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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Endings and Beginnings



This is my very last tax season. There. I've said it. Right out loud. I just need to make the announcement to clients now and not be persuaded to NOT hang up the calculator. Like last year. I truly, truly am finished with it all. I found this nearly over season (still quite a few boxes and files kicking around my office) extraordinarily taxing. And do pardon the pun. I'm not smiling. It's not funny. To me at least.

A huge negative was in the past years I would add up your 250 medical receipts, for example, and have my mind somewhere in my next book. Or play. But not this year. It required every last bit of my mental energy to add those prednisone scripts and chiropractic chits. I tried meditation to graciously accept the work, I tried gratitude exercises for Gaia's munificence. NONE of it worked. I even burned karmic incense (direct from Tibet!!) to restore my chi to balance with the universe. The smoke fled out my door, leaving me gritting my teeth.

It is over, I am done.

I sent out a song to my lovely young actress to rehearse for my new play tonight.

This brings me joy, excitement and anticipation.

Something that's been hugely lacking in my life through this past trying month 2013.

And what, pray tell, is more important than bliss?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mr. Stan and the Brass Stick



The old man leaves his cabin twice a day and walks up to the shop, about 1/2 km away. He wields a fancy walking stick. Brass. I wonder if it belonged to his father. You don't see much brass around anymore. Sometimes the dog and I trail the punch-holes that the stick leaves on the sandy shoulders of the road and I get a sense of his rhythm.

He had a long life and four children with his dead wife. He nursed her through her lingering fatal illness. He then moved on, after a decent interval, with her best friend who had been widowed many years before. And that didn't last long, only five years, before she succumbed to her cancer and he nursed her too. And then, he couldn't believe it, he was eighty-five and felt he should leave the family home to his son who was back from Alberta and move into independent living in one of the small cabins up the road from me. He has his independence, he drives a well maintained saloon type car. But he's been very depressed and I'll tell you why.

Within a few months of his arrival I'd see Annie dropping in on him, bringing him cooked meals and baked offerings. It was extraordinarily odd as Annie, a first place winner in the World Class Hoarders' Championship, never bothered with cooking or cleaning before. But all of a sudden she's "doing" for Mr. Stan. Annie was the one I told you about a while back. When she went off to Toronto to visit one of her children, she came back here to a house cleaned out by her siblings and set finally to rights. Zen. Polished. Decluttered and sanitized. She ordered her brother's truck up to the dump and retrieved all they had cast aside so carelessly. Materials from circa 1942. Her dead husband's (1988)clothes, tools and gadgets, her vast stone and shell collections, 5 unworkable teevees and several trashed microwaves along with more dishes than the army needed in 1941 and every box she had ever been given. She restored her house to order with the overflow spilling down the deck and on to the sideyard. Where it proudly hangs out with her dead husband's 1964 rusted out truck.

Next thing, Annie is riding around in Mr. Stan's car like a missus. And having sleepovers at his place (nobody's been inside her place except for the siblings intervention since her last child left home in 1990). They are an item. Her daughter, who is forty and posts incessantly about her dead father on FB, was now calling Mr. Stan "Dad". I should add daughter is partnered with her own love for over 20 years. But had this papa-hole that is now filled. All is well. But oh noes!

There are huge ructions and yelling one night outside Mr. Stan's cabin. Mr. Stan is thundering-lord-jesusing. For such an old mild-voiced gentleman he has a powerful voice when he gets riled up. It certainly got my attention and I live quite a ways downhill. It seems like Annie had been two-timing him with Mr. Lenny, who is younger and has many bottles of rum stashed all over his cabin which is six removed from Mr. Stan's. Annie loves her rum. Rum doesn't love Annie. It sends her mouth into orbit and winds her up so she starts spewing venom. Which she did.

