in the usual self-pity state of mind, looking up every symptom online until I was sure I was developing some other deadly virus. I swear I could feel my body shriveling, dying, cell by cell. To shake myself out of my melancholy I worked up the energy for a trip to the mailbox (roughly one hundred feet from our door.) After checking that no one else was outside, loitering in the vicinity, I made a hobbly-dash for the post boxes.

And immediately ran into two neighbors!

They quickly and politely moved away from my hacking frame but continued to give me the run down on the neighbors.  Like the fellow who’s working on his  third go-round of the cold. Another one was struggling through a chest cold right up until he had a heart attack. And another neighbor, suffering from emphysema, picked up the virus too and is now in hospital fighting for her life. It’s not looking good.

So my snotty attitude has been wiped away. And I’ve been able to shush the child in me who wishes someone would wrap her up in a soft blanket and rock her until she feels better, and the adult in me wishes someone would just pick up a big honking rock and put her out of my misery. And. even though, right now, I feel like a big old icky sticky bag of germs I know it’ll soon run its course.

Besides, I still got my stash of herbs and tinctures . . . so bring on the hot water and let’s concoct until the germs are running for their lives. (Man-wonder makes a fine guinea pig).

Hurray for Spring and all it brings eh?

I hear the whistle blowing

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I have never been afraid of growing old.

Old age was always the time when I would be able to say “Hell no” to those many things we are guilted into accepting for way too long.

I looked forward to old age. I fully planned to be one of those purple-wearing, red-hatted, candy-eating old women who have no qualms about flashing my wrinkles and liver-spotted skin. And man, I fully planned to let the gray hairs shine!

Now, here’s the funny part (without any teeheeing) —this winter I’ve been hit with teensy-weensy bouts of panic when I think about growing old. I no longer want to get old.

I. Just. Don’t. Want. To.

Which I know is a daft feeling since we have little control over our departure time so I’ve been trying to figure it out and I’m somewhat certain (meaning not 100%) that it may have something to do with caring for Mom.

Like anybody, it’s hard watching our parents grow old. It’s mortality smacking up against your glasses as you listen for the whistle of the death train coming.

I watched her become sad. I saw fear take root in her where there never was. I watched her struggle with a growing lack of mobility. I felt her helpless and wasn’t able to take that burden off her—and I guess it’s made me despise, and despair of, old age.

I want no part of it now. I simply don’ t.

But logic reminds me we aren’t the conductors here so I guess there’s going to be more jack-in-the-box-mini-panic twitches until I figure out how to look forward to old age again. Because, if I keep fretting—old age will be like a train rushing downhill towards me.

Shit. . . I wish I hadn’t thought of the train analogy . . . now all I can hear Johnny Cash singing his old time songs, Blue Train and Folsom Prison Blues.

th7QXKVEAH

Into the wild woods we go

We found another trail to explore and, just to live on the edge, decided to explore it after dinner with a coffee from our favorite coffee shop. Imagine that – coffee after seven and taking a chance on an unknown trail which might not get us home until after dark. Goes against all the wiles of wisdom eh?

But that’s us  — modern day elder-rebels. Mind you both the trail and the coffee shop are within an eight minute walk of home. . .so maybe it’s just a tweaky sniff of danger. And definitely not as dangerous as the trail turned out to be.

Off we went—meandering down a new trail, enjoying the signs of spring and inhaling our coffees when, 10 minutes into the trail, we come to this sign

. sign - first one

Have I ever mentioned how I dislike signs? More often than not they cause problems; like filling my head with lines from a childhood ditty about being in the woods, ‘If you go down to the woods today / You’re sure of a big surprise’

And there I was, getting a sore neck from trying to see over both shoulders at the same time because all I can think of is; gun-packing cranky land owners with private burial fields for trespassers or bikers protecting grow crops. Meanwhile, as I’m freaking out, good old Man-Wonder continues  tromping along like he has never learned how to read and/or could care less what the sign says.

