Saturday, 29 September 2012

Autumn Splendor

 Autumn Spendor
 Enjoy  The colors of Fall are out there but don't even blink or you may miss them.  I love this season of the year.  It is so spectacular, but so fleeting!  One morning you look out your window and you behold this vibrant kaleidoscope of nature's beauty so awesome to behold and you want to drive out into the country to embrace this phenomenon but alas, today you have to go to work or to do something that you just cannot postpone so you make great plans with family and friends for a grand picnic next Saturday, out in those gorgeous outdoors.

All week long you eagerly anticipate a fantastically scenic rendezvous with nature's glory.  You pack mountains of food and refreshments, at least a couple of cameras, extra batteries and film, and make sure you charge up your batteries on your cellphone as well as any other photographic devices(because they snap great pics as well) and plan, plan, plan for this party of all parties.

Then on Friday, the day before the big day, after all the preparations have been finalized to perfection, a big wind whips up.  You wake up Saturday morning and look with dismay at the bare branches of the trees all around you. They resemble more of a barren winter scene than that glorious visual banquet you had been gearing up for all week.  Sound familiar???  Been there??? Done  that???  Just another example of "Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today".

When I was in Australia, they told me that they import our colorful trees to get color into their seasons because their own indigenous trees are ever green.  Until that trip, I had never appreciated those fallen colorful leaves.  They only represented a tedious fall chore - raking up the leaves.  Now I see those colors with wide open eyes and an appreciative mind.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Worthy Ambassadors of our City

I was walking to the library today and I met a fellow that very much impressed me.  Now this man was not a famous person nor was he, what most people would consider an "important" man. Nonetheless, I was extremely impressed by him and by what he was doing, and in my book, he is worthy of the "important" label.  Now I don't know the man's circumstances, nor do I know if he was "employed" to do what he was doing or if he was simply doing it as a goodwill volunteer.   I certainly have not seen others like him before so his is not a "common"job, though I do believe this city, or any city, could benefit from at least several of these fellows doing "the job" that this man was doing.

With the help of a long handled pair of claws that picked up cigarette butts, pieces of paper, crushed paper cups and all sorts of other garbage left behind by uncaring, inconsiderate and messy people, this man was cleaning the street by collecting all that garbage into a garbage cart that he pulled along behind him.

I certainly hope he was getting paid for this wonderful service he was providing for our city.    It is too bad that we have so many uncaring and messy people that leave their garbage so carelessly behind.  I wonder what these peoples' homes are like.  Are their floors, counters and furniture strewn with all sorts of debris?  What a pity that folks cannot take some pride in their surrounding and clean up their own garbage by depositing it in proper receptacles instead of dropping them at random on the street. Our city streets could be beautiful minus that mess.

How many of us sometimes wish we had a broom in hand while we walk down the street?  If these street-cleaners are not being "hired" as I suspect this fellow wasn't, perhaps the city could reward those worthy city ambassadors somehow. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see our city streets free of debris and garbage for a change? Or is that a pipe dream?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Soul-mates, the Spice of Life

Ode to Soul-mates 

How often do we run across that one person who is so in tune with our way of thinking that we need to be in contact with them almost constantly because that link is so vital to our life.  I'm not talking here about men and women, that "Partner in Life" thing though I admit there is profound validity in that.  That is a totally different subject, and I will not go there, certainly at not at this time.  But there are "soul-mates" out there whom we may not see on a regular basis but with whom we keep in touch by mail, or telephone or an occasional visit or whatever other method. When you have a great moment (or a bad one) you need to share it with only that one person.  You  share your innermost thoughts and feelings with them and are totally confident that they understand what you are talking about. Few of us are fortunate to find these soul-mates and it is a pity, because they truly complete our life no matter what the distance or the physical differences between us.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Is It Fall Yet?

Is It Fall Yet?

I walk outside and I see altered
The scenes of summer somehow faltered
The sun behind the clouds keeps hiding
It's orbit's changed, it's lower riding,
It's cooler now, I hear the call
I feel the chill of early fall
The rays of heat, the suns bright glare
It's gone somehow, it isn't there.
The birds that lilted lovely strands
Have flown away to distant lands.
The flowers bow their heads and sway
They fold their petals as if to pray.
The leaves above in trees still dance
Revel green, it's their last the chance.
Jack Frost is skulking around the bend
He's marking time for when to send
The vibrant colors of autumn's glory
The sign of harvest, the age-old story.
September's here, the time is spent
I don't know where the summer went
I'm looking forward to the rustle
Of fallen leaves, as I rush and bustle
To clear the garden, the final reaping
Of Nature's bounty for winter keeping.
I could go on endlessly
Reciting blessings ceaselessly
But 'tis enough to make us treasure
A life so full, it's beyond measure!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Nine Eleven

Nine Eleven

I started to do my blog and as I got ready to post it, it suddenly hit me what day it was.  How well I remember that morning those "many" years ago.  I woke up  but I was still in bed as I pushed the button on the remote to switch on the TV.   I wasn't looking for anything specific but I was just not in the mood to get up quite yet.  I watched the plane crash through the tower and I thought "What a horrible movie! And so early in the morning.  How do they film such things and why do they show such awful movies so early in the morning?" I was disgusted. "I guess those movie stations will do anything for money," I decided.

Normally, I would just have turned to another station or shut off the TV completely, because I don't like and never watch horror movies.  I still don't know why I stayed on that channel. I was convinced it was just a "stupid movie".   But something made me watch.  When realization hit that it was "News" and not "fiction" I glued to that station and couldn't leave.   I was still in that bed, in my pj's at noon.  I forgot about getting up, washing, dressing,  eating and everything else. What I saw that day proved to me that Truth is truly stranger than fiction.

 I pray for those innocent people that died that day but I especially pray for their grieving families.  The ones that died are no longer suffering, but the ones left behind will suffer for the rest of their lives.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Live This Moment


As I look over my blog, I see a trend that has developed that I had not noticed before.  It's not as if I have nothing in my life in the present.  Yet so much of what I have published in my blog has to do with my life back in Dauphin.  That is not bad. I have good memories of that time.  I had a good life there.  I was very involved with the community there, probably too much sometimes.  I had little time to do pleasure things so I put them off for "when I retire". Busy doing things I had to do, I had little time for things I wanted to do. I did, however, do a lot of travelling and I am happy that I did so.  I saw a lot of the the world. It was my very appreciated reward for all my hard work.  I certainly could not enjoy that strenuous pace now, so I'm glad to sit and read my detailed travel logs and look at my captioned pictures as I relax on my comfortable couch.  This is retirement as it should be, a time to reflect on a life well spent and much enjoyed.

Now that I "am retired" I enjoy the freedom to choose my activities but from force of habit, I find I still take on more than I can chew sometimes and that is my own  fault.  This spring was an extremely busy one and I found myself running out of steam too often.  It is time to acknowledge my limitations, time to take stock of my life, time to reset my priorities.  Retirement should not be a time to gear up.  It should be a time to gear down to a more comfortable pace. I have always dreamed of writing and as I spend my time at my computer, I am thankful that I still have this wonderful opportunity to indulge my dream on a hobby that is so stimulating and enjoyable for me. Too often we are so busy making a living we have no time to live. We miss out on the most important thing of all and often go to our grave with sad regrets. I am trying to avoid that.  I am living and enjoying my life now.  It's a much more relaxed pace and I like it that way.

I talked to a friend recently who was bemoaning the fact that all her life she had dreamed of painting pictures but she still has had "no time" to do it.  (She has been retired for fifteen years). How many of us can identify with that problem?  We keep putting things off over and over until we find that our time has completely run out.  We are too ill or just otherwise too incapable of accomplishing those beautiful dreams anymore.
What a waste of a life and opportunity that is!  It really is OUR CALL!  Live this moment!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Farewell to Summer Birds

The Robins are packing for their trip south.  Or perhaps they have already left because I have not heard or seen any robins lately.  Not that we get that many birds here.  Outside of the ubiquitous magpies, we see or hear only an occasional robin, sometimes a sparrow and if we are really lucky, we are treated to the flash of grey as a little chickadee flits happily among the branches  teasing us with his sweet "chicka dee dee dee".
Otherwise I have not seen too many bird species here in the city.

 I used to have tons of gold finches, purple finches, house finches and pinesiskens at my place when I lived in Dauphin.  They provided me with many hours of pleasure watching their antics at the feeders and the birdbath.   I also had a few humming birds , though not as many as I would have like to see.  My cousin, on a farm in Ethelbert, had dozens of them on her yard.  I so envied her.  Humming birds are so pretty and delightful.

We did see a purple finch this spring in my daughter's apricot tree.  I think he was scouting for feeders but although we had a feeder hanging in the other tree, I think we scared the him off with the loudly rustling blue plastic tarp that covered a trench below for some electrical cable.  The poor fellow never came back after that first reconnaissance trip.   A pity too.  I was so looking forward to seeing him and his family and friends visit us again.  

 I don't see any finches at all in my area of town (almost downtown Edmonton).  Perhaps the magpies are scaring them off.  Magpies are mean to the other species particularly to the nests and the young fledglings.  The magpie is not an ugly bird but I don't like their aggressively brutal behavior to the other birds and I don't particularly like the sound of the young magpies after they hatch.  They sound so raucous until their  "voices change".

Oh well, I do have my memories and my pictures.