Of Fish & Feelings

It’s afternoon here on the prairies and we’re having a beautiful spring day. When I got up at 6 am this morning the sun was just starting to stretch out, sending its first glow across the horizon. How I appreciate these longer, warmer days!

The cats and I were out romping a bit ago — well, they were romping. I was tromping. I decided to take a walk down the road. In the yard it seems so warm, but once I was out of the shelter of the woods beside us and onto the gravel road, a wind from the SE robbed me of my deception. I had to come back to the house for a warmer jacket and scarf before going farther.

Bob asked me yesterday how I was feeling, mainly because I’ve been dealing with an infection in one salivary gland this week. I’m getting over that, so in one sense I’m feeling better, but I’ve been pondering his question, trying to come up with a description for my general health and state of mind.

I was thinking about the poor female salmon at spawning time, swimming against a strong current and making slow progress. As you probably know, they go back to their spawning grounds in the mountain streams to lay their eggs, which means they must swim upstream for hundreds of miles, leap waterfalls, navigate wild rapids, dodge rocks and debris en route. Unless they find a sheltered pool, the minute they stop to rest the river current will carry them back toward the ocean again.

That’s how I’m feeling lately. It doesn’t help that I’m dealing with an infection right now but I’m frustrated that I get so little accomplished. I wish I had more energy; I wish my mind was clearer and I could remember more; I wish I could make more progress in the stream of general homemaking. I’d like to accomplish so much; it feels like I have a thousand miles to go and in short bursts I gain a few yards, then I’m weary again. And I feel so fuzzy-brained at times!

My mind bounces over the many possible solutions. Would it help to give up sugar? Chocolate? Coffee? Reading? Blogging? All of the above? Forget everything else and spend hours outdoors getting exercise? (I have good intentions, just no hours!) Memorize and repeat the Prayer of Serenity?

Lacking any definite answers, I just keep swimming along, thankful for the short bursts of energy I do get. These past two weeks I’ve been cutting strips and piecing a blanket top — the Rail Fence pattern for those of you who know about quilt-making — which I plan to donate to our church ladies’ Sewing Circle. On Tuesday we went to the city and I sat in two doctor’s offices; from one doctor I got antibiotics for my infection. During this time my husband took the car for servicing and they discovered about two cups of bird seed in the air cleaner. Wretched mice! We keep our birdseed in the garage and they get into it.

On the Up-side, I am enjoying the arrival of spring, the songs of the earliest returning birds in our woods. On Monday I get a new number in my life: I’m leaving “three” behind and moving on to “four.” (Next year at this time I’ll be contemplating how to spend my very first pension cheque. 🙂 )

I haven’t posted anything here this week, but I did write several short stories for my Christine Composes blog. One of them you can read here: Buckwold House. I wrote this as my response to the Friday Fictioneers photo prompt and it raises the question of when an individual’s wishes are more important than civic progress.I find being limited to 100 words is a great exercise in what editors call “trimming the fat.”

I hope life is going well for all of you reading this. I wish you boundless energy and all kinds of time to do what you must and/or the things you enjoy. Thanks for visiting my blog and for being interested in what I have to say. Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat, but I find writing about how I feel really does help me sort things out. And when I think of the recent tragic events in the news, I realize my woes are very minor ones.

Invitation to Chip In

“She has the money,” Fred argued. “Her husband left her swimming in the stuff. She can’t spend it all, so why not give some to her daughter if she needs it?”

George clunked his empty mug on the table, scowling. “So you think it’s okay for May’s son-in-law to blackmail her like this? To forbid the grandkids to see her unless she forks over the dough for their mortgage payments?”

Fred waved a hand in protest. “I didn’t say that exactly.”

“The poor boys have to sneak out if they want to see their grandma. I think their dad’s a deadbeat if he’s expecting May to pay for their home. He needs to get out and find a job.”

“But people hit rough spots sometimes. Maybe he’s tried and there just isn’t anything right now? Besides, Nadine’s her only child. She’ll inherit everything when May’s gone. Why not give her some now? May’d never miss it.”

George stubbornly shook his head. No way were they ever going to agree on this issue.

Suddenly he sat back and looked Fred in the eye. “If you’re feeling so charitable why don’t you help them out? You sold your farm. You’re sitting on a pile of money yourself. You could pay off their mortgage and never miss it.”

Fred snorted. “Are you kidding? Why should I shell out to support that shiftless son-in-law of May’s? He’s not my problem.”