And then, another ways down the trail we come across this beauty;

sign - second one

OMG!

Just-out-of-the-winter-den-hungry bears! I know it and am a heartbeat from spinning like a demented ballerina and running out of those woods when Man-wonder comes to a dead stop twenty feet ahead and says, “Look at that,” way too calmly for slobbering bears or goobers with guns so I sneak a little closer to see what he’s seeing.

It’s a big hole, maybe fifteen to twenty feet across and circling it is a wire fence with bits of dangly ratty-edged red ribbons. There are faded words on the ribbons and of course I want to know what it says. (Red should have been a good clue here but I was too busy not thinking to think).

“What’s it say on those ribbons?” I ask Man-wonder.

“I don’t know.” He says from where he stands on the trail.

I get a little closer—close enough to notice two things: One—part of the fence is in the hole (meaning the hole hasn’t finished growing), and two—the words on the ribbons are: “DANGER” and “DO NOT ENTER”.

Right. Man-wonder must have seen the panic in my eyes because he comes up with this statement, “It’s an old sink hole. Look,” He points downward, “there are trees growing out of it.” And, as if the problem has been solved, he heads off down the trail again.

Even as I back away I’m not buying his idea. I have my own theory. That sink hole happened so fast those poor trees just dropped and shock has kept them upright.

Two smaller sinkholes later we follow the trail over a bank, alongside a small river just before it empties into the Nanaimo Estuary. We stop beside a medium-sized tree and goggle at the tree roots dangling in mid-air below us. Kneeling down we saw how a large section under the trail was gone, gone, gone!  Honestly, my two weak knees lifted and hustled me across that section like I was in a freaking parade. Hubby not far behind.

That was the worst part and I’m happy to say the trail mellowed out after and stayed solid (except for the muck field) until we found the end of the trail and this view.

from estuary to mainland #1 Was it worth it?

This freaked out pansy-rebel thinks so.  And for the record—I think Man-wonder is darn lucky he didn’t have to piggy-back me home.

The Jelly-Gobular Line-up Starts Here

Why is it we (okay me) can’t trust ourselves (myself)?

The minute, the very minute I tell myself I’m not going to do something, or I’m going to do such and such, I can count on myself to do the opposite?

Why can’t I do as I say? Why don’t I listen to myself?

Take exercise, and you might as well since I obviously do not have any healthy respect for it.  I tell myself tomorrow I start walking again—come hell or high water—weird old expression eh? Why not come hell or heaven, or come drought or high water? So let’s say come whatever tomorrow my plan is to walk. And, even when something gets in the way I overflow with intention. Even when that one something turns into eight or nine somethings and the walk keeps getting pushed to ‘later’ I still insist my intention is good. Only, only when it’s beyond later than later and it’s too late do I admit defeat and immediately start re-plan for the next tomorrow.

Same thing with Jujubes. I feel the desire for those  fruity globs building and I tell myself I’m not heading down that gelatinous road to gluttony again. Yeah right.How many times have I bought a bag of them and promised myself I’d only eat a handful—even as my hand is repeat dipping. I’ve even eaten them to the point of . . . belly-pain ugly. Did it cure me?

PFFFFFT!

This time I fought the craving valiantly. I held off for an entire week before caving. Finally, yesterday, with the craving larger than my brain I told Man-wonder I had library research to do. I did too. I just left out the parts I felt he didn’t need to know. You see, he’s a male – so to him, eating Jujubes is—find ‘em, eat ‘em. For me, things need to be set in place before I can snarf.

  • First stop—dropping off our new (yeah, four months ago) contact numbers to the doctors’ office. I want to be covered just in case the Jujubes re-conglomulate in my arteries accidentally.
  • Second stop—the health food store to stock up on the good shit to combat the bad shit I was heading for.

But, hey, this time I only bought a few (okay, one scoop full) and I spread out my gummy party to eating half before the library, figuring concentration would be way finer once the cravings were taken care of and half for the ride home. After all, if I didn’t finish them before I got home I’d have to explain (= share).

Today I plan to fill up on green smoothies and raw carrots all the way. . . unless. . .something. . . gooey, or doughy, or heaven-scented, or sweet gets in the way. . .

waggin_tail

To reach out and touch just one more time. . .

It’s been six months since Mom passed away. Such a short, and yet, long time ago.  I miss her. I miss her quirky little habits and her gentle ways; the constant shuffling of slippered feet coming and going. The cloud of perfumed powder she loved to use.

Of course, I still hear Mom sounds but most of those I know are coming from inside my heart. Yet, there have been some things that I can’t say are just me wishing.

Things like;  after a thank-god-winter- is-leaving canoe ride around a lake (without falling in) Man-Wonder and I returned home to find the mobile smelling like a bouquet of flowers. No reason for it to be there and it wasn’t a faint smell. It was strong enough to stop both of us in our tracks and flood our sun-warmed heads with memories of Mom. It was like she had just freshly poofed with her powder and was standing beside us. I don’t think the place has smelt so nice since.

So where did it come from? Did some burglar break in, loaded in Mom’s powder and wander through the mobile rubbing themself all over everything before leaving? (Like Euwh)

If you believe in souls, in spirits, in life after death, then  it makes sense. If you don’t, well, when things like that happen common sense will be dancing the jig with Bob Marley in your head.

Another time, maybe a month ago while I was home alone I had one of those moments. I’d left the kitchen, gone to the bedroom and then come back into the kitchen. Sitting right in the middle of the floor was a tiny, brilliant-blue, stick-on tag. What a brain-zing because I hadn’t seen one of those battery covers since the last one I’d changed a hearing aid battery in Mom’s hearing aid. . .

So how did it just happen to show up in the middle of the kitchen floor during the few minutes I was gone from the room?

What do you think, or are you mentally waltzing with Led Zeppelin?

Me? I’m calling them sweet little hellos from my best friend. Someone I miss every single day. And if she wants to drop off little hellos now and then I ain’t going to complain.

Only I wish she could do it in person.

Mom relaxing in chair 082Mom at her favorite sport – the Scrabble board.

Smoking The Tracks

Finally, the stinking rain stopped.

Man-wonder and I busted out of the mobile like fleas off a dead dog, heading for anywhere, and everywhere, and in the end—the coffee shop.

But first we needed a good dose of Vitamin D so we took a wander along a couple of trails between home and Timmies.

The first walk was on a boardwalk following a fast-flowing and  twisty creek. The second walk took us deeper into the woods and parallel with railroad tracks for a ways. Feeling adventuresome we decided to walk the tracks instead of following the trail when it looped back.

Now, there is just something about walking railway tracks.

For just a few minutes there’s a sense of living the vagabond life. A sense of going nowhere, or somewhere, and all the time in the world to do it. Add to that, a tiny fissure of lurking danger—I mean, dastardly things can, and do happen on railroad tracks.

But there is still something about walking the tracks that’s like getting stoned without the smoking bit. . .

And that’s what happened to my brain – it reefed out all on its own when we came to the train trestle passing over the creek which was now rushing like a mad retriever to reach the ocean.  All that gushing water below, and me, like a razzbone, staring down between the tracks as we crossed.

No wonder my gray matter took a trip to the movies!

Looking down through the trestles reminded me of vertigo. Which made me think of the movie of the same title. Which made me think of Alfred Hitchcock. Which made me think of all things dark and dangerous. Which made me think of those movies where dark dangerous things live under trestles. Which made me think of the movie Stand By Me stand by me—where those boys were screaming over the trestle because a train was suddenly bearing down on them. Which made me run like crazy for the other side. Which startled Man-wonder into racing right along side of me thinking I knew something he didn’t!

