Awe . . . the pitter-patter!

Just sitting here this fine morning remembering some shenanigans, yes, shenanigans . . . wait, am I on Facebook? Never mind, I’ll keep the word. As I was saying, thinking way back yonder to some of the crazy things the kiddos did.

This particular incident happened during the month of, “Brrrr!!”

That’s what some of us Canadians (or maybe it’s just me), call February because it’s easier to pronounce with chattering teeth.

“Brrrr!,” typically has temperatures somewhere north of -30 degrees Celsius, that’s about -22 Fahrenheit for our southern neighbors.

Now, the exact transgression of Isabel, our youngest, escapes me. Perhaps she’d zigzagged a pen across big sister, Amanda’s, latest fridge art, or Picasso’d her sibling’s prized teddy bear with a Sharpie and had coerced our cat, Marble, into upholding the Law of Omerta.

Being the sole adult in the domicile that evening, I sentenced her to a ‘time out’ in The Corner.  No doubt, in that cozy little triangle of contemplation, she reflected with great remorse on the “heinous” doings.

The Kleenex budget was yanked into the red, by the fistful. The boxes emptied, Big Sis’ dabbed the last raindrops from her cheeks and glared at the condemned before stomping to her upstairs bedroom.   

Isabel was paroled after three minutes, one minute per year of age . . . that seemed to be the accepted formula back then. She boldly stepped across the perimeter of the invisible box and wonder of wonders! Knew that formula worked! Never a doubt.

“I’m a changed girl. Sorry for what I’d done. Yessir. Nope, never lift a pinky against Amanda again . . . except to love her to pieces.”

 A hug of reconciliation? Oh, okay . . . I suppose since you both just stuck out your tongues at the same time we’ll just call it a draw. Yes, head on back to your bedroom wall finger painting, Amanda. I’m glad to see that you’ve chosen oil based.   

Satisfied for the skirmish was over, I elected to empty the garbage can and bring the bag to the lidded garbage bin in the garage. We don’t have trash pickup in these here parts, so we keep it in there until I can drive it to the dump.

I had to sidestep little Miss Golden Hair Ringlets, as I descended the two steps into the coat room that opened to the garage.

The garage had no working vehicle door at that time, so every cubic square of air was jam packed with icicle-toothed no-see-um’s, that surged in via that gaping maw from the tar black country night. Even the moon and the stars had fled these lands, and the overhead fluorescent lights, forcibly confined, had chosen hibernation.

The garbage bin was just outside the coatroom door, so I slipped on my crocs, left the coat to rest on the hook . . . my pj’s would suffice for the short trip. Great move, right, professor?

The last thing I saw, just before closing the door, was the cherub faced shenaniger (repurposed for this post). Those beautiful, blonde, curly cues framed an adorable smile as she waved to me from the upper step. “Good luck.”

You bet, another brilliant move, Holmes.

I stepped into the garage and quickly shut the door behind me to keep out Jack Frost’s invisible minions. Good Luck?

I shall never forget the heart melting pitter-patter of little feet across the coat room floor, seconds before the click of the lock being engaged.

Yes, Mary, here, let me pour you another glass of Perrier and imagine how splendid it will always be! Is the baby kicking? Hmmm . . . maybe she’s trying to tell us something?

Sorry, back to the story. Faced with becoming an ice sculpture, I diplomatically begged, nay, cried, for the young lady to open the door. Awe, there’s that adorable giggle.

Mind you, there was a spare key, but that would mean crawling over piles of half finished projects, just waiting for the chance to maim. Pay back for being relegated to the land of misfits.   

I yelled for Amanda, who was, by that time, probably in the bathroom using the ‘good towels’ to clean the paint off her fingers.

Welp, nothing for it but to go cross country. Thankfully the wall to my left was clear of debris, so I followed it and ran for the front lawn. The front door was unlocked, I remembered that much. Now, if I was a snow hare, the trip would have been quick and painless.

But people aren’t snow hares, and when crocs hit the crunchy top layer of “Brrr!” snow, well, they crash the party until they hit rock bottom. About knee deep in this case. The ice moles were less than pleased, but the no-see-um’s had a banquet.

Yep, every step was like slogging through a freshly poured slushy, sans the sweetness and color. Well, maybe the color, because we owned a dog.

The worst part was passing the bay window, just after both of my crocs abandoned me. I witnessed a mass of golden ringlets flying past the windowsill, headed straight for the front door.

Oh, Mary, listen! Is it my imagination, or can you also hear the pitter-patter and the giggles?

Oh no, you don’t! She did. Click!

If you’ve ever seen Fred Flintstone pounding on the door after Dino locked him outside, you’ll get the idea of what happened next.

No giggling now . . . just a thumb in that grinning mouth. The other hand was busy with the necessary work of twirling those ringlets into coils.

When telling this story, someone once commented that I should be embarrassed at being outrun by a three year old. Um, beg pardon? You do realize that those suckers can move with the speed of a velociraptor over open ground, right buddy? I swear they make the same noises, too. At least when they’re racing for a prized toy . . . you know the sound, that guttural squeal, “Miiiinnnneeee!” Or maybe it’s more like Chewbacca?

I owe my digits to Amanda for coming to the rescue, though I only use one on each hand to type.

She moved in like a gift shop sized King Kong! Nothing violent, just blocked her sister and opened the door.

That was a decade ago, and it’s a funny tale now, but not so much at the time. Don’t get me wrong, both my daughters are loving and kind.

I really don’t think a three-year-old can conceive of the dangers of locking someone outside mid-winter. But nonetheless, I now always wear my winter coat and boots when taking out the trash. 😊  

Ramblings of a pale-fingered, “Green Thumb.”

These days, I’m expanding my horizons and have been working with a local company that designs and maintains some lavish gardens. Being a greenhorn means that my green thumb is a very light shade of whitish. Needless to say, my question to answer ratio is drastically unbalanced, but hey, I’m loving the journey.  

One of my biggest concerns is mistakenly yanking out a prized flower. A challenge made even harder as most plants haven’t flowered yet.

So, to avoid trouble, I’ve done my level-headed best at recognizing and retaining the appearance of different leaves and seedlings. I’m slowly learning the proper names, but for those that I don’t, I have a “highly specialized” classification system.

Here goes:

A Something: No idea what it is. Yes, there’s something sticking out of the dirt, but I am unable to determine whether it is a weed or a flower. I need to go and ask.

A Thing: Hands off! Still have no idea what the heck it is, but this is a no go for a pull. Yes, I was told what it was, but can’t remember the name.  

Not a thing: Grip and pull! It’s either a weed, a nasty intruder, or the owner just wants it gone. I’ve already been given the green light by the experts, but I forget the name.

Yes, okay, now you’ve been given the code, no red pills required if you are captured by the enemy, though I’m not sure who that could be.

Anyways, I thought it might be fun to create a fictional account of how things might go if I was gardening at home and left to my own destruction.

“Doh! What did I just pull out?”

“Dