Monthly Archives: February 2017

Fire and Water

via Daily Prompt: Quicken

The girl steps lightly up the hill, the rain rattling down on the hood of her jacket, beading on the glasses that give sight to the sightless, disrupting puddles and sending regular ripples outwards in mockery of the tangled grapevine that brought the news: the building is burning.

The hope is that everyone is ok. That no one is hurt. That the firemen were faster than the flames. But that’s anyone’s guess. The smoke lingers and the lights of the engines and squad cars called to respond dance madly, breaking up the monotony of the winter evening that has cloaked the neighbourhood in muted tones.

Her pace quickens to catch her heart as the sidewalk folds to the left and impatient and impassioned motorists are brought into view. Caution tape flutters, bordering the scene two doors up.

Everyone is safe and by the window, her cello is waiting.

The girl smiles.

Center stage

via Daily Prompt: Center

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Gifted to me in the spirit of Christmas, birthday and just good fun by my sibs, Rube told me the other day that we had tickets– me, Rube and Forrest to a performance of the music from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by the VSO. And I’m so excited! It’s been a few days post-surprise and I still smile thinking about it. It’s not until April, which seems like ages and ages away. I can’t stop thinking about it. Eeek! Thanks, guys! 😀

 

Shock to the system

via Daily Prompt: Jiggle

Jiggle makes me think of jello, and jello gives me the heebie-jeebies. I avoid it at all costs.

I’ve been spoiled in the best possible way. My family cares about food. Where it comes from, its nutritional value and the good things that can happen when a family sits down together every night for an hour to talk and eat and listen to music.

I remember growing up and hearing the old ‘a family that eats together stays together’ line and thinking ‘Well, at this rate, I don’t think we will ever come apart!’ Or calling my neighbour up to take the dogs for a walk in the evening… “Ok,” she would say. “See you in 20 minutes, I just have to grab dinner.” 20 minutes! I get that some, maybe even most people eat something in that time and call it dinner, that it is recommended you take at least 15 minutes to eat a meal. But that would never happen in our house. Budgeting time for dinner, I would set aside 60 minutes. If I had homework I might get away with 45.

Food is a labour of love. Finding it, preparing it, eating it, sharing it. It should make you feel good! And more often than not, this concept is lost on people. People saying they are trying to lose weight or go to the gym or on a cleanse or new diet, trying to be healthier. They post endless pictures of the world’s biggest cookie, or a plate-full of pigs in a blanket, their mega beverage from Starbucks  or super-sized diet coke (captions: I want to try this, or lets make these next… So good! My favourite!) and then they wonder why they feel so crummy, why the pounds aren’t falling away. I want to retaliate and post a picture of a tall glass of ice water and a banana (caption: So good! 🙂 ❤ )

Somebody said to me the other day that they were starving. They were going to take the elevator down and get a sausage roll and a pop from the bakery. They wanted pizza, but that would have meant they would have had to walk a block and a half to get it and they just didn’t have the energy. I was stunned. How about an apple? A piece of toast even? A glass of water? Maybe a walk around the block in the sunshine– it was beautiful out– is just what the doctor ordered. Take a break, find some joy. Do what you have to to survive, but find moments to thrive, too. Eat well, live well, be well.

The longer I’m on my own, the more I appreciate what I now view as a rather unconventional upbringing filled with love and common-sense and veggies from the garden. And the more I am shocked by the choices people make or have forced upon them everyday in terms of lifeskills and lifestyle. “What’s your favourite post-workout drink?” my brother was asked once, “A beer?” And he answered honestly, “No. It’s coconut water, actually.” And it made me smile and respect the man even more. Beer and pigs in a blanket have become the norm. And for me, it’s culture shock and it makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Do you know water is drinkable? Straight from the tap! Yes, most of us in Canada are fortunate to have this one great luxury (and it is brutally tragic that I cannot say everyone — more on that later). Instead of ketchup and fries, try a sliced tomato with a shake of salt and pepper.

I’m just over people eating food that takes five minutes to read the list of unpronouncables that you find under the “ingredients” heading or to wrestle out of all the excessive packaging, rather than 5 minutes to prepare!

End rant.

Raspberries

via Daily Prompt: Baby

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         We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing                               –Unknown

I need a break, to be clean and comfy and have a cup of tea in no hurry. And intend to have one before the weekend is up. To just settle, rather than petal to the metal, of which there has been too much lately.

I feel like winding the clock back would be fun.

I wouldn’t mind being a baby for a day. I cry, you feed me, hold me and make me giggle by blowing raspberries on my belly button. Listen to my curious babble like it’s the most fascinating conversation you’ve heard all day.

Let me sleep. Read to me over and over my favourite stories about Peter Rabbit and the Dragon in a Wagon, Grandma’s Pirates and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Give me some wooden blocks. Take me to the park and let me play in the dirt.

I’d like to be responsible for nothing but sleeping, eating and smiling for just one day.

And FYI, raspberries are amazing. I love raspberries!

Stretchy pants

via the Daily Prompt: Slur

Things were just clipping along at work today 🙂

I got off at 430 and met Rube for sushi. I was pretty darn hungry, but got filled all the way up on a veggie dinner box — quite a bit bigger than the lunch one, let me tell you!

I’m happy I wore my stretchy pants or it could have ended a lot worse 😀

We came back to my place, visited and watched episode 1 of Emergency Room — after Rube got over the shock of finding out said documentary series takes place, for reelz, right here in Vancouver, I had a most enjoyable time discovering just how squeamish my sister really is.

