One of the best things about a vacation? Coming home to a face like this. Both kitties were overjoyed at our return, as if we were gone for a month! “One small cat changes coming… More
From our home to yours,
sending wishes for
a sweet and lovely Easter Sunday.
These are a few excerpts from my private journal in September 2010, shortly before I started this blog. We were living in Mike Perry’s summer house here in Newtown, while our future home’s interior was being renovated on Perry’s Point by Paul’s two handy cousins and by Paul himself.
Of note, this excerpt was written during Hurricane Igor and its aftermath. Also of note is my poem at the end.
Very slowly, the old house on the point is undergoing its planned metamorphosis. My emotions are mixed. To see the rot exposed, the peeling paint and wallpaper, the ancient cobwebs hanging from the now-bare and blackened rafters, the unbelievable mess in the yard created by demolition, and now reconstruction – all of this plays havoc with my need for cleanliness and order. Are we really going to live here, in this two-storey house on a piece of rock jutting out into the cold North Atlantic? And are we ever going to find carpenters to install the new windows and clapboard while the rest of the work is done?
But then on one occasion when I visited the point last week, I saw something. I caught an encouraging glimpse of what could be. Of what that old house could become. My eye is drawn to the sun shining in through the multi-coloured glass of the windows we are not replacing. I see promise in their dazzling jewel tones of green, pink and yellow.
I get a mental picture of the rooms, devoid of junk and sawdust. Instead, they are neatly decorated, warm and comfortable, the kitchen filled with welcoming smells, music playing, Paul laughing at our cat Vivian as she skitters across the floor after a pop bottle stopper. I see Paul in his home office working on design plans, and I see me typing another page in my new novel. I welcome a visitor, put the kettle on…
I pretty much wish we were already there, playing house. Patience has never been my strongest virtue, so time drags on.
So the house in Paradise didn’t close yesterday as planned. The buyers require a survey of the land…why did they wait until the last minute??
And now we are back in Newtown, enduring the wrath of Hurricane Igor as he sweeps over the province, the likes of which we have never witnessed. There’s a leak in the living-room here at Mike’s that started since Paul left to go out on the point. The wind is howling, the rain is hitting the windows in sheets. Mother Nature is showing her teeth today and she means business! The radio assures me that this storm is a record breaker, and I feel like I have three houses to worry about: this one, the one on the point, and our biggest investment up to now, the one in Paradise that is almost sold.
Even Maisie and Vivian look worried.
Everyone I love now has their power back. My sister Lynn got hers at 1 yesterday, my mother-in-law last evening, and daughter Denise at 4 this morning (no other family lost theirs). We had it gone for about seven minutes on the night of the storm. So I breathe a great sigh of relief that all is well once again. I smile to realize that many have no cable TV or internet access right now – just like us!
Of course, we still wait for a phone call from our real estate agent or our lawyer as to when the house will close. I pray the walk-thru goes well. We wait to see if the Trans Canada Highway will open later today. And we wait for our new windows to be delivered. Sometimes life feels like a long drawn-out waiting game.
I love cooking and baking. Sometimes it feels downright therapeutic. As I made cod au gratin and a strawberry-apple crumble yesterday, a feeling of such peace and contentment enveloped me, it made me think of the book Simple Abundance and how much truth is in it. Whenever I cook and there is lots of time to do it right, I adore it. Thinking of living on the point and cooking and baking in my brand new kitchen fills me with happiness. I taped some loose recipes into my personal cookbook just this morning, in anticipation of using them soon.
The only thing that hurts is to read the recipes that Mom dictated to me over the phone not that long ago.
And I wait for a call from Lynn to see if they have a new placement for Mom. I don’t think I will get over the hurt of her Alzheimer’s disease for a very long time, and the worst is yet to come. Right on the heels of Dad’s ALS and death in 2003, the dreaded condition swooped in on my precious mother and changed her forever. Why has this double whammy hit our family, I wonder. I fear that the knowledge of it and the pain of its aftermath have changed me forever too.