Annie, who is 70 if she's a day, told Mr. Stan that he couldn't satisfy a woman such as herself, but Mr. Lenny could. And if he could satisfy a lusty woman such as herself then she wouldn't have to run to Mr. Lenny's now, would she. So basically it was all his (Mr. Stan's) fault if he couldn't man up.

Needless to mention gossip of Mr. Stan's shortfall overrode the two-timing crimes of Annie. Actually Annie's two-timing incurred quite a bit of envy, including my own. I mean, at her age? I think I'd be bragging up and down Main Street if we had one. If I was that fortunate to snag two old men living six cabins apart and have the energy to bounce around from one t'other.

But my heart does go out to Mr. Stan, taken in by the bakin' and cleanin' Annie and treating her like a missus and hoping for a Hollywood ending. Like the rest of us.

And now he's alone, kind of bitter, and who's to blame him, taking his brass stick out for walks as if his life depended on it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Surprises



A wise old shaman said to me one time:

"There's a surprise in every day, you just have to look for it."

I concur. But sometimes life itself gets in the way of spotting them when I'm cranky, irritable or have too much on my plate.

The longer I live the more I look for them though. This year I deliberately cast aside the distractions of my day and I just get out in the air and find new pathways, new byways, new trails. And surprises.

Today Ansa and I walked on an old road, long abandoned. If you look carefully, said a very old resident, you'll find the faintest trace of wagon wheels for this was a coach run back in the day. I didn't see the trace of wagon wheels but I did see what I thought were the faint imprint of long dead horse hooves. It was only afterwards I thought: moose prints, of course. It's a haunted old road alright. Daughter had explored it last year and had the eerie sensation of being watched and hurried on out. High trees on each side, that wonderful indescribable smell of forest, and creaking old tree trunks chattering along beside me into the almost tangible silence. I must bring the camera there to try and capture the other- worldliness of it.

Then I went to my mailbox and inside was a large package from a beloved Toronto friend. I literally gasped when I saw what was inside. I had told her recently of my upcoming debut as a seanchai and she had thought to send me a debut outfit. I was staggered both at its beauty and its me-ness. She sure knows me and my style. A black top and skirt with multi-coloured lace ribbons dancing all over it, even from the hem and sleeves. A French designer label. Something I could never, ever afford or even venture into the shops that would carry such luxury.

And for the first time in years I thought: you know what would look good with this? Sparkling high heels. Maybe pink, maybe red. High heels. Sheer stockings. You need to honour these gorgeous clothes.

And there will be pictures. Promise.

I just love surprises but my favourite of all is when I surprise myself.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ignore the messenger, hear the message.



I'm truly glad I'm an old woman. Really I am. Gone is the angst of yesteryear. The worries. The see-sawing of relationships. The mindless griefs over the might have beens and why didn't I's. You know.

I caught one of those little gems on the interwebz. An insight by Phyllis Diller (yeah, I know, I know!) but even the most unlikeable people sometimes offer you little nuggets of wisdom as they sit upon their aging bony duffs and pontificate about their lives. And what she said about belief in one's self was so powerful, it snagged my attention.

We're (well some of my readers) at an age when we know ourselves really well. And hopefully, we like ourselves. But do we truly believe in ourselves? Down to the very core? She talked about this. How the only reason she kept climbing up on stage was her unshakeable belief in herself. This after losing three of her children and a couple of husbands. Once you believe in yourself, she said, you don't give a rat's arse what anyone else thinks. You are joyously you and I am joyfully me. So get out there and just believe. Only I have to believe. No one else.

As I am me, judgemental, dismissive over-analytical, etc., etc., in the past I've viewed this woman as a travesty a la Joan Rivers. 560 surgical procedures of every stripe, loud, unfunny for the most part, crude, etc., etc., but the impact of what she said had me revisiting anew that old canard of paying attention to the message and never to the messenger.

And what a powerful message. And, to my mind, from such an unlikely source.

