Saturday, April 21, 2007

Not such a bad day, after all

Well, we've all got colds now - where'd that come from??? Arghhhhhhh

All said, it was a pleasant day - yes, the workmen arrived, thumped and banged - surprisingly little yelling, though - that was nice. It was also nice to be outside on such a lovely (20 degrees!!!) and soul-saving day. After a week trapped in the house, I NEEDED outside time! I got the feeling that the dogs did, too and we let them have a lot of play time, with us and with each other. All said, Jack was a good egg throughout the ruckus and I am really proud of how much work he's done in such a short time. There's a lot more ruckus to come so let's all pray that he can keep his poop in pile, as a my dear friend MC likes to say. From what I understand, it's the governmentese for 'keep his shit together'.

Much thanks to Sara for telling me about the macro feature on my camera - we went for our morning stroll through our riverwalk and when I mentioned it to K the elder, he said 'oh I think that we have that, too'. Whhhhat!?! Sure enough - we do. Color me stupid for not knowing that - d'oh! I managed to get some beautiful shots throughout the day and I just may try to shoot some jewelry, too. Wish me luck.

Here's a little hint of photos to come

This is my first "macro" shot. Wherever you are in the universe, you could probably feel the ground moving when I was jumping up & down in excitement when I took this shot and it was CLEAR!
My neighbour's crocus - this plant always makes me homesick. Anyone who has traveled the Tirol or the Laurentians knows how prevalent this plant is to alpine climates. Our yard back home was always a blur of soft crocus blooms every Easter and my heart is always lightened by their beauty.

I had a nice, long chat with my neighbour to the South and learned a bit more about Almonte history. Being an almost lifelong resident, she knows all the corners (and a lot of the skeletons, too). I would love to write a book about all of these wonderful, older people around here. Let them share their stories about the region and teach us all about the history of this special corner of the planet. I have told you all before how I feel about my County but the more I learn, the more I love it. Years of study as a historian have felt wasted, until I speak with someone so knowledgeable. This might be the book that's been residing in my heart all this time.... Who knows if this is the project that I've been waiting for but it still feels like a good starting point. After years of dry writing, filled with lesson plans and grant proposals, do I really have the ability to switch back into historical writing? My passion has always been driven by how interesting our young country is; when others in my class looked southward to the US for ideas for their theses, I looked to new Canadians who were living the experience faced by my mother and her family, the older people who had lived through so much and were so grateful for the country that we took for granted, and the chance to teach younger people about a country of relative privilege and dignity.Our conversation today started with talk about a missed trip to the War Museum and led to a tale of all of the young men who left this small, farming community and dared to fight for Canada; of her brother, Cyril who sneaked into their house after a five year absence and little communication, and of a mother's joy that her son was not one of the missing, the dead. In an age of almost instant email connection, we forget the real sacrifice of those in that time of uncertainty. Those left waiting at home, praying, hoping, wishing that their sons, nephews and neighbors would come strolling up the walk, intact of body and spirit, safe to the arms of their family. I grew up during Viet Nam and I remember the black cars, the MPs, the officer who would march solemnly up the walk to the front door, cap in hand. We would drop our bikes on a neighboring lawn and wait for the officer to come back out. Even as a little kids, we knew that Jim or Bob or Sam wouldn't be coming home. They were just gone, like a memory, a scream that has left a mouth. Even now, these memories are emotional. I knew that my dad wouldn't make those men walk up our drive because he stayed on base usually. As Crew Chief, he was responsible for making the crafts airworthy and they cut him a lot of slack. Still, there were dads and brothers missing and it wasn't uncommon for kids to miss school because they had received that news. Maybe that's why her stories had so much resonance - because on some level, it had been my story too. A different place, a different time but a similar fear, a common thread. I was such a morbid child that I loved old cemeteries and found cool stones wherever we traveled. Someone told me that the stones are really for the living, because once the living who knew those buried are gone, the memory of those long-dead people are too. Maybe that's what this book will be - a gift to those who have gone so that they are never forgotten.


Knitting Mama said...

Great first Macro shot. Aren't cameras great??

Bumbershootska said...

Thanks, Robyn - I feel like I'm on the short bus about stuff like this so you can imagine how thrilled I was to do this - now the big challenge will be to practice and get better at taking clear up close shots