- in Just-
- spring when the world is mud-
- luscious the little
- lame balloonman
- whistles far and wee
- and eddieandbill come
- running from marbles and
- piracies and it’s
- when the world is puddle-wonderful
- the queer
- old balloonman whistles
- far and wee
- and bettyandisbel come dancing
- from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
- balloonMan whistles
- e.e. cummings
Today is the literal if not the figurative first day of Spring. A glance out our back door, and at the weather forecast for the next few days, would hardly be reassuring, but it is spring. The post-nuclear apocalyptic looking jack rabbits that roam the fields are flecked with the warm brown of summer as they shed their white camo, and the chickadees can be heard on the mornings that are frosted over.
And the pavement is peeking out from under a mix of ice and chemically laden slush.
Today is a day of equal standing. Light and dark is perfectly balanced and the march to Summer Solstice begins.
Many traditions and myths have been fashioned around the Vernal Equinox. Resurrection mythology abounds, and I don’t blame Christians one bit for ignoring or trying to suppress because they pre-date Jesus by a lot and call his reality into question. A fascinating example?
In ancient Rome, the 10-day rite in honor of Attis, son of the great goddess Cybele, began on March 15th. A pine tree, which represented Attis, was chopped down, wrapped in a linen shroud, decorated with violets and placed in a sepulchre in the temple. On the Day of Blood or Black Friday, the priests of the cult gashed themselves with knives as they danced ecstatically, sympathizing with Cybele in her grief and helping to restore Attis to life. Two days later, a priest opened the sepulchre at dawn, revealing that it was empty and announcing that the god was saved. This day was known as Hilaria or the Day of Joy, a time of feasting and merriment.
We will celebrate spring with the continued dogged pursuit of renovation. It’s resurrection-ish, wouldn’t you say?
Silver and Edie will be over to help with the drywall again as I am still forbidden to lift and the walls need to be up before Spring Break week. That’s when the new kitchen cabinets and countertop are scheduled for installation.
They were here yesterday as well along with Mick and her friend Dare. He goes back to her high school days, and though they are just friends, I couldn’t help noticing the obvious Rob traits in him. I am fascinated by the way the women in Rob’s life look for him in they men they admit into their lives. Silver, the new FIL and now Dare. It’s uncanny.
Rob is a taskmaster though and his Virgoian need for perfection and having his eyes and imprint on all he surveys within the boundaries of his kingdom needs to totally be reckoned with by all.
“Try not to be too hard on them,” I remarked on Friday evening.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“You know,” I said. “The heavy sigh, the eye-roll and then walking away in telling silence.”
“I don’t do that,” he protested.
“Totally you do,” I said. “Maybe you should practice toning it down tonight so it won’t be so harsh.”
Yesterday that became a running joke, and as we were discussing it, the older girls chimed in with tales of their own which provoked Silver to pipe up,
“So that’s where Edie gets it.”
“I don’t!” she protested.
And Dare replied,
Apples and trees.
It was a good pre-spring day Saturday though not as stunning as the near 10C temps of Friday when the whole of the Fort seemed dressed for summer. This coming week will be chilly with snow but the following promises sun and warmth, and I fully expect to see the little high school girls running about in shorts and sandals soon. Dee is chomping to be rid of her snow pants and the battle of the inappropriate for school summer footwear is soon to recommence.
We’ve called off our trip to the South this month to accommodate the reno, but I am determined that this will be the last major deconstruction this year. Our summer will be that of any self-respecting Albertan and include a weeks long sojourn with the holiday trailer and then taking it out to camp every weekend. Living at a breakneck frenzy in the great outdoors for as many hours as one can stomach and beyond in is the Western Canadian way after all.
Being a more interesting and less censored person than myself, it isn’t surprising that she is a frequent honoree. She does Gary Paulson’s creedo of “going there” proud via her blogging efforts. I don’t boldly go much anymore. Age isn’t a factor. Wisdom hasn’t come with wrinkles and fading hair follicles. I just live in the world more and am less inclined to be infamously known in my realtity.
Not that Lora is infamously known – that I know of – but more and more, people I interact with in real time read this blog. Honesty has become a hassle. Coy isn’t difficult to write, but it’s not all that engaging on a creative or personal level for me. So I don’t.
And I’ll bet you were thinking “she’s grown a conscience, chosen modesty or, at the very least, reconnected with her empathy bone”.
Silverstar blessed me with my very own Honest Scrap Award. It comes with the onus of relating 10 little known facts about myself, as if I have that many anymore, and the request to pass it along to other bloggers. Most of the blogs I read are written by anti-meme types, so I can’t bring myself to name names. I consider my readership to be go-getting self-prodders who will simply appropriate this award and write, or not, as the mood moves them. My blogging buddies are scrappy like that.
Little known? What does that mean exactly? Known to my readers – who are varied, sitting in front of screens that are thousands of miles away from me and whose faces I may not know if I were to encounter them somewhere?
- I believe in destiny and fate, but I don’t think we are at their mercy. Though most of the time you are locked into a path until it plays out, you still have options. Your actions have effects. Where you are right now is still mostly your own doing because our difficulties in life are usually the result of fighting destiny rather than working within the confines of our predestined trajectory.
- Enlightenment is more often rejected than it is actually elusive, in my opinion. It’s probably completely possible to learn everything you need to know without ever stepping foot on this planet. Life is a choice we make at some point, and I think it is the physicality of it all that lures us here in spite of the fact that confining our true selves to such flimsy and frustratingly needy vessels can cause us pain in equal measure to joy and pleasure. Life is addicting.
- I check the obituaries of the Des Moines Register daily to see if my late husband’s mother has died yet. Occasionally I will google the names of his aunts and uncles to check on their pulse status as well. If I never saw or heard from them again, it wouldn’t pain me one bit and I will be relieved when I am finally shed of the semi-annual sending of the photos ritual and their couple of Hallmark cards a year addressed to Dee – who has absolutely no idea who they are. She checks the cards for money. My mother and Auntie send cash. There is never money. I remind her of the sender’s connection to her. Her grandmother. She’ll frown. My mom is her grandmother and her grandmother sends money. Her Daddy Will’s Auntie Gem, who she hasn’t seen since her father’s wake four years ago. Auntie Gem solicits photos to distribute among the uncles. I haven’t heard from either of them since just after I wrote them in the summer of 2007 to announce I’d remarried and emigrated to Canada. Hmmmm. Okay, I should have said something prior but when I met Rob, I hadn’t seen or heard from any of them in 7 or 8 months. What I really wanted to do was not write. Just wait until they’d figured out I’d moved away and were forced to call my folks to find me. Or maybe they’d have called the police? One of the uncles had been a warden at the big state prison. He had connections. And it was evil but I didn’t do it simply because Rob thought I should write them at the very least. And so, the very least I did. And I look for(ward to) their obits.
- I sometimes miss television. Bet that seems like a mild revelation after the last one, eh? Some evenings I don’t feel like reading or writing and it was nice to be mindlessly entertained following a show with recurring characters and stories that spun out over a couple of months. I’m waiting on season two of The Tudors from the public library. Sure, the history is faulty and it’s mostly bad soft porn, but not thinking in a semi-active way can be okay here and there.
- For the first two years of Dee’s life, I let her daycare providers cut her finger and toenails because I was afraid of snipping her. Those women were saintly. I never changed a crappy diaper either unless it was a weekend or a holiday because Dee pooped once a day in the mid-ish afternoon. Kid is still fairly punctual though now it’s after she gets home from school because she refuses to do #2 in a public washroom if she can avoid it. Will was like that. Rob is like that. Not me though. If I have to go, I go.
- I like living in J’berg. If it ended up that we were here for the duration, I would be completely okay with that though Rob? Not so much. I have mainly lived unseen and unnoted in larger cities or crowded towns and here, I am recognized. Maybe not as “one of them” because small towns are a bit weird about the whole “nativism” thing, but I belong after a fashion and it’s all good.
- My favorite time of year is nearly upon us, sun days. Those longly lit days when the sun is up at 3:30 and barely dips below the horizon sometime well after 11PM. I would love to experience true white nights. I don’t think I could live there because it’s opposite are the night-days of winter, but maybe experience it one time?
- I don’t believe every child can be educated. This doesn’t excuse them from the duty of trying, but I don’t think everyone is born with the same innate ability to learn. We should come with a label: skill level may vary. I don’t think its genetic. My oldest nephew is clever as hell and he didn’t get that from his parents. It made it hard to be a teacher. Correction, it made it hard to work myself up about kids who just didn’t get it. They worked hard, tried their best and just weren’t very smart. And I can’t even say that it’s sad because generally, they were sweet kids who grew up to be sweet, hard-working, lovable and loving adults. Nothing wrong with that.
- I like Nickelback. I thought that pickle thing was mean. Keep your Nickelback hate to yourselves in my presence. It’s catchy. It pounds. The lyrics are suitably pop cheesy and I like growly voiced singers.
- If you have animals in your home, I will try to avoid sitting down – or being without shoes – because I am conscious of the dander, the hair and the fact that kitty litter does not stay in the box; it is everywhere your cat has ever pawed. Don’t kid yourself. Last night we stopped by the home of one of Rob’s friends to pick up a few things he needs to haul away an old Volvo of Edie’s. They have three or four dogs running loose and about 2 dozen cats that run in and out of their house. Right now, they even have a mama cat and kittens in their upstairs linen closet because the mama sneaked in and gave birth there a week ago. They haven’t moved them but instead, threw everything out of the bottom shelves of the closet into the hallway. Rob’s friend invited me to sit in the family room to wait while he and Rob rummaged around in the barn. I smiled. Nodded and after they’d disappeared took Dee outside. If I’d sat, I would have been covered with hair, and more cats than I cared to be and my nose was already running. If you have cats especially, I probably won’t sit if the visit is a short one and I will avoid long ones, but if I can’t – the only way I’ll sit is if it matters to me if your feelings will be wounded because I know it will appear as though I am judging you and I’m not. I lived with cats here and there, but fur and itchy throat and running eyes and nose are not something I will do for many people. If I have done it for you, you are special indeed.
Well, I am sure that disappointed, but now I am done. Remember, you are welcome to take the scrap and run back to your own blog with it or just tmi all over the comments.
A beautiful day in Josephburg follows hard on the heels of a warm, melty spring day yesterday. There is no mistaking the smell or feel of spring when it begins to arm wrestle with winter. It’s a bit like watching my daughter arm wrestle with my husband however. She hanging with both hands onto his wrist and dangling a few inches off the ground in a futile attempt to subdue him. Spring will not suffer the same loss that Katy did to Rob. Spring always wins out in the end simply because she is patient and persistent. Certainly more-so than we who want wearily for her victory at this point in the winter season. It’s a thrill to see the shingles on the roof and the asphalt of the road reappear for the first time since early December. The constant dripping from the eaves stops and the sun pulls away enough moisten from the roads that one can ease up on the wiper fluid. The wind carries a hint of warmer days and the branches of the trees and bushes seem to know it as they dance, sway or bounce, depending.
The sky looks warmer. And the sun? The sun! It was quarter to six and just dusk the other night when we were leaving dance. Another month and daylight savings returns with its plethora of light to cheer Spring on in her quest for reclamation.
The day began with Katy and breakfast as most weekend mornings do. Sometimes I get up and sometimes it’s Rob. Pour the Fruity Cheerios, get the half-full juice box and rice milk from the fridge, and make sure the TV is on and set to Treehouse. Back to bed then for a bit more shut eye or snuggling or whatever. Around nine there is the long leisurely breakfast – today’s menu was Cream of Wheat and half a Starbucks scone each. Did you know that they are a whopping 470 calories and 23 grams of fat – with or without frosting? Pure evil carb. After there is showering, dressing and readying for errands. Today I went right to the Safeway and groceries and Rob took Katy along with him to Canadian Tire on the left for paint and supplies.
The afternoon was laundry. Painting. And Katy spent time in her winter wonderland that is our front yard, scaling the melting drifts, sliding down on her seal-skin like bum and digging. Oh, the digging.
At the moment, Rob is hard at work on the NYTimes crossword and I am writing while simultaneously making a poor attempt to bake a banana bread. It will be edible, just, but not photo-worthy.
A simple Saturday. Something to savour.