As a way of dealing with these feelings, I wrote a poem this morning.
God, give me back my mom, I beg you and I plead
we’ve lost her much too early, the pain will not recede
First we lose our father to a death no one should know
too young he was to leave us–my God! I miss him so..
The grief it proved a burden our mother couldn’t bear
her sadness turned to illness with a name I’ve always feared
I know not how her soul survives as her mind and body waste
she lives and yet she doesn’t; a stranger took her place
Where is my mother’s heart? Where is her winsome smile?
I miss the wisdom of her words, her gentle, caring style
God, give me back my mom, if it’s only in a dream
let her put her arms around me; let her hold me as she sings
Then please take her up to heaven, let her suffering be gone
reunite my precious parents–maybe then I can go on.
While many of you are appreciating warmer weather now, it’s still pretty chilly in our region and our cats are getting a touch stir crazy. Yes, they’re allowed to go outside year-round, but fur coats or not, they aren’t too enthused about staying out in the cold for very long.
I promise you, Vivian, although it doesn’t seem so, spring has indeed arrived. Before you know it, the snow will disappear, the grass will turn green, and you and sister Maisie will be back in your favourite place: outdoors on Perry’s Point, prowling around.
This is one of my best-loved photos of her. I like everything about it, but particularly the background and the way her hind feet are still perched on the post.
This and other photos of Viv in the garden originally appeared here: Vivian’s View From Here: On The Prowl
Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!
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Coffee filters have many uses.
All you need is a little imagination.
And a little brother to share them with.
This photo wasn’t taken yesterday – our angels are 10 and 12 now.
“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.” ~ Walt Disney
Clarence blinks and yawns, instantly awake at the sudden rattle of a latch. The door next to his own swings open, then closes, the metallic creak and slam echoing down the brightly lit hallway. His nap is over, thanks to the new arrival. Might as well face the day and deal with it!
While he does some quick stretches and washes his face, he steals sidelong glances at this latest stranger and wonders if he’s a loudmouth like so many of the others. Clarence’s head hurts from the constant din in this godforsaken purgatory. All the crying and complaining from the younger inmates last night had kept him awake, just as it did most nights since winter came and filled the place to near-capacity.
His stomach growls in protest. He wonders when breakfast will arrive, the high point of the morning. He knows he doesn’t belong in here, and he’s starting to forget exactly how long it has been since he’s known joy.
Is that food coming?
No, a woman, one he’s never seen before. She smiles in at him. The scent of her is delightful; it soothes him and makes him think of flowers.
His jailer is here now too. He’s opening the door! “Clarence here has been with us the longest. But he’s very quiet and well-behaved.”
“He’s beautiful,” the woman says, “and he reminds me of Leo, one I had as a child. He’s the one!” She reaches for him.
Nestled in a carrier on the passenger seat, Clarence purrs all the way to his new home.
Friday Fiction – a place to share short pieces of my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes. These posts may not occur every week but whenever the mood arises.
“Some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.”
~ D. H. Lawrence
“Old age: the crown of life, our play’s last act.” ~ Cicero
“If you survive long enough, you’re revered – rather like an old building.” ~ Katharine Hepburn
I’ve been a follower of Hands On Bowie for years, ever since I first laid eyes on its namesake, a beautiful British Shorthair cat who hails from Belgium.
Mr. Bowie the cat is sometimes photographed in colour and at other times in sumptuous black and white. Herman is the blogger and photographer.
From the About page:
“The basics you need to know: HoB is about Bowie, Mr. Bowie, (a British Shorthair, not David Robert Hayward-Jones) & me, the guy behind the guy behind the cat, a comeback electronic musician … I’m not a real photographer. I’ve got a beautiful model.”
I chose the following post to highlight because it shows off Mr. Bowie’s garden too.
Check out this sweet boy!
Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Sunday Snap: Sea Star
There’s treasure children always seek to find
and just like us
you must have had
Did you know? Marine scientists have replaced the starfish’s common name with sea star because it’s not a fish. It’s an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. There are 2,000 species of sea star living in all the world’s oceans. The five-arm varieties are the most common. Sea stars have an eye at the tip of each arm.
Common name: Starfish (Sea Stars)
Scientific name: Asteroidea
Type: Invertebrate Carnivore
Average life span: Up to 35 years
Weight: Up to 11 lbs
– source: National Geographic
*from Curtains by Elton John & Bernie Taupin
Hey everyone! I’ve just started a new post category on my blog. Friday Fiction will be a place to share short pieces of my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes. These posts may not occur every week but whenever the mood arises.
Here is a short story I wrote years ago for a writing course assignment.
A Job Worth Doing
The young man sighed with satisfaction as he wiped the sweat from his brow in the sleeve of his dusty green coveralls. His gaze swept up the gleaming corridor floor for a final check. Whistling softly, he bent to pick up the mop and the pail of grey water at his feet. At eight p.m., it was time to clear out and head home.
“Hey buddy, you missed a spot,” a voice boomed and echoed from the other end of the long hallway. The young janitor looked up quickly to see two tall executive types in expensive suits, smiling at him from an office doorway. One of them pointed at the floor in front of him. “Don’t forget – a job worth doing is worth doing well,” he quipped, nudging his colleague in the ribs. Chuckling, they strolled down the hall and out the front entrance.
Gripping the mop handle with a white-knuckled fist, the young man swore under his breath. He didn’t have to take this. He didn’t have to lower himself to do this demeaning job if he didn’t want to. Hey, in a couple of years when he finally got his degree, he consoled himself, he could say goodbye to part-time jobs like this one. And then he could hold his head high for a reason.
He still wished, though, as he hung his coveralls on a nail in the supply room, that he could get something with better pay. He wished he could hang up those grimy coveralls forever and walk out of this office building and never look back. But part-time jobs for guys like him were not easy to come by, so what other option did he have? He shook his head in despair as he locked the front entrance and turned to walk the mile that would take him home.
He was glad tomorrow was Saturday. The frenetic hustle of the past weeks was getting to him; he felt dead on his feet. He’d been up at seven every morning, out walking to the university by eight, in class by nine, rushing to his janitor’s job when classes were over, then finally getting home by eight-thirty at night to study or finish up an assignment. But, he reasoned, he had to keep up those grades; high marks could mean a much-needed scholarship. After studying, he would grab a bite to eat and fall into bed. And then, come Monday morning, it would all start again.
One day it would be over. One day, as his father often told him, his hard work and diligent study would reward him. He would have it all. But hold on here a minute, that was the future. This was the here-and-now. Could he keep it up? Was he able to stick to this pace until his goals had reached fruition? Did he have it in him?
Maybe he should quit this job and find a better one. The few dollars he did earn, along with his student loan, were just keeping his head above water. Maybe he should march into that big shiny office complex on Monday and just tell them what they could do with their job. He would have time then to find a decent one.
Where would he look? Prospects were bleak. His buddies at school told him he was lucky when he nabbed the janitor’s job. He let out a self-deprecating laugh. Some lucky.
A sigh of fatigue escaped his lips as he shuffled up the driveway of his father’s house. Shoulders slumped, he walked down the steps to the side entrance of the basement apartment, pushed open the door and went inside.
His eyes, longing to close in sleep, blinked at the cheery brightness of the small apartment kitchen. His tired gaze fell at last on the woman sitting in the rocking chair, a baby in her arms. His face visibly softened as he looked into the woman’s eyes, as weary as his own, and he smiled back as her lips curved with pleasure at the sight of him.
“Hard day?” he asked, tossing his jacket over the back of a chair.
The woman shrugged. “This little guy finally went to sleep just now. Boy, is he a handful! But I’m not complaining,” she said quickly. “How about you – that job working out?”
“Piece of cake,” he replied, bending to kiss her and to smile at his sleeping baby son.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday Snap: Heiroglyphs
I know you’re a smart guy, Paul, but you can’t read that. Stop pretending. 😉
Photo first published here: Scenes From France – Part Two: Paris