Monday, September 29, 2014

Cheer in the rain

I was reading another blog where the author quoted a poet who said that "autumn was hard to take straight".  Sunflowers are meant to be enjoyed in the moment, taken straight. 

Even in the rain, sunflowers are the more cheerful flowers, aren't they? 

The very last of my flowers and the most showy of them all.  I'm not looking forward to winter quite yet, but I'm going to enjoy these happy signs of autumn.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


I have a confession to make.  Everytime my in-laws have an event, I feel put-upon.  I immediately feel all defensive and my mind starts to think of reasons why I can't attend, plan, help, or even approve the event. 

I don't even know why that is, but I think it's because they just do things differently than I grew up with.  Why is that wrong?  Of course it isn't.  My brain knows that, but first it has to go through it's usual thought cycle.  And I really have to start asking them to define the event.

Part of the problem is that it feels like I'm being dumped on unexpectedly.  If I had asked "what does a party mean to you?" before I agreed to go to the party, I wouldn't then feel surprised to find out that it means an all day commitment and I should bring a dinner with me.  I may have thought I should only bring a small gift and eat cake while visiting for a couple of hours. 

That example hasn't exactly happened, but it's just an example after all.

In this case, I don't even think they knew what they meant at first with this event.  This is new. 

Tomorrow we are interring my father-in-law's ashes. 

What's the protocol for that?  None of us have done this before.  Whatever any of us have grown up with, this is new.  Once upon a time, we were children who attended these things for relatives we hardly knew.  Now we have to define them, organize them, carry them out.  

And only I am thinking selfishly about me.  I don't want to bake.  I don't want to spend my Saturday in the country.  I'm busy and I'd like to start insulating my basement.  But this isn't about me.  It's about my mother-in-law and honouring her husband and his wishes. And it's about his many children who still grieve his absence.

It's a hard thing they are doing and I'm just thinking about me.  I'm terrible.  I'm doing so little.  I've planned so little, I'm preparing so little.  And I'm so ungrateful for the work that others are doing to make this happen.  

Who cares if the squares and cheese that I'd thought we would share after the short ceremony is now a full potluck meal?  That's not what I expected at the start.  Does it really matter?  So it's different than I expected.  If this is their family custom, or the way they want to pay tribute to their father, it's lovely     

And if I can provide a few squares and some flowers, then I'll be happy to share the time with them. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pssshhh click

That was the sound of my favourite shoe.

Pssshhh click
Pssshhh click
Pssshhh click
Pssshhh click

It was like stepping on a teeny tiny whoopie cushion with every left step.


And then the sound of a tiny nail with the right.


Pssshhh click
Pssshhh click

More annoying to me than anyone else, I hope, but I love those shoes.  They were comfortable right from the store, as if I'd already worn them in.

Then this summer the sound changed.  I didn't know why the difference, but now they sound like really loud flip flops.  Still really comfortable, open toe, a good match for most of my summer work clothes.

So I wore them.  A lot.  And everyone could hear me coming down the hall for my morning coffee. And then again for my coffee refill.  And sometimes in the afternoon just one more time.

Flip flip flip flip flip

I had to change my route.  I was sure no one liked the sound and maybe I don't need everyone to know exactly how many cups of coffee I drink.   If I cut through the open area by the elevators, I could enter near the kitchen and just pass two admins instead of going down the long corridor of cubicles filled with employees.

Fine.  New route selected.  Fewer people bothered.  I still wore my favourite shoes and had my coffee.

This morning I discovered why my shoes didn't Pssshhh click anymore.

It was a different pair!  My other favourite shoes had been buried beneath the rain boots all summer and I've missed a whole season of wearing them.

They are red, not black.  I'm assuming they still Psshhh click, but it's raining today so I didn't wear them.   That's why I lifted the rubber boots out of the box in the first place.

Next year I'm going to Pssshhh click down the corrider and enjoy my red shoes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I'm glad I didn't have a phone with me.  Or an iPod.

Just a book and my picnic lunch.

I sat and ate my picnic in the park, listening to the leaves fall from the trees.  It's quiet and you'd miss the sound if you had anything else to distract you, but they do make soft sounds as they fall.

And obviously they make a sound as the multitude of walkers and joggers crunch down on them, releasing the scent of fall, mingling with the vanilla scent of the allysum growing in the huge planter beside me.

I love fall and I love Indian Summers even more.

Monday, September 22, 2014


I thought that ornamental crabapples served no purpose.  Besides being ornamental, of course.  And in truth, they are only really ornamental in the spring when in full bloom.

I just watched a squirrel for one hour run back and forth between the tree and his stockpile, carrying an apple in his teeth on every second lap.

For a squirrel, it isn't only ornamental.  It's winter food.  

Maybe it's even wine by the time he gets to it.  And that's a good thing.