Tag Archives: family

Leftovers Again

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.

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Loads of Gravel

Ninety years ago from her farmhouse window she would see the loads of gravel being sold from my grandpa’s gravel pit. Every load moved by horse and cart was marked down on a tally on a calendar beside her party line telephone. With all the typical work to do in her house and around the farm she had time to do this. This neighbour had a husband but no children. She was a topnotch housekeeper, cook , quilter and kind soul.

When you went to visit her, even in her later years, she could put together a great homemade meal in no time flat. Bam! She was amazing. The visit would last well into the night because there was a lot of ground to cover with respect to catching up on all the news of the neighbourhood and adventures of those farther afield.

My neighbours are close at hand.

An older couple has moved into a seniors apartment but they are still involved in the local activities at the church and coffee shop. A new person has taken over their place and has a very old dog and a very young dog as well as some horses boarded somewhere which are part of a business venture she manages.

Another neighbour is constantly on the go with his trucking business and his wife is a devoted daughter, caring for her parents.

The folks beside me are busy night and day caring for children and others, often in emergency situations. Quite possibly, these people are angels.

Across the street are lovely folk involved in teaching,books, music, art, food and cats. They are either on their porch with herbal tea or off to watch the swans. Music from the sixties floats through the air, sometimes.

Directly across,a relative resides. Family sports events, community and social activities, planning such events for her wide range of friends and recently some kitchen renovations occupy her time. She seems to keep tabs on me as well.

Further along, another relative lives a bachelor life of hobbies, friends and travel. He is also very fond of his amazing ginger coloured cat. He sends me emails about his cat, often.

Across the street is a young family with several children that liven up the neighbourhood, attracting the other kids down the street and they all get together as “The Chicken House Gang” and happily go off to the local park to play. All of them are sweet and polite. I should know because I see them go by back and forth a couple of times a day and they wave or say hi. Quite possibly, these kids are angels too.

Around the corner is a gentle and dignified grandma that rides her bike or goes on walks with her grandchildren.

At  the end of the street, another couple, distantly related, reserved and respected.

On the corner, in a huge restored old house a busy family, a tiny dog, teenagers in the house.

More neighbours, further along, as the streets and lanes wind in and out. New grandchildren are the news of these folks, or so I hear. They have been away to visit this new baby but are home again as I’ve been told as we gathered on the porch.

A toad is happy to be in my garden and follows my footsteps as I water the plants. The big tree across the street has a racoon carefully moving along the bigger branches.

At night, when I can’t sleep I think of things like the neighbour of my grandpa’s watching and tallying his gravel business and then I blog a bit to boost my stats. I’ll count them in the morning.

 

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Party Line

large terracotta pots lined up in a row sitting on six old unused green chairs

having a tea party

joined with more pots and what nots

gathered all in a pushed together spot

satisfaction for the time being

spaces for more to grow so off I go

look around

why not, time to eat

rooted thought

swinging metal gate with latch, long walk, hen house patch

sloping hill, lowland rows

warmer days and cold snap nights

Dad

coldframe of boards and window frames

cabbages, tomatoes tucked away

stepping along the seeded row, gently sliding a soft covering and a firmer press

to wait

for sun and rain

in time

out demanded out

 to get the ruddy beans

 so many

ruddy

 beans

Mom

onions by the handful, braided up

tomatoes filled the wagons, carrot mounds dumped on grass

washed, scraped, sliced , blanched

most of it frozen

canning

gleaning

the last of everything

squash, pumpkins, green tomatoes

all of it

every scrap before the final frost and freeze

first snow on the field and pinetree boughs

barn light on at night

henhouse dark and latched up tight

oven on

 remembered, rooted

thoughts

among the pots

so off I go

a party still

connection

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Birthright

Soft night rinsed with enough rain for the garden

Sitting together, some family news

soft night, talking through

Messages, contact, phone and personal touch

Blessings

softly gathered today, a week ago and before

Yes, before

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Dog, Cat and As the World Turns

Note to self, remember to bring the poor cat inside tonight. Cat has been sequestered for days while the dog was visiting. At the first chance of an open door, clear of an intimidating looking muscular but actual cream puff of a bulldog has gone back home to my son’s house, the cat has bolted outside. It is dark. Coyotes lurk in the nearby bush.

Cat has made a break for it. Anyone would after sitting in a wicker basket on a high dresser for two days. Food, water, litter tray and a nice oscillating fan to stir the air is nice enough for a cat staycation for one day but after that it gets old fast.

Since the dog has left I can eat without worrying about the head butts against my leg that signal begging for food. My books, glasses, coffee cups, journals and pens are safe from being snatched or knocked over. The large bay window with it’s wide lower ledge in the living room is now just a window rather than a showcase for a chubby bulldog to stand in, prance around on and bark at passerby’s, tousle around the new spiffy drapes, lick the glass panes and sleep upon for hours. Things are returning to normal except for the cat escape.

Point being?

We all get a bit set in our ways. We do things the same old way. It’s good to hang out with interesting characters but send them home once they become a bit much. Let loose when you can. Get out there. Take a chance or two. Watch out for coyotes and leave the porch light on.

 

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Muse It or Lose It

What is there about having the dog come to stay for a few days of respite care, or as my son refers to it as holidays, that stirs my desire to blog, yet again? There have been blog bog down periods before and somehow as soon as the dog appears a rattling at the door and skiddering in the hall, the house takes on a new vibe conducive to a variety of projects, those left for a rainy day. Without the dog, the house and all the projects of which I speak so fondly, just exist in their own quiet way , no pressure to complete at any breakneck speed or deadline. However, having the dog here a routine seems to surface and jobs like cleaning, gardening, shopping and other assorted daily tasks need to be done in such a manner as to accommodate the care and needs of said dog. Rarely, does the cat have this effect on me. Indeed, the cat and I have come to an understanding. Food, water, shelter and some quality sleeping time are the basic requirements of cat . There is none of this stick to a routine stuff with the cat. The cat doesn’t care.

