Saturday, October 21, 2017

Talking Turkey

I am feeling much more generous, calmer and more forgiving and probably in a better frame of mind to talk turkey than I would have been when I got home after dark last night.I have just returned from a very good market day . The sun is shining brightly and I feel an optimism that had completely escaped me when I got home last night to our bevy of Christmas turkeys hunkered down in a huddle at my back door on my back veranda. By the way with a bevy of turkeys comes a massive amount of poop. A minefield of poop really in all descriptions from runny to solid lumps. Not a very nice topic and not a very nice thing to come home to.Turkeys are challenging to get in at night. Burton makes the constant strong argument that free range need to be FREE range and so they spend their days meandering wherever they want to go. To put them in for the night you have to start rounding them up at just the right time;not too dark, not too early when they have no intention of going to bed. ( this somewhat reminds me of getting kids to bed) You have to begin to round them up trying to keep them together, but invariably one of two fly off in the wrong direction tempting others to follow. You keep at it with the goal of getting them to move in a crowd as the momentum improves if they are herded closely together and move as one. Once you get them across the driveway it seems they get the message that it is bedtime. Usually with a few gentle reminders as you move the broom from side to side as they keep moving until you get them close to the shed and they file in. This method does not work at all if you wait too long and they have already decided they are having a sleepover on the back veranda. They don't understand that that is not a good idea or healthy for at least one or two of them which will probably become a midnight snack for a fox, a raccoon or a coyote that under the cover of darkness has no trouble coming in for the challenge and the reward.I did my best to attempt a round up but was only successful at herding them off the veranda and down in front of the basement door. I could not see any hope of getting them all the way across the yard and into their shed. I do not pick birds up. I do a lot of things but that has never been one of them. I came in very pissed off by the poop and very concerned that we would have fewer Christmas turkeys freely roaming in the morning.Sometime later after I was in bed Caleb came and heroically relocated the birds (by moving them individually I expect) and I haven't counted them since I got home but I think they are all accounted for. So now after a morning of selling books,seeing friends and neighbors and meeting new people I am venting in this manner. I just ate a delicious lunch of Massaman curry from a wonderful Thai vendor at the market. I will go tackle (scrape) the poop off the back veranda. Last night I was not sure I could live with such conditions. It hadn't helped that my absent husband had left his lunch mess in the pantry. Things are usually better the next day and I am glad we can't instantly file for divorce and end a forty year marriage in a moment of anger and frustration. Good thing I might add.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Another Sunday Morning

I am so thankful for Sunday mornings. I am weary this morning and actually slept in longer than I normally do. The sky is overcast but the air is warm. It looks like fall for sure and I have not rallied yet to tackle the day. I am pensive and somewhat melancholy and will take my time. I will start with this entry and go from there. First of all Sunday mornings are a time for thankfulness. I went to bed with thoughts of Caleb and Ashlie returning from a wedding in Fredericton and Meg and Cody in Jasper for a friend's funeral. Their friend was a victim of the horrendous massacre in Las Vegas. How to even get my head around that is more than I can do but I mourn with the girl's dad who yesterday buried his second child. My heart breaks for him. Caleb and Ashlie got home safely and for that I am so thankful. Another week begins and challenges lie ahead.I remember in the first few years of finding my way through grief I called these mornings my Sunday mournings. I usually listened to music, had a long bath and cried a lot of tears.Sunday morning remains a quiet, reflective time and I am so grateful for what this time provides. I regroup and draw on my reserves of strength to fit me for the week ahead.Sometimes I truly don't know where the next bit of energy or optimism is coming from. I sometimes during this time want to crawl back into to bed and escape the rest of the day. I seldom do and for that I am thankful. I usually hop to the rest of the day, accomplish a few things and prepare a Sunday supper for my loved ones. I love the trajectory this day offers when I take a few minutes or a couple of hours to just be in my weariness.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oh So Thankful

I have been away. Away from my home and away from my computer. A week ago Sunday I flew to Meg's to surprise Paige for her birthday.I pulled it off and the girls were happy to see their Monkey. On Monday I did an author visit at their school and it was wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me how receptive kids are to my story and my journey to become an author. I spent the week just enjoying the company of Meg .Cody, Emma and Paige. Had some good food , some laughs, hugs and snuggles and left in time to get back for the market on Saturday. Despite my fatigue from an early morning arrival and operating on four hours of sleep I had a good market morning and received what I always receive when new and old readers gather at my table. The next day we drove to Kings Landing for our thirty first Thanksgiving meal at the Kings Head. It was wet and by the time we walked in we were drenched. It was such a welcome rain though so we tried not to complain too much. Yesterday I cooked our turkey dinner and pretty much everything that was presented was grown or raised on our farm. I love that feeling and am so thankful for the bounty. Burton and I took advantage of the warm afternoon and took a plunge in the lake. It was a quick and cold dip without the ceremony of my last swim on September 28th. We can say however that we swam on Thanksgiving Monday. Before I left I took my hard drive to Hampton for a cleaning and this morning I drove up and got it. So now I am back home and back on the computer and back on track looking ahead to writing days in October. The foliage is stunning. There are a few puddles and rain has soaked into the parched land.Some renovations are pending and I see some busy times ahead. So very much to be thankful for!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

