Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Summer Herald

                                                    A Hint of Things to Come
What a wonderful feeling to get out there and not have to worry about coats and scarves and boots as you make your way to the polling booths to cast your vote in this  provincial election.   I am certain the voter turnout would not have been as good had the weather been nasty.  Today, everyone is almost eager for an excuse to get out there for a stroll in the beautiful sunshine (and a full 20 degrees with just a lovely hint of a breeze).  I met alot of people out there today and everyone was smiling.  It's a wonderful world.
I know that this weather won't last. It is way too early for the 20's yet so this is but an image, but we will accept whatever we get.  I don't know about everyone else, but for me,  coming from a farm background, I feel like that calf that has been let out of the pen, eager to kick up my heels and frolic freely after along period of confinement.  It is sheer exhilaration!  I'm heading back out there so till next time - ENJOY!!!!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Goal Achieved

                             Unexpected Success

When I started this blog, it was with the purpose of getting the stories from my books out to the public - to those people that were not able to obtain my book because of financial constraints, storage or distance limitations or some other difficulties. I thought that if I blogged the stories from my book, it would make them available to everyone free of charge, albeit piece meal over a lengthy period of time.
Fairly early in my sojourn into the blogging world, it became evident that there were several serious drawbacks to that scheme.  
First:  some of my readers at that time, were unfamiliar with blogging (and/or computers) and I was not reaching those readers anyway.
Second:  Many of my stories were too long for a blog. This made it unappealing and thus defeated the purpose of the blog.  In addition, it limited my opportunities to express opinions, make observations, or anything else I might wish to include in my blog.
Last, but by no means least, I now had an excellent and efficient editor (Marilyn Christian) who is publishing my books on line With Lulu Publishers – free Ebooks for those that just simply wish to read it.  For those that wish to purchase a book to keep, they are available for sale in beautifully laid out, bound books on the  Lulu site.  (I do have coil bound "Small Beginnings" at home. As well, my books are also available at Dauphin Musical Supplies in Dauphin Manitoba. They are my distributor there.  Books Purchased directly from me or from Dauphin Musical Supplies are cheaper at $12.00 per book and you save shipping charges if you pick them up personally).
The original purpose for the blog was therefore being met much more efficiently with Lulu's publication and I could still use my blog for my personal views, opinions, observations etc.   My book "Roots - A Life in Review" will be coming out as an Ebook as well as in a bound book form from Lulu  within the next month.
Incidentally, Marilyn is also putting her husband's (Dudley Christian) Poetry Books on line.  Just Google the authors name and you'll see them.  

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Faraway Roots

A Nostalgic Glance At My Past

This picture surprised us from a parchment placemat in a Toronto restaurant about 10 or 15 years ago.  My sisters and I had stopped in for a coffee and were astonished to see our picture staring up at us.  The owner had picked a random picture out of the Ethelbert Homecoming book and it happened to be ours.  What a wonderful and exciting surprise that was!  Inspired by the nostalgia that picture invoked, I came home and I penned this poem and called it:

                          Faraway Roots

A city far away
Strange and unfamiliar
In a restaurant, simple, homey
I sit staring, unbelieving
At a placement - unique, yet unpretentious
“Just a bit of nostalgia” they called it
“True Canadiana” they said
Just random photos of bygone days
Reproduced and printed
On white parchment with scalloped edges
Decorated with antique scrolled designs.

But the picture on that parchment is not insignificant
The people in that snapshot are not nameless
Where did it come from?
How did it get here?
This picture of my old home
The house with the whitewashed walls
And the double window that faced the morning sun.
My brother and I
Standing just knee high
To our older grown up sisters, brother
Solemnly posing on the front steps.
Those steps that my father built
From wood that stood behind the old shed.
And mother coming towards us
Along the picketed flower bed
With a sidewise glance at the photographer.
I gaze in awe at my past
Looking back at me through years of time
And wonder at this marvel
Prompted by a stranger unaware.

Not insignificant, this picture
It’s me, my roots, my childhood home!
My early youth,
So long forgotten
By a stranger unknowingly resurrected.
A house no one considered important
A family no one recognized but me
This home looking back at me
From this picture in a stranger’s unlikely abode
In this faraway place of “now”.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Angels Among Us

                                         The Angels who walk among us
I had a very traumatic experience today and, to me it was extremely stressful.  I was convinced it would end tragically for me, but thanks to a couple of guardian angels that live among us, my faith in the goodness of people is restored.
I never go anywhere without my purse so I always expect to have to have something on my arm. Today, however I had a second bag that I was carrying.  Because I was in a hurry, and I already had that other bag on my arm, I forgot my purse in the bus shelter by the Westmount Mall.  I did not realise this until about 10 to 20 minutes later. In an absolute panic and fully convinced that all my important belonging would be long gone, my friend Ann drove as quickly as the traffic would allow, back to that bus stop in a vain hope that my purse would still be there.  As we drove up, two ladies were happily pointing to us obviously relieved to see me come back for the purse which they realised I'd forgotten in my hasty departure from the shelter.  Patiently, they had stood guard over it, waiting for me to come back and pick it up (as they suspected I would as soon as I missed it.) I was only able to offer them a hasty thank you as we were in a bus stop area and a bus was waiting behind us.  The kindness, patience and generosity of these women has restored my optimistic faith in our human race.  There truly are angels on this earth and they do walk among us.  I only wish I could thank them again and get to know them.  They must truly be wonderful human beings.   I am hoping that somehow they will see this or hear about this and feel my overwhelming gratitude.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Just Wondering