PS - And did you know she was a classically trained concert pianist and harpsichordist? Me neither.
PPS - And also that she was an extremely talented artist with her own studio and gallery? Me neither.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Energy and Positivity.



Daughter mentioned this wondrous substance first. And she's a living example of its magical properties. She has MS and has been following a holistic, non-pharmaceutical approach to the management of her disease. And has completed binders and binders full of research. She's had a fight on her hands with her doctors for taking an unorthodox approach. The MS Society (and I went to some meetings with her) are very much pro-Pharma and have done painfully little research on the natural, strict diet approach to the management of the disease. H'm, I wonder why?

Daughter eats no gluten, no legumes and no dairy. It hasn't been easy for her but her neurologist has told her that whatever she is doing she should keep it up. He sees no further degeneration in her condition.

The Facts on Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. This system includes the brain and spinal cord. It contains the nerves that control everything your body does, such as thinking, feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting, and moving. MS affects about 1 in 1,000 people and usually appears between the ages of 20 and 40, although it may occur at any age.

People without MS have nerves that are covered by an intact protective layer known as the myelin sheath. This covering helps to speed electrical signals in the brain. With MS, researchers think that the myelin sheath somehow becomes inflamed and damaged in small patches. It is not known what chain of events starts this damage, but once the injury occurs, electrical signals in the brain are slowed down.
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It is believed that MS is an autoimmune disease (a condition in which an individual's immune system starts reacting against his or her own tissues) and cannot be spread from person to person. For unknown reasons, the immune system sees the myelin sheath as foreign and attacks it.

The numbness in her limbs doesn't alleviate but isn't worsening. She has other symptoms (strength,inflammation, sudden excruciating pain) and sometimes a complete lack of energy with a resultant depression and listlessness.

The point of my writing all of this here is that one of her studies on her disease showed that most of us Northern clime folk are vastly deficient in Vitamin D which results in many auto-immune disorders, too numerous to list here.

At her urging, I began a course of 10,000 IU of Vitamin D daily about five months ago.

I can't believe the change in me and neither can my friends. Seriously. I am full of joy, energy, eating healthily, training for The Tely 10 in July AND the biggest change of all is that I haven't had an episode of the sporadic depression to which I was prone for more years than I care to count. Depression that brought me to my knees carrying me to very dark places of despair and the feeling of what's the use.

The only change I've made to my life was in adding this massive quantity of Vitamin D on a daily basis. I could link to this all over the interwebz but a Google or a YouTube search will give you all the info you need. And please ignore the Pharma Pimps and their nay-saying. They've got a LOT to sell you and deny the benefits of mega quantities of D. I'm living proof. But I wanted to wait a while and be sure. I'm sure now.

I haven't felt this good since God was an altar boy.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Day in the Life



Timeout at Coutts today. Click to enbiggen

It was a packed day. I went to visit the owners of the inn and they booked me for 3 sessions of the new persona, The Seanchaí. Sometimes I think I've one hell of a nerve. Seriously. Nerve. I practised a sample on them and they were delighted and said you have to do all three dinner sittings, yes, you do! and by the way it's completely sold out. Be still my heart.

And then we moved on to other stuff. You know the way of it. Life stories, local interest, life by the ocean waves (they are CFAs too),Newfoundland people and how they enfold you into their hearts and are so unconsciously generous.

And then I went off to do some monthly pro-bono work. And then I took a little timeout with Ansa and went to a place where there are only sea birds (see above) and a rutted boreen of a road that we walked for quite a while. And I remembered the camera this time. The other day there were huge grey seals sunning themselves on the beach stones, watching us upside down, really funny creatures, flapping their flippers. And no camera. And we were two miles from home. Boy, was I mad.

Then it was dinner at a friend's, she made a marvellous stew with paste* and had saved a bone for Ansa who was over the moon at this largesse.

Then after this I headed off to drop in on more friends for an hour or so and then headed home. Grateful for the starlit sky, the magnificent weather we've been having, and so very excited about The Seanchaí's debut.

*This is peculiar to rural Newfoundland it is as if pastry and a dumpling had a child.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Someday



You get to an age when the somedays are all behind you. Do it now or not at all is my new mantra.

My recent (well the last few years') desire is to be a Seanchaí. One of those old Irish story tellers at events. You know, engaging with the audience, taking on a role or two within the context of the old story. Using no notes. Au naturel, unlike my previous foray into a one woman performance thingie.

My first gig as a Seanchaí is in a month's time at a dinner theatre. I will be telling a story from my life, well my aunt's life, previously featured in Time Goes By a while back. The venue is an old convent converted to an inn so I thought it would be conducive to a story about my aunt's nunnish aspirations.

I've been commissioned to write another play, another musical drama, and that is completely over the top exciting. Auditions will take place soon and the first table reading will be at the end of May. I am hoping for it to be an inter-generational theme, depending on cast.

I was at a concert complete with afternoon tea on Saturday. It was a wonderful event, great music and the tea was deluxe, lashings of beautiful food, flowers and china. A few of my friends are in the choral group. They perform mainly jazz interspersed with folk songs from the sixties and seventies, along with Andrews Sisters' numbers. One came up to me during the intermission and put her head on my shoulder, nearly in tears.

"Oh, WWW," she said sadly,"Can you believe it? My life is nearly over! I'm getting so old. I'll be fifty next week!"

Somedays, I wanted to say as I comforted her. You still have somedays!

But she wouldn't have understood.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mulling



Our evening walk

Mulling: Verb

1.Think about (a fact, proposal, or request) deeply and at length: "she began to mull over the various possibilities".

To write well I do believe we have to read well. I was struggling with a short story I wrote that I like very much. For one it's based on truth but for two I have a narrator that just isn't sitting right with me. The story's in the third person and he is an old, wise man with some physical deformities (oddly proportioned body, very short with a large head)that I am extremely fond of. I know, for literati - "of whom I'm extremely fond" sounds clunky and snobbish, so hey, artistic licence, y'all.

He collects stories, and people trust him with their deepest secrets. I've written many stories featuring this wonderful old man but this particular one was driving me crazy. I put it away about six months ago, still unresolved.

I was reading a story out of an anthology yesterday. It was a great story up to a point and then it all fell down as the writer couldn't extricate the narrator and the protaganist from each other. The end of it was a mess. I read it four or five times and it was still a mess. Like the writer gave up and said, I did really well for 90% of this and now I'm tired, so stop bothering me.

I was out with the dog this evening and I was transfixed by the slapping of the incoming tide on the stones. My mind soared off. I was a child again listening to my grandfather who had wonderful stories and songs. "Come here to me, a leanbh," he'd say, "an sceal eile." (child, another story). I don't know how long I stood there but it was long enough for the dog to throw herself on my feet and whimper. But, suddenly, I knew where that writer had gone wrong and QED where I'd gone wrong too by not giving my beloved storyteller, Chester, his very own voice.

It's odd that. How we can think reading and walking and playing with the dog can be pastimes, fun things, but on another level, almost subconsciously, the mind can be opened up anew and a very old ball of knotted wool can be untangled.

Just like that.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Calling Redux



Michael Redhill aka Inger Ash Wolfe

I wrote about a wonderful book I read here and the author was kind enough to leave a comment too. He wrote "The Calling" under the pseudonym of Inger Ash Wolfe and if you want to read an unputdownable thriller featuring an elder female police chief living with her retired mayor mother, this one would be it. Michael Redhill is the man behind Inger, his alter ego, and he is now a FB friend.

Anyway, I'm absolutely thrilled for him that this great book is now being filmed and Michael posted some pics the other day of himself on set with the stars. He is modest enough to be star-struck.

And guess who's playing the role of the police chief? Susan Sarandon, that's who.

And guess who's playing the role of her mother? Ellen Burstyn, that's who.

