Recent Comings & Goings

Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a journal post so I decided I’d do one this morning. We have another bright and sunny morning coming down, one of very many. Yes, we sometimes have clouds, but I can’t remember the last time it rained right here. This is indeed a dry and thirsty land: lawns are brown; roads throw up dust clouds.

Thankfully there was rain in the summer; I’ve heard that the crops have been okay here – and better some other spots in the province that got more rain. We seem to be in a pocket right here; due to the general flow of air currents above us, the rain clouds pass us by. Grasshoppers are growing long and brown this fall.

I suppose this is a common complaint of mankind, but the days seem to fly by and I get so little accomplished! Though my white cell count hasn’t gone up that much in the last few months, my energy level has dropped. I was rather wiped out in July, so I’m thankful the doctors discovered that I’m diabetic. I’m now on pills to treat that, and they definitely help. My oncologist is holding off on treatment my CLL and I’m okay with that.

I finished my casual cooking job at the Villa at the end of August; You could say I’m footloose and fancy free now. Wanting to do more painting. Wanting to do more writing – though you can’t tell from this poor neglected blog! Sadly, wanting isn’t doing. I get pretty depressed about that sometimes; seems my attention deficit syndrome gets worse every day. 😦

I’ve been visiting Critique Circle again and offering my two-cents’-worth to writers who post their stories on that website, hoping for feedback. It often takes a few hours to read a story and leave comments. I’m intrigued at the differences in North American writers and writers from India. Writing “by the book” maybe? Seem much more formal. No, “Hey, you. Whatcha doin’?” And different words: “He was relishing his meal of curried chicken.”

Bob’s taking a writing course and we’re told readers these days “have the attention span of a gnat.” In other words, no patience for a lot of loopy or formal wording. We’re learning to cut out EVERY unnecessary word. No double adjectives, like “an interesting little story.” No unnecessary adverbs like “he jogged slowly down the trail.” “A very good time was had by all” becomes “They all enjoyed themselves.”

Most of my flower pots are still nice, but the temp is supposed to drop to -3 C tomorrow night. According to the weatherman, we’ve come to the end of our mild fall and our nights will be frosty now. I’m still up every morning letting the cats out and filling water basins for the birds. Deer started coming in August and often drink them dry in the night. A lot of our birds have gone, but we still see mourning doves and oodles of sparrows. A flock of grouse have been foraging nearby; I saw them across the field Sunday and yesterday they were in our side yard, a dozen or more of them.

When I cooked at the Villa, I often worked on Sunday and could invite company to join us for dinner. That opportunity is gone so I’ve decided to get with it at home. This past Sunday we invited Ron & Laurie, friends who’ve just moved/retired here from Quebec, as well as Ray & Sandra, whom we’ve known for almost fifty years.

Two Sundays ago we had our children come for dinner. This was right after the terrible hurricane in the Maritimes so we discussed the clean-up work that would be needed after that. Our oldest grandson had to leave for Roblin, MB, soon after dinner; he’s working for a farmer there during harvest. Our oldest granddaughter was missing, too; she’s gone to teach school in Carrot River. You like to see them grow up but they tend to fly away on other adventures and their chairs at the table are empty. 😦 Last weekend the youth group from here, including our youngest granddaughter, went to Cartwright, MB for a youth rally. Since the Roblin youth went, too, she got to see her brother there – if that matters at all to teens. 😉

I’ve just started reading Drawing Near* by John Bevere and am finding the first chapter thought-provoking.

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Maybe this is enough musing. I’ll end by wishing you all a great day.

*Copyright 2004 by John Bevere
Thomas Nelson Publishers

A Stitch In Time

Random musings today, which can be my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word, MEANDER

A Stitch In Time

Deciding to head for the park where I could meander awhile, I slipped my car key into my jacket pocket and…

Clunk. My key landed on the floor.

I stuck my hand in my pocket and discovered that small hole I’d intended to repair, was now a bigger hole. Big enough for my car key to fall through. Yes, I’d noticed those few missing stitches and vowed – can it be several months ago now? – that I’d fix that hole very soon. But somehow…

I recall that old grandmas’ saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” For centuries untold moms and grandmas passed on this kind of practical wisdom to make life a bit easier for their offspring. Fix the hole while it’s small and it won’t tear even more. You won’t have look for things that fall out of pockets, darn bigger holes, or put huge patches on knees. Throw out easily repaired clothing and your budget will develop holes!