The sticky part came once I stopped sucking wind and could talk coherently and tried explaining to Man-wonder. I guess I should be grateful he was still willing to buy me a coffee—which made me think of the Grateful Dead, which made me think (?) of Dr.Hook and their song, I got stoned and I missed it, which made me think of grass, which made me realize that Spring is coming—which means more sunshine and more walks.

YeeHaw!

Life is good eh?

If It Would Stop Snowing Spring Might Come.

TBR

This past week, thanks to the rain-snow-rain-snow-freezing weather I’ve been reading my eyeballs inside out. Here’s what been in my stack:

  •  Within the usual steady stream of who-dun-its I’ve discovered E.J.Copperman (an alias)  http://www.ejcopperman.com and his Haunted Guesthouse Series.  Fun, well-done reads.
  • I’ve also been on an Erma Bombeck trip thanks to a suggestion from a writing pal that I should enter the Erma Bombeck writing contest  http://humorwriters.org/2012-writing-competition/  I tried. I really tried but I couldn’t find any funny for it. Fell flat on my ass, bypassing the funny bone altogether so I hunted down four of her books for a refill of her delightful humor.
  • I ran across Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café Notebooks. Stuart is a story-telling comic with a popular CBC weekly radio show. His stories are always busting with simple, honest, touching humor that sneaks inside your heart and head and always leaves you wanting just a little more.
  • Finally. Finally, my request for Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird arrived from our local library. Now this is the third time over the past five years I’ve borrowed this book and I should have known better. Her earthy style of humor and her pockets of wisdom are not to be rushed through. Nope this book demands slow careful perusal, so when I wasn’t finished with it but couldn’t renew because of others waiting for their turn I gave up and bought my own copy. I know I’ll be reading it again over and over. Hell, it should be mandatory for every writer to read it at least once.
  • Another delight is finding a Natalie Goldberg books I don’t remember  reading—The True Secret of Writing. I fell in love with her Writing Down the Bones so I hold high hopes for this one as soon as I can get to it.
  • On a more serious side I’m halfway through Life Lessons by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler; Two experts on death and dying that teach us about the mysteries of life and living.  I was concerned it might be mildly depressing but it’s a well-written wake-up call about living. Good unexpected read.
  • And because Spring is coming up fast, my last book in my pile is No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer & Steven Biggs. A messy fun reminder of what I’ve forgotten I knew about dirt soil.

A quote I found in one of the books (I know not which) is worth sharing:

‘I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face’ —Langston Hughes.

Yeah man, it’s just around the freaking corner!

tired of snow

The Glory of Mornings and Man Wonder

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Yesterday early, early morning I was writing but as dawn pushed up the night sky I had to stop and watch. It has snowed for two days straight but sometime during the night the clouds finally emptied and as the sun rose the departing cloud bottoms lit up in shades of pink, gold and silver. 008

Roof tops and tree branches, thick under snow, sparkled like fairy dust. Man, it was one of those mornings so delicious it puffed up the heart like an oversized blowfish. One can’t help but thank the creation-of-all for such a sight.

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To me, there is something about the dawns. They fill the soul, melting away any stink from the day before and leave you with the feeling—yeah, this could be a miraculous day.

Now, I believe in miracles—impossible not to after watching a sunrise, and every day is full of miracles. Every size. Every kind. Even those days filled with crap. Don’t they make you feel like it’s a miracle you survived? And besides—those crap days are just a sure sign of a miracle about to pop. The crap is just there to highlight its brilliance.

That’s not to say all miracles are sudden and bold. Some are quiet little happenings that sneak in and warm the soul like a thick pair of wool socks.

Like a couple of mornings ago. I woke a few hours before dawn (you see a habit here?) and as I watched the snow falling against a street light I knew I had to get out there; to walk a bit through that quiet, fresh world. Maybe head down the road to the local all-night coffee shop. Now, I’m not a fan of being alone in the dark but the world of white dialed that fear back enough for me to want to be out in it.