One Lone Sunflower and lots of Morning Glories

September is winding down.I was in the lake two days ago and it may have been the last time. I will see what the afternoon temperature gets up to as my rule is 20 degrees and above I get in the lake.Our weather has been so warm which makes hanging on to summer easier. My pickles are made. Some beets are pickled. My grapes are picked and jelly made. The girls have been gone for as many weeks as they were here. I am back to my writing and pleased and somewhat puzzled with where my new work is leading me. Every morning I step out the door still remembering and feeling summer.I have one lone sunflower that survived the trampling of our two big pigs. Its sunny face stands bravely not as tall as the sunflowers of other years and not flanked by the long row of others.That one sunflower speaks loudly to me of tenacity and the beauty of one.I planted morning glories to vine around the wire frame that fits over the well head. The long hot summer kept the growth of the vines slow and sparse.Now with heat in the day and cooler mist at night and early morning they are catching up and offering a plethora of blooms. At first one blossom a day , then two and today several circle the base of the trellis. I look forward to going out for the next few mornings to see the magnificent glory of their fragile beauty. The center looks like the sun itself . Oh what a gift as the leaves change color and the lake gets closer to becoming another summer's memory. Accomplishments , failures, joys and disappointments. Pleasures and regrets. Goals for another day and confidence in what can be. My lone sunflower and each morning glory offers that to me.

Monday, September 18, 2017

When Glory is Fleeting

Why bother? I showed a friend the other day the photograph I had taken an hour or so earlier of a beautiful blue Morning Glory I had just happened to notice seconds before I got in my car to drive to pick her up so we could go on our weekly swimming,lunch and errand outing. She commented on the beauty of the blossom and asked about where I had them,how many I'd planted,and how long they stayed in bloom. I said the two blossoms I'd seen this morning might be the only ones I would get and that they don't last very long. Why bother? she asked. I answered "Just because they are beautiful." When I got home that day the two blossoms I had photographed were gone, closed up and done. The beautiful morning glories had had their glory for just one morning. Today I took pictures of two more. They were just as breathtaking and I paid very close attention to each aspect of the gorgeous blossoms, the leaves around them and the glory they presently put forth. When I got home two hours later they were both gone, not closed up as the last time, but one broken away lying limp and shriveled on the ground, the other stripped bare with only the stamen and one small sliver of petal left on the vine. Glory so fleeting and almost missed had I not happened upon them exactly when I did.That entire concept leaves me in awe and brings tears to my eyes. Why bother? Why love and put energy into the beautiful and meaningful treasures life gives us? Why let yourself feel the awe of the amazing when they die, they fade, they disappear? Why bother? Oh, not to bother would be the bigger tragedy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dealing With Discontent

Yesterday my friend Kathy and I went to look at the Hospital lottery house. I found myself during my typical wakeful hours in the middle of the night imagining myself living there. This morning I attempt to put some feelings of discontent to rest by thinking of the story my mother used to tell me about the house with the golden windows. The moral of that story was to appreciate what you have instead of looking at what others have wishing it was yours. I am not a little girl wishing I lived in the big house on the far hill with the golden windows but that doesn't keep me from sometimes looking at a life different than my own and dropping myself into that reality. I can imagine walking out of my master bedroom to the back deck and pool. I can imagine sitting in my impressive office writing. I can see my friends and family sitting around the granite half moon end of the kitchen island. In all that dreaming I push myself back to the reality and to the beauty of my own golden windows (even if most of them need replacing) I am approaching a major bathroom renovation and at this point have a picture and two facecloths that are leading my vision. I am afraid to demolish , to create chaos , to become vulnerable. But I keep reminding myself of the suffering and loss that millions of people around the world are experiencing due to flood, fire, earthquake, hurricanes and war. How can I not fully embrace my house and see the beauty it holds? Buy the ticket , dream the dream but get on with the life I have been blessed with.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back to School

Yesterday and today I spent a fair amount of time on Facebook scrolling down looking at back to school pictures. I love them . I love the excitement on the kids faces or in some cases the indifference. Usually they stand in new outfits with back packs over their shoulders. Some photos show the walk to the bus or the stepping out of the bus door. Lots of kids are holding signs announcing their grade placement. Some fancier signs give all the data. Age 5 , Kindergarten, what I want to be when I grow up. Pictures of celebration and pictures of acknowledgement of just how quickly kids grow up. I used to say to my kids that I was going to put a brick on their heads to keep them from growing. I remember wishing I could freeze an age or a stage or a phase, a moment in time or the way our family was at a certain time. Oh how very futile that thought is. We want what we can never have and couldn't have from the moment our children entered the world.Our kids grow and change. We have our kids as long as we have them and can do nothing but accept the hard truth of that. I of course see this in the awful reality of having lost my oldest boy when he was twenty. I think of sweet Ava and sweet Frankie who are gone so soon. There is deep sorrow in the loss of a child. I find myself so often feeling the need to preach to parents to pay attention, to cherish the moment. I restrain myself because like so many other truths it is not up to me to make sure people know them. The truth of the ebb and flow of life , the rapid passing of years, the ups and downs of loving and the challenges of living our lives is not my truth to tell but belongs to us all. Each back to school photograph tells that truth loud and clear. When I sign a copy of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried I write' Always tell your own story". That is the thing, we all have our own story to tell. The moments are packed and precious and each day holds a piece of that epic story.