For whatever reason, we live in a day when passing on the old wisdom is not popular. Discouraged even. Every person should be allowed to find their own way, to eventually discover the same truths that parents and grandparents used to share. Like me with the hole in my pocket.

When I was young my Aunt/Mom worked out and my various babysitters didn’t bother to teach me any practical skills or even basic common sense. They had nothing invested in my upbringing and Mom didn’t have time or energy after work. So I’ve learned a lot myself through trial and error, but I’m passing on some of this to my own grand-daughters.

I’m seeing that attitudes are shifting and passing on life’s truths will come back into style. Young people, they say, are overwhelmed and actually craving guidance from the old folks who’ve experienced and learned these lessons.

As another wise saying goes, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Three Family Funerals

Several weeks ago my husband’s cousin called to tell us that their twenty-year-old granddaughter Hannah had passed away rather suddenly of an infection of the blood. When Hannah was born, she was missing the main artery to her heart, so within months she had her first of many surgeries to deal with this serious issue, mainly ballooning the smaller arteries into her heart to allow the blood to flow as freely as possible. The doctors guessed she’d live maybe six years.
Though she had a portable oxygen tank for most of her life, she was a lively girl with lots of dreams for the future and a ready smile. She’d had a heart valve replacement about six months prior and it took her a long time to recover from that — and she said, “No more.” Still, she seemed to be doing okay lately, but this infection came suddenly and took her within few days. She never had to go through another operation. Her funeral was May 21st in Saskatoon.

Last Nov 28th my sister Wilma left me a voice message: “Chris, we have to talk.” Our sister Donna, who’d just turned 66, had died of a drug overdose. She was living with some friends in Regina at the time. She moved often, often had no phone, and I hadn’t been able to get in touch with her for several years.
Her middle son, James, had her cremated that week; since then it’s taken some time to set a date for burying the urn with her ashes. We did that last Saturday at noon in Moose Jaw with close family and a few friends present. Afterward we met at a pavilion in the park for a lovely simple picnic lunch. I was really glad we went; visiting with the family brought closure to her death.

My sister Rose died at the end of Dec 2019 and her husband wasn’t well. Both of them smokers since their teens, Rose had contracted lung cancer, was treated, but it spread and then she got an infection that took her.
I can’t say we knew her husband very well. We lived in the East for twenty of their married years and haven’t meet him very often since we’re back. Plus, Butch was the type that never has so much to say. But we knew his health hasn’t been good for some years; he suffered from serious emphysema and also was treated for bladder cancer in 2019. Now both problems have risen up to overwhelm him; last Saturday we all knew it wouldn’t be long until there’d be another funeral. We received word Tuesday evening that Butch had passed. He’d have been 69 in September.

So this month seems to especially be our “season” for funerals and/or “Celebrations of life.”

A Day’s Journey

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is TRAFFIC. Here’s a little verse in response:

rush hour traffic
streams of weary communters
snailing homeward

Today We Bury My Sister

Donna died of a drug overdose on November 28, two days after her 66th birthday. Her middle son, James, had her cremated within days, but it’s taken while to arrange burial of her ashes in her daughter Barbie’s grave. Barb died back in 1989, from what likely would have started as cervical cancer. A sad time for us all; Barb was just sixteen and full of life.

Being a Saturday morning, the traffic on the highway between here and Moose Jaw will probably be light. We’re to meet at the cemetery at noon to bury the urn holding Donna’s ashes, then we’ll have a gathering in remembrance, which will take the form of a family picnic in the park. I don’t expect it to be a large gathering, as she lived in her own circle of friends so a lot of her nieces and nephews hardly knew her.

Donna and I were close when we were young — as close as siblings can be when they live in different homes over 100 miles apart — but as an adult she and her family lived here in SK while we moved East and lived in Ontario and Quebec. Coming back to SK, I was only able to locate her a few times. So, sadly I’ve only seen her four or five times in the past thirty years — mainly at family funerals.

I haven’t had anything to do with her Rob & Jason, her oldest & youngest sons, since I spent a few days with Donna when Barb died. Sad when families get so estranged, but my husband and I chose a different path — lifestyle if you will — and lost contact with them. Hopefully we can get a bit more acquainted today.