I'll be first in line at the box office when it opens.

Crazy star-struck fan, that's me.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Trials of Job....Part 3 of 3



See Part 1 Here
See Part 2 Here


Around ten o'clock that night Harry announced the floor show. Especially for Chairman, in pranced a woman in a very short school girl uniform who presented Chairman with first of all her breasts (on a tray) and then her behind. I looked around at everyone hooting and thigh-slapping. I glanced at Yvonne who was just as appalled as I was. Then Schoolgirl set up her music machine and proceeded to strip. Slowly. Down to her pasties and g-string. To uproarious laughter, Chairman pulled out his wallet and inserted dollar bills in any gap or orifice he found on her body.

I got up and quietly left. It was just before Christmas and I thought, I will call in sick. I will call in sick for as long as it takes. I will get a medical certificate. Maybe they'll fire me. Oh please let them fire me and give me severance. Please. And then I can get unemployment insurance while I look for a job, any other job.

Ten days later, I finally showed up at work only to have Harry call me into his office before I had taken off my coat. He regretted, etc., it wasn't working out at all, etc., I lacked the company spirit, blah-blah, they would give me severance in lieu, etc. I restrained my glee. Unseemly laughter and joy might remove the severance package. Still coated, I went into my office and prepared the papers and the cheque and had Harry sign them all but I could not contain myself in the parking lot. I danced in front of the Lincoln, I danced on the lawn and then fled the scene, jacking up the music on the car radio, screaming my release to the sky.

If there is a hell I've done my freshman, junior and senior years. Remember that, Mr. Jesus Jones. When it comes time, I mean.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Trials of Job....Part 2 of 3



See Part 1 here.

To add to the fun, Harry was a firm believer in socializing. Golf days, bowling days, baseball days, barbeque days, picnics in public park days. This was a far, far worse nightmare than the office. And there was no choice on attendance as he was encouraging company spirit by (a) giving the day off and (b) paying us all. I remember at one baseball hoot where I wasn't chosen to go on either of the teams, sitting on a bleacher and thinking: “Sweet Mr. Jesus Jones, what effing planet have I landed on” amidst the squeals of delight and laughter all around me as the others ran around in their Briggs Blue uniforms. I got to the point where I thought I was the one at fault. Why the hell wasn't I a Stepford Munchkin like the rest of them?

I was saved from hare-kari by Yvonne who was the quality control supervisor in the plant and who also wasn't chosen for one of the fun-filled baseball game teams. She turned out to be Harry's sister-in-law (sister to his wife) and just about hated his guts as he did hers. I could see the grim set of his mouth when he saw us together. Yvonne was employed there because of her husband who was Harry's best friend and was the shipping manager.

When you're trapped like that, very much a square peg in a round hole, there's very little energy left over to seek another job. It's all about survival - there are kids and other responsibilities of the household. This one pay cheque away from disaster life does exist. I lived it. And I'm sure my ill-concealed misery and isolation did not endear me to anyone there, apart from Yvonne who was suffering equally. We were on the outside looking in on this surreal blue comraderie and non-stop jollity, Harry in the middle grinning benevolence on everyone but us, poking his staff on the shoulders from behind their office chairs to raucous laughter, telling off colour jokes involving animal sex et al to his appreciative audience who lapped it all up. I felt my face was set in a permanent lemony pruney construct. The nun amongst the rabble. I was absolutely wretched.

I stuck it out, made the best of it, sat for hours in the computer room (yeah, those were the days!) inserting those huge old floppy disks into behemoth machines, feeding room sized printers with enormous boxes of perforated paper with 4 layers of carbon, tapping those huge old keyboards, listening to the grinding and chugging of all the machinery around me, waiting for the weekly breakdowns of some essential component like the printer or the floppy drives or an outraged orange message on the tiny black screen of the (blue) monitor. Sitting with Harry in his office, reviewing all this vomitous output. Harry liked to highlight and annotate every line with a (blue) highlighter so he could revise and revise and revise his annual budgets every month (seriously!), all changes that I had to input over many hours and for a grand finale to this he would obsess about minescule government tax rebates which took me forever to complete in triplicate. On a typewriter.