And now, back to the business of blogging. The prompt today was slur. Stringing words together occurred to me. So did drunkeness and CP and more hurtful insults. I finally landed on musical slurs and recalled The Jig of Slurs, a fiddle tune from way back. Honestly, that tune drove me nuts. Still does. But it got me back on Youtube, where I found a playlist on The Fretless and a new tune of theirs called Hidden View which turned out to be the perfect way to end the day.

I’m so happy it’s Friday tomorrow.

Wishing you all the best,

–Sam

Ocean-going vessel

via Daily Prompt: Rhythmic

The waves slip by and the boat rocks gently. The sun is warm on my face and the sky is so blue it hurts. It’s clear and crisp and beautiful and I am in a state of bliss.

It’s just past noon and fall is upon us. Everything is tucked away safe and sound, the tourists have gone, the vacation homes have been vacated and that all-consuming anthrpo-centric view of the world has softened, allowing nature and its rhythms to come into focus.

The Great Blue Heron on the piling, the fish around the bouys, otters snoozing, seals bobbing, sea gulls calling. A family of ducks paddles past their larger mates, Canada Geese on shore. The water is like glass.

I continue stroking a few meters off-shore. Pause to look back at Dad just behind us –my mom and me– enjoying the single life, cruising softly through the shallows. I smile and look up into the Earth’s brilliant atmosphere, so thankful for the ozone and my transition lenses.

At this moment, I have no worries. Mom sits directly behind me in the double and it’s her feet, not mine that are responsible for the rudder and our direction, or lack there of. I’m snug in my PFD, with whistle and grub easily to hand. Ever since the dive into the digital age, I struggle with PFDs, always wanting to say PDF instead.

My stomach rumbles. I reach into my breast pocket and pull out a granola bar. I’ve stroked my share, time to refuel.

“Want to pull up here?” Dad asks. “Sami’s eating now,” Mom tells him.

“These are really good” — nuts and grains and fruit and chocolate. To die for!

“They are aren’t they,” Mom agrees. “Even Forrest, trolling the cupboards the other day was like, ‘Mom, these are a little too good. Do we have more of them?'” I laugh.

“Well, I don’t know that you, as a member of the MPPS are allowed such unsanctioned snacks…”

“Ummhmmm?”

“Mom and Pop Paddle Society”, Dad clarifies, earning twin grins. “Break times are strictly observed,” he continues while peeling down his own wrapper and taking a first delicious mouthful.

“Too late!” I say gleefully, cramming the last bit into my mouth and turning to watch the seals swim at my  2’oclock.

We paddle a bit further, turn around and paddle back to the truck, taking an interesting detour under the pier before hauling the kayaks out of the water and back home to a hot shower, music and nachos.

It was a fabulous weekend.

My heart belongs to the sea, and the forests and to superb incarnations of nachos, granola bars and chocolate.

What is your favourite snack food? Feel free to comment below 🙂

–Sam

Let’s talk shop

via Daily Prompt: Hideout

Today’s prompt brought so much to mind. Right now, my mind is anything but calm. I thought of all the forts and hiding places that I’ve found and created, the good times in good company and others when all I’ve been able to think about is taking a break from humanity for a chunk of time. Maybe I could write a new story. Or research more on pirates and their hiding spots. Funny, sad? Fiction or fact? Long or short?

Bach won.

The hideout that’s closest to my heart is affectionately know as ‘The Shop’. Growing up, I shared a room with my sister. Sometimes it was hard to find my own space and just do my own thing. Something was always happening. The activity never seemed to stop: sports, music, friends, school, homework, housework, meal prep…

Our shared room wasn’t the best escape, being rarely empty, not much removed from the hubbub, and with no space to spare. It was, on more than one occasion, impossible for me to navigate to my bed and just chill. So, I went outside or took the dogs for a walk. But the best spot for me, was ‘The Shop’.

This tiny room at the end of the house was my sanctuary. The dogs slept there at night in their crates in the corner– Twinkie still does. Dad’s tools and record collection are neatly stored in a patchwork of coffee cans, and other recycled containers, shelves and toolboxes, on hooks and nails on the walls. Basic lighting, a small heater for the cold, ample seating, radio.

There is a dog door (in a human one), out to the big back yard and another human door to the laundry room and through to the main part of the house. And these doors lock! This was a big one. The fact that one of them locked on the other side, so that technically I could be locked out of the house rather than locking others out of my borrowed space, didn’t bother me. But it is kind of funny to think about.

So, the dogs could come in and visit. I’d do some work on the workbench, read or turn on the radio. Listen to the hockey game or play old tapes or CDs. Or just sit quietly stroking soft heads and gazing into amber eyes, hearing the muted rhythm of the washer-dryer on the other side of the wall and feel the stress fade away.

Mr. Bach Comes to Call (Thanks, Youtube!) is one of my favourites, which I have been listening to while writing this. The Secret Garden, Mozart and the Magic Flute and others played countless times, always managing to leave me feeling  more calm and ready to face the world outside the room again.

How do you unwind? Feel free to comment below 🙂

–Sam

Immersion

via Daily Prompt: Glitter

The level of comfort and inspiration and joy I get from reading can not be overstated. JRR Tolkien is one of my most favourite authors. And this poem immediately came to mind on reading the prompt today — I’ve decided to start another month-long venture, so here goes!

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
–JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Feel free to comment below. Happy reading!

–Sam