George recalled that old cliché. “The worm has turned! It’s always easier to solve a problem when the answer doesn’t come out of your pocket.”

Fred turned red, then glanced at the clock. “Gotta be going.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I recalled a conversation I was part of years ago. A dear friend of my dad was in this situation: emotional blackmail, you could say. Her nine-year-old grandson, being forbidden contact, would sneak away from home to see her. I listened as one party in the conversation presented Fred’s argument, which had some validity. My dad thought like George.

What about you? How would you advise May?

I gave the tale this ending twist to fit today’s Word Press prompt: invitation.

Psalm 90 via Isaac Watts

mountains-sunlit

O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home;

Under the shadow of thy throne still may we dwell secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood or earth received her frame,
from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone,
swift as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come;
be Thou our guard while life shall last and our eternal home.

Isaac Watts

I woke up early this morning and this song came to mind. I really felt I should post it. Hope it encourages someone today.

A Chinook Wind

Back when we lived in Moose Jaw, I awoke one morning and noticed right away that the air had an unusual scent. I took a deep sniff and smiled. A chinook was blowing.

This weather pattern is born in the air currents moving from northwest to southeast across the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Winds suck up moisture from the water’s surface and carry it along in billowing white clouds until the air mass crashes into the North American coastline. And there the air-land temperature difference causes the clouds to dump their payload on the hapless residents below.

In western Canada this means the British Columbia coastline, including Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. Terrific rainfall ever year! But then the now-lighter air mass rises upwards over the mountain range leaving the clouds behind to dribble onto the coast. The interior of British Columbia is desert-dry a lot of the time.

canada-map

L to R: BC, Alberta, Sask, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime provinces

These air currents climb the mountain peaks and pick up speed sliding down the other side into Alberta. Still warm from the Pacific this air blow across the southern prairies. The Indians called these winds chinooks. If it’s winter here, a chinook can melt a lot of snow in a day, picking up the resulting moisture and carrying it along at almost ground level until the wind plays out.

Under the map of Canada above I’ve listed the southern provinces that border the US. The Rocky Mountains, for the most part, follow that squiggly line between BC and Alberta. Because of the way the Rockies angle as they run along the border of the two provinces, the southernmost chinooks sometimes blow as far east as central Saskatchewan. Moose Jaw, dead center in south SK, gets the tail end of some, whereas Regina, 44 miles east, rarely ever feels a Chinook wind.

When one is blowing, we get that classic “chinook arch” along the western horizon. Our sky is clear except for an arc of grey cloud hovering at the western edge of our world.

It was this warm, moisture-laden air I got a whiff of that morning. In the dead of winter a chinook has a pleasing smell to it! Later, when I was outside, I saw the accompanying chinook arch. A chinook means a sunny day, a rise in temperature, melting snow. We get a tiny respite from frigid winter’s grip. We prairie folks love our chinooks.

Word Press daily prompt: Interior

Turn, turn, turn

Fellow blogger Stacey LePage shares her thoughts and feelings about life in general and how cancer has affected hers. When I read this uplifting post on her blog this morning I just knew my readers would find it an inspiration, too. thanks, Stacey, for letting me Reblog it.

In The Corner

“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep”

I have always loved this song, by Pete Seeger, and well, kind of heavily inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes. The words, I remember, were read by the Minister at both my parents’ funerals.  I didn’t really hear the words during the service for my Mom – but I sure did for my Dad.  A time for everything and everything in its time.

It is time… but for what?

What I don’t like is that I never know what time it is!  What season is it?  The calendar will tell me it is winter – and…

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Thanks Alice

I’ve been following Stuart’s blog for quite awhile and find all of his posts interesting. He has a gift for relating life’s experiences; his stories engage and entertain readers as well as sharing valuable insights into human nature.

Storyshucker

I sipped the watery coffee and unwrapped my egg biscuit. Hitting the highway early and with another hour ahead of me, I’d pulled off to go through the drive-thru window of a lone fast-food place surrounded by woods. Nice, I thought. I’ve always found eating in my car preferable to the noisy interiors of those restaurants. It was quiet and peaceful with no kids screaming.

“Mommy!” the kid screamed.

It was a little girl. She and two other kids stood with their backs flat against an old beat up car parked a few spaces away.

“Mommy!” she screamed again. A little more panic in her voice this time. All three kids looked around in different directions but never moved from their spots. Puzzled, I stopped eating and watched for a minute as I tried to understand. That’s when Mommy appeared from the woods with a baby on her hip and…

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