                                                    Been There, Done That?
I was watching the news on TV the other day and they had a clip about some kind of a new technical device that that has just come out. It's hardly bigger than a cell phone but has the technology of a micro computer. They showed a one-year old little kid playing with it.  He was navigating through the programs like a regular pro.  The little tyke cannot even talk yet, but this gizmo presented him with no problem at all.  Now I realize that there are geniuses no matter what age but COME ON!
This new technology is stonewalling me at almost every corner while these kids come into this world and they're just homefree? I may not be the sharpest blade in the cabinet, but I'm not a total dud either.  So how come this new generation coming up is so savvy with all this technology?  It's as if they have passed this way before.  What is this?  Are brains being recycled now, so these kids are born with pre-programmed knowledge while we old folks have to learn everything from scratch?  I protest this unfair distribution of acumen.  I try so hard but it seems like each time I master something new, someone comes along and shows me how little I really know and how much more there is to learn.  This "born again" thing is taking on a whole new meaning for me and it doesn't look half bad.
 (I am not poking fun at the "Born Again" Christians here either. I'm on a totally different track from them on this. In fact, I sincerely apologize for using their line but those particular words just seem applicable in this case.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

If Life Gave Notice

If Life Gave Notice

If life were to give me notice
That my journey ends tomorrow
Would I see flashes of regret?
Would I feel pangs of sorrow?

I know my dirty dishes
Would not really matter much
Nor would I feel a bit contrite
At leaving dust untouched.

I would regret not having gone
On that trip when the kids were small
And missed the rapture in their eyes
When they saw that waterfall.

I’d miss the croaking of the frogs
Of spring’s overflowing creek beds
Walking, searching for new blossoms
Of marsh marigolds in the wetlands

I’d miss the gentle raindrops
Of summers’s slow warm rain
Cause my hairdo I had wished to save
How could I have been so vain?

I’d wish I’d stayed out doors to watch
The stars on a bright summer night
Instead of wasting precious time
Watching reruns and TV lights.

I’d regret going indoors just to sleep
When the northern lights did dance
Not standing there to watch them
When I’d had that perfect chance.

I’d miss the blazing autumns
With their flaming colors glowing
When mundane chores held me captive
And robbed me of their showing.

I’d wish I’d sat there on that deck
On mornings warm and bright
Hearing finches chirp “Good Morning”
As for each seed they’d fight.

I’d regret not visiting my good friends
Who were lonely, ill that day,
To give them each a little lift
And to cheer them on their way.

So I know not how much time I have
But I know I will be glad
To live each day as if t’were my last
So my last will not be sad!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Ahh Spring!

                                     Pleasures of Spring
Well April, Easter and obviously spring are just around the corner.  I spent all afternoon listening to the twitter of huge flock or birds in the tree outside my window. I think they were juncos but I'm not too sure because the tree was abit far from the the building and I'm on the fourth floor.  Add to that, my limited eyesight, and I cannot be certain.  But my ears were working fine and so was my memory. Those cheery birds did not thrill me as much as they could have because of the memories their chatter  invoked.  To me their chirping still spells frustration, pestilence and supreme annoyance.

When we lived on a farm in Manitoba, back in the 50's 60's and 70's, we considered those early flocks of juncos a most unwelcome harbinger of the spring season.  We had a  small "orchard" near the house with a few fruit trees that we cherished.  Each spring the fruit trees would burst forth with masses of beautiful blossoms that presented spring as a magnificent and fragrant wonder world, along with a promise of luscious fruit in September.
Then  the juncos would arrive - en masse.  They would attack those blossoms with such voracious appetites that within a few hours there was not a petal or a stamen left on any of the trees.  Of course, that took care of the bees and thereby the fruit for the year.  Trying to chase or keep the birds away was an exercise in futility.  They rarely left the area until they had stripped the trees bare.  Seldom did we manage to salvage any fruit from those determined raiders unless the weatherman foiled their assault with an untimely spring.  On those occasions, the blossom times would not coincide with the arrival of the flocks and the blossoms and pollination would be spared.  Those times we always considered ourselves lucky.
I understand that after their long journey the birds are hungry, but can they at least leave something for us?    Oh well, t'is the price of spring and all its pleasures have a price I guess.  Happy Easter to all.