Neck high in the snow drifts is just one problem for a short and stocky bulldog. Over the head scary snowdrifts bank the roadway but smell very nice due to high squirrel traffic. The laneway is short and filled with two cars but it has a build up of ice that slows grandma down when she agrees to a outdoors session. At the end of the lane is a nice little brown collie and shepherd mix dog that has the privilege of sometimes running around loose to play and provides a fun break from the day to day short walks. The rest of the day is a bowl in the morning and one at night, Sleep periods in the sun on the old brown chair, play with the treat kong for a few minutes, brief business trips out the door, sleep periods on the warm floor intermixed with sleep periods on the soft white blanket on the couch and sleep periods on the wooly blue blanket on the best recliner. Spurts of sudden activity randomly engage the little bulldog girl when the ninja cat appears from behind the bedroom door. Grandma is close by, cooking things, doing laundry, tapping on the keyboard of her computer at all hours or sitting, resting, reading and drinking tea.Life in the country is pretty much as expected.
Category Archives: weather
Sleeping arrangements are fluid and depends on who gets the bed or basket or recliner
there will be
when there isn’t enough
for both on the recliner so
to work at the computer is so boring and yet
that sleeping resumes and then television and a cup of tea is manageable
a constant supply of cheap food with pull
back lids set upon
a high level is tolerable
of laundry wind down to floor
mats and duvets and random
yet still there are bins and baskets and bags and general loose ends that are set aside while swollen ankles ache and frozen shoulder seizes
dishes are reasonably clean and dirty
in a cycle of day to day existence in the middle of this shift in family, possessions, luggage, pets and dreams
at the centre is a maternal management
worse for wear and exhausted by worry yet hopeful and proud
ignoring winter salt stains on the boots and the grit by the door for a little while longer until the sun warms and melts and the green shows through
perhaps revealing some
In the week before Christmas,the morning routine was to wait for mom to get into her green wool tartan housecoat and go downstairs to flip the switch on the furnace shaft to send some warm heat upstairs while I stayed in bed warming up my clothes for the day that were rolled up at the foot of the bed.With breakfast started on the stove and the tea made,mom would come back up stairs and supervise the dressing preparations for the day . It was a noteworthy day if the old quilt cover was covered a bit with some drifted snow from the shaky window sill. Outside the evergreen trees in the lane were draped with snow and the path to the road was filled in until the tractor made it’s way through it.
On such a day, by nightfall, the back shed door would thump and bang while the top part of an evergreen tree from our bush was squeezed through the entrance into the farmhouse kitchen. The tree was freshly cut, covered in snow and ice and still holding abandoned bird nests in it’s top branches. Pushed by the table, it would knock off any dishes or food placed there for supper. With a tighter squeeze it was brought into the ‘parlour’, set into a galvanized pail with water, tied with twine and attached to a nail on the wall.
Decorations were some very old twisted strings of large coloured lights with aluminum star like and pointsetta style reflectors. Some of the lights bubbled with coloured water effect. A few surviving glass baubles and recycled tinsel and silver garland completed the whole thing. Nothing fancy and hardly ever a new ornament purchased, but the remembered tree with the snow, ice and bird nests in it’s branches is a beautiful part of my Christmas heritage.
I think of that tree and I can see my big brother bringing it into the house. It isn’t a memory from a pin and post décor article or a scene from an urban chic lifestyle television program. It is the moment,captured. The back shed door, the cold fresh tree, the snow, ice and bird nests,the cups and plates and food knocked over by the huge branches, my mom standing there dealing with it all and the memory of my big brother, full of fun and bringing some to me.
at the corner of my yard for the lady next door
walks her dog
in the dark
down the village street
the corner light
the mailbox is yellowing with age
some of the neighbours had put up some Christmas lights
but some haven’t
it is maybe too early
or maybe too late
it is cold now and nobody wants to do lights
it is cold
snow was here and wind has ripped on through the village a couple of times on wild days this week with rain washing away the snow leaving fallen fences, branches in the lane and newspapers in the wrong places
warm with extra layers and covering
unexpected but not atypical
Extension cords in a bundle are heaped on the mudroom bench and three garden rakes lean against the wall in the television room. A truck load of new lumber wrapped in places with duct tape and hammered with a few nails landed in my back yard and helpful neighbours have carried it away to repair their own projects. Other things such as a fat suit and a play sword have just been returned to a dance group. A few useful things such as a small carpet, flashlights and a one dollar charity shop lamp ended up in my son’s apartment. Some things were trashed and some were donated. A few boxes of things are still in the car. A rehearsal hall fan, purchased by me is stored away,somewhere. These things, related by their usefulness in a recent play directed by my son seem almost charged still with some kind of weird energy, like the props and costumes in my years and years and years old dramatic play collection, now totally dispersed. My long acquired collection was for school kids. This recent collection was for theatre.
Something else has arrived here waiting to be dealt with when the energy builds to face it. A form of anti-climatic mood lingers around the place like a distant relative, familiar, welcome enough but a bit tiring after an over extended stay. Time for it to go, run along, clean up after itself,” toodle-loo” and close the door. Routine needs to be enforced and motivation in the form of new projects, hard work and completed tasks should alter the clingy mood sighing to itself in the little piles of stuff in the mudroom and also in the back of the car.
Tomorrow is a new day. Up at sunrise. Clear the decks. Green tea (gag/trying to be healthy), journals, coffee ( finally), emails, scrambled eggs ( with hot sauce) and toast, garden rakes and extension cords. Then clean the car and put the boxes in the mudroom to sit for days and days and days.
It’s that time of year again when everyone is either away or busy and they need me to take care of their pets. Actually, it is fun doing that. The old cat has taken over my bedroom while the visiting dog has once more taken over my recliner and I’ve moved myself into the guest room. I’m pretending I’m on holiday in there as well .
Neighbours are always dropping in just for a visit and I’m not even worrying too much about whether the dishes are done or not. The crickets are chirping, squirrels are racing around, bunnies are on the lawn and the Canadian Geese are honking overhead.
There are small piles accumulating here and there which represent projects and events that I’ve either put off during the summer or completed lately but haven’t dealt with tidying away. Books are piled on the table ready to go back to the library in a day or two. There’s no rush. Running to the local libraries is my pastime and actually, its fun doing that too.
Assorted kitchen bowls and antique platters are filled to the brim with assorted vegetables and fruits from the farmer’s market. Some garden goodies are also available from my sister’s farm so it is a time of eating what can be yanked out of the garden, washed off and sprinkled with a little salt.
My garden is feeling a little tired now because I gave up watering it but producing lots of kitchen herbs, peppers, onions and a few tomatoes. Marigolds are making a good show in the back garden along with assorted geraniums, purple petunias, blue morning glories, white and pink Rose of Sharon bushes, pink Himalayan orchids and a jaw dropping white mop headed hydrangea bush.
The side porch has a very laid back vibe with cushioned chairs, asparagus ferns, ivy and fuchsia impatiens. Here and there throughout the yard are small white concrete statues of a hen, frog, swan, horse, cat. A grey concrete squirrel sits by the side door. (Honourable mention also of a broken concrete mother duck without a head which has such sentimental value it remains, discretely placed.) A ceramic Christmas pig wearing a red toque and holding a striped candy cane jauntily looks out from under the bushes from whence he was originally placed by a family member who consistently denies doing such a thing.
Tomorrow is a day to visit with a retired colleague and another neighbour, drink tea and eat oatmeal scones. The dog will be here for another two weeks while his master is in chaotic show mode at the theatre. The old cat will just have to cope as best as she can. I’m planning on doing the dishes sometime tomorrow. The books go back maybe Tuesday. Little piles and projects will sort themselves out as they always do. The garden will fade slowly. Trips to the farmer’s market will increase.
Concrete statues remain the same, unchanged by the seasons.
Broken concrete mother duck, headless, still part of the garden, just hidden