So there I am, quiet as can be, dressing in the closet by flashlight when Man-Wonder rolls over and wants to know what the heck I’m doing. I tell him and the next thing I know he’s reaching past me to get his clothes out.

“Why are you getting dressed?”

Of course, as is his annoying habit, he doesn’t answer right away. It’s when he handing me my toque and gloves that he finally answers.

“Because I know you’re afraid to walk alone in the dark.”

Yeah, those sweet joyful, quiet moments can sometimes be the best miracles of all and they’re waiting right there. All we have to do is keep our eyes and hearts open.

Psssst . .. and he held my hand all the way to the coffee shop :)

One Week—Eight Things Gleamed

old man

  1. There’s a world of difference between a shower and monsoons when you’re on a bike ride.
  2. A new (talking wide and gelled here) bicycle seat means no longer walking like a cowboy who’s been on a giddy-up trail too long.
  3. Given the odds of probability—if you’re on a six-foot wide bike trail and there is a downed tree trunk jutting out onto the trail by two inches max you will turn your bike and head straight for it.
  4. On other physical matters; it’s best to go into a Reiki session with no expectations. I’d hoped for some serious non-physical clearing. What I got was some definite physical (sinus and lung) clearing which lasted for two days. Though she did say I had a lovely, healthy energy field. Nice to know.
  5. On viewing the word through a different lens; sometimes a major company, like Canon actually does care about its customers. Nice. They not only couriered a replacement camera to us but also couriered our original memory card and battery back to us. All followed up with phone calls from both the US head office and the Canadian Head Office. Real nice.
  6. On reading about writing; I found an article in the February issue of The Writer titled Outlining and Story Mapping by K.M.Weiland. Did it ever click with my grey matter and make organizing a story way less confusing. Thank You K.M.
  7. On reading; that coming across a whodunit where the writer skillfully pulls the wool over my eyes until the end is almost as delightful as planting my tush on my new bike seat.
  8. On health matter; Man-wonder and I have both been feeling the urge to step back into the world of the G.I. Diet Lifestyle. A much healthier way of feeling.

But, I’m not—repeat—not— giving up my coffee for any one. . .

ain’t gonna’ happen

 

Winter — too much inside time?

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Here I sit, facing my screen and the world of evening hangs like a black curtain beyond the window. Another short day is over yet I can’t bear to shut the blinds.

I see my reflection on the glass and beyond the transparent me I see the glow of lights across the street, through still-open blinds, as if the elderly lady living there can’t bear to end the day yet either.

My mind wonders about that old woman across the way.  Does she enjoy her own company at night? Once the day is gone, and before she drifts off for the night, does she revel in her aloneness? Or does she claim the world of television as her own, like so many?  Or is her nose buried in a good book? Maybe not even aware her blinds have not been drawn yet.

I wonder—is she happy? Is she afraid? Does she fear shutting out the world by closing her blinds? Would closing them make her feel more alone? Maybe she likes to watch how the headlights play off objects? Or maybe she just likes to watch the neighbors?  Hey—maybe she’s just nosy. Maybe she is sitting there, right now, just beyond the pool of light from her lamp, looking over at me and wondering what I am doing in my pool of light?

Maybe I should close my blinds?

But I don’t because as I sit here, making up scenes about her in my head I’m creating a character for a future story. I’m not so sure I even want to get to know her one day. If I do then the mystery will be gone. Right now, in the dark, she’s excellent fodder for the writer in me.

Like that goofy guy down the road. I wonder where he goes every day, almost always at the same time ? I suppose if I really wanted to know I could try following him. But then the mystery would be gone. Besides, what if he caught me? Accused me of being a stalker? And what if when trying to defend me, the great Man-wonder spills his guts, insisting I’m harmless because I stalked him once too and look how harmless that turned out to be?

(Of course that is another story isn’t it?)

Ahhh, life in a MHP has good promise . . .  don’t you think?

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