There is something very healthy about having the dog here, for holidays. Vitamins and supplements, often forgotten are suddenly ingested as energy to deal with things is a priority. Piles of projects begin to dwindle, oddly enough as I’ve already mentioned…mainly because with the dog here things cannot be left just sitting around waiting for a rainy day or a sudden inclination. For example, half empty paint cans must be removed before a catastrophe happens that would be most regrettable. Laundry might as well be done on time rather than just accumulate until the seasons change. Stuff gets put away, out of reach, out of dog range. Garbage gets carted to the curb exactly on time, thereby avoiding being dumped during a sniffing around episode.

The writing routine, long avoided, set aside, almost forgotten and definitely ignored suddenly skidders in too. Journal writing takes on some streams of thought, to-do lists start appearing on my writing desk, bulletin board and refrigerator. The reading diary gets filled in during the quiet times when the dog is sleeping beside me and I feel more inclined to sit and read all the books that I like to read rather than try to read stuff recommended by others. Finally, late at night with all the shenanigans of the evening play, bone chewing and treat sneaking over for now, with the laundry sounding off it’s finished cycle, and the loaded dishwasher ready to do it’s job, dog covered up in her crate and cat somewhere behind the drapes….I write my blog once more. A good thing, to start again and it will lead to more writing…. the writing project left in a pile, for example.

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Grandma’s Touch

Gentle tears from heart, bridal

understood by the mothers and daughters in the gathering

energy

in the moment

pure

connection

unrehearsed

tenderness

felt

remembered

 

 

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A Wannabe Village Person

Taking a window of opportunity with milder weather today I collected up some stuff my son requested from home for his new place and took an early evening drive into town. I’m a wonderful mother, I know.

Big puddles and millions of potholes slowed my journey down considerably. His neighbourhood is a wonderfully quirky part of town with many charming points and places. The narrow and snow slushed filled streets riddled with cracks and gullies somewhat detract from it’s appeal at the moment.

Several people were out walking their dogs but just as many were carrying them over the rushing puddles collecting at the intersections. Oddly enough it seemed like the right thing to do, however my son’s seventy pound bulldog pup will not likely get this treatment. ( By the way, she was THRILLED to see me and made her face go all smiley rather than the usual bulldog pouty look.)

The inky black night soon settled in by the time I was on my way back home and what with the snow piles and potholes I  eased my car through the narrow street lit up here and there with little restaurants, galleries and shops still open. A giant evergreen, mid village is still lit with white Christmas lights. The place has a special hum about it at any time but on this inky dark, wet and slushy night it looked welcoming, interesting and good place to be.

When the snow finally melts and the slush drains away I think my son will see me in the artsy village neighbourhood more often. He need not worry about me pestering him too much though. I’ll be finding myself at one of the galleries or poetry gatherings. I’ll be the one maybe reciting a lament to slush and potholes, not wearing a beret.

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Pickup Lines

An older man behind the lunch counter

dismissed initially as a possible seatmate

tiny table in the winter indoor sun

preferable

low key conversation way back

in the market’s deli

discretely held

yet holding my interest

older woman unloading

some comments to a younger person

considerations given

and the gist of it I think

of the audible part….. was about

money

can relate

moving on,  finished, paper napkin and coffee cup

shopping needs doing now that the older senior shoppers have gone home and cleared out of the parking lot and now safer to go out there and not have my nice car whacked by a zooming zoomer

after all is said and done

taking a different approach

to turn in dirty tray to deli workers and proceed

an older man, wearing his coat and winter felt cap

sitting straight and tall at the lunch counter writing intently, noticed now

one glance to see his neatness scribed there, a journal maybe

something he does every day

another peek but useless for telling

anymore

most likely he will be there again and I may say hello and comment

about the day and smile or nod at another older writer

like myself

the comments made by the old woman at the back of the lunch counter

something

about money and frustrating people

another

story

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Sweet Home, Sweet Home

freezing rain

huge pot of chili made with fridge clear out ingredients

batch of butterscotch and chocolate chip cookies

sleeping on and off through the afternoon

roads bad

so dog stays

yet another night

five containers of chili made with onions, tomatoes, zuchinni, mushrooms, celery, carrots, three kind of beans and two kinds of meat now frozen

one batch of cookies but half of the batch left too long in oven and other half perfect

message sent from new neighbourhood coffee shop wifi because son can’t find phone charger in his muddle of unpacked boxes

all ok, found heat control in basement apartment

yesterday, there, my feet froze waiting for him

he’s close and his neighbourhood coffee shop is just one lovely thing

there

an organic and arty little enclave in an old part of the city

going down the village street

besides the neighbourhood coffee shop

an art gallery with meeting places for artists, writers, performers

a library with meeting rooms for readers, writers

poetry in the air there

tiny bakery with funny little signs

plant and flower store

used books for sale in an old house

the tavern looks old time blues and rock and roll

the pub a little more upscale maybe

something for everyone but I like the blues

vintage shops , retro things, records, books, clothes, antiques

quilt making shop giving classes

good old landmark hardware store

fancy coffee place with delicate desserts

a spa or two

historical , quaint, lovely places

even a real grocery store

all just along his village street

where his basement apartment is warming up

Is there any wonder why he stayed in town and left the dog

yet another night with mom

Afterall, it’s freezing rain.

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