It all came to a head for me at the Christmas Party held at a swanky hotel which involved dinner and dancing and a special floor show for the chairman from California who was our guest of honour. I sat with Yvonne and her husband. To this day I thank Yvonne. a very funny Yorkshire woman.

To be continued.

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Trials of Job....Part 1 of 3



I've written about some of my workplaces before but here is one from the other side of the fence, so to speak. There were a few of those too. Here's one:

In chatting with Daughter the other day, I was recalling a particularly appalling work position I took back in the day when I was in my late thirties. I was hired as controller/office manager in a small manufacturing plant I'll call “Briggs”. There were five in my department who reported to me. What struck me as odd from the beginning was that I was the tallest person in the office at 5' 8”. The president was a wee British man, and by wee I mean about 5' 3”. (Sorry, I'm of the age where metric for the most part is a challenge.) The two salesmen were equally short. And I noted I drove the smallest car. The president, Harry, drove a blue Lincoln Continental with a cushion on the driver's seat to keep his head above the steering wheel.

From my very first day there I sensed a resentment from my staff. They had adored my predecessor, Vivian, whom I had met during the transition. I had the impression that they firmly believed that Lucy, the accounts payable clerk, should have succeeded Vivian. Lucy ruled the roost now that Vivian was gone.

There were very strict rules in the office. Every pencil, note pad cover, pen, paper clip, stapler and coffee cup had to be in the colour favoured by the company, fondly called “Briggs Blue”. Even the office chairs, in-baskets, and out-baskets, teapots and water cooler. No other colour was allowed. Harry was adamant on this. Harry liked to stand behind us as we worked. He would come into my office and walk behind my chair and even when questioned as to what he wanted, he would just humph and say in his nasal cockney voice “Oh carry on, carry on, act loik I'm not 'ere.” It only took me a half a day to find this behaviour offputting - and I reported to the man!

Single mothers with a household to maintain can't be choosy when it comes to employment. I persisted in trying to turn this whole scene around. I was able to escape every day with the bank deposit for I had taken that task away from the credit manager, but not without a struggle. I added office supply shopping, purchase of bank drafts and letters of credit and mail pickups and drop-offs to my daily outing and then added my lunch hour. I could escape every day for two hours. Liberation! A brief reprieve!

I mentally prepared myself every morning when I got up for my "Blue Life with the Munchkins”. Mean-spirited, I know, but in this hostile atmosphere (and it was increasingly so) it was sometimes the only humourous thought that would get me through those workdays.

To be continued.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Connectivity



I've been thinking about connection lately, how all things are. Trite I know, new-agey. Tree huggy. Elder reflections.

The shifting of importances. I really believe small things should be writ large. How well I feel when I know where my food is coming from, who farmed or hunted it, who has the chickens where the eggs are laid, meet the farmer who delivers my meat, when and where the moose was hunted, how far out in the bay were those crab pots laid. That there were scallop beds on the bay in front of my house back in the day, until the huge draggers came in and destroyed the bay forever and the ocean mile limits were set. Far too late. We need to learn from Gaia, our planet. She has much to teach us.

Today, Leo comes in with a load of wood from the barn and is excited. See? he says, see? And he points at a few big logs. Oh, they're maple, I say, impressed. (I do know my trees and wood from refinishing furniture back in the day. I knows me pine from me oak from me maple and walnut and cherry.)

It turns out they're from Mabel the Maple, her branches now dried and still serving me. And her trunk is still standing and I'm going to get someone to take her down and see if we can make one hell of a bench from her so she can live on.

Thank you, Mabel.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Wait Five Minutes



A common Newfoundland phrase is:

"If you don't like the weather wait five minutes."

I've known it to be true.

But there's such a thing as 'shrug true' and 'gobsmackingly true'.

Like today. I was in St. John's for the day and I usually plan my time there, not OCD-ish or anything, but I have a rough idea when I'm having dinner with or without friends, time allocated for the weekly grocery shop, and I allow for a good long walk with Ansa. Today I chose the university campus. We like this walk as many far-from-home students rush over and go ballistic over Ansa. She laps up the attention for a while and then gets bored with the fans and heads for the pee-mail all around her.

It was a stunning day. St. John's gets Denim Days too. Not a cloud in the sky so I debated the vest and the gloves and decided to take them but shook my head at the cap and the coat. I mean I would look seriously ridiculous on such a balmy day.

We were about 20 minutes out on the walk at a goodly pace when snow begins to make itself felt. I smiled, thinking it a fleeting weather aberration. I looked up at the darkening sky as the wind picked up. Sweet maria on a pogo stick, I kid you not, the heavens opened up, the wind roared and we now had a full blown blizzard on our hands. Blizzard. One of those horizontal ones. The ice got into places on my body that had never been exposed to the light of day. Or night. Ever. I had no cell phone and no money on me. Head down, I aimed for the car in these arctic conditions. I was covered in snow and ice, soaked and chilled to the bone. Ansa is part husky so there were many potential romps this spoilsport had to drag her away from along the way. Snow! Bounce! Joy!

I finally, finally struggled into the car and blasted the heat. And then, you know what happened next? You do. The dark oppressive clouds raced away out over the ocean and the sun split the rocks yet again, dazzling me so much I had to put on the shades. And all that snow melted. In rivers running everywhere.

I was meeting some friends at 7 and I was a sorry sight, jeans dripping, my sleeves had to be literally rung out. And they all laughed. Not at the news of the blizzard, but that I hadn't prepared for all eventualities of weather as I set out. As they do. Like true Newfoundlanders.

I will be telling this weather story for years.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Do I hafta?



Daughter says the big mistake in getting up is in first heading into the interwebz. Screen-sucking as I call it. I don't have a device yet and am holding out. Having a device could completely destroy my life as I could take it to bed and play Lexulous until the cows come home. Or not. Because I wouldn't care, would I? But I have to agree with her, once in the claws of the interwebz it's might hard to smash those leg irons and emerge, battered, bruised and bedazzled.

I had these thoughts this morning as I fixed a lampshade that Ansa had inadvertently knocked off a window sill. I like a light in a window, don't you? Something welcoming about it. I was restitching it in a rather attractive earthy-heathery wool and my mind went to the piles of work in my office and the usual guilt set in.

Deferring gratification is the first sign of maturity, did you know that?

Well, I always knew it but to practise it? "Sin sceal eile" as my people have it. "That's another story altogether." Can't seem to master that skill set at all.

I'd rather play in my house or read my book or knit or write (like now) and feel the stress of mounting workpiles and do absolutely NOTHING about them.

I keep thinking life would be so simple if I dealt with the work first. Then it would be over and I could be free to play.

That's my father's voice. Not mine.

I answer back ' "Oh do I hafta??" "Oh please, just one more row, just one more chapter, just one more episode of 'Homeland'".



Monday, April 01, 2013

Gratitude



I'm at the age, like many of us, when I never take another spring for granted. I mean no matter what the age, we never should. But at my age, well, when I see Spring nudging her way over the horizon and down the bay and up my driveway, well, Ansa and I greet her with whoops and, yes, a wee bit of tears on my part. For Ansa just lives in the moment, as I try to do most of the time. My dog is one of my best teachers.

But now and again, like this glorious morning, I look off at the boats in the distance getting ready for the crab season, and out at the bay which is like a mirror, with the sun bathing every living thing in the spirit of renewal and rebirth and think: there's another summer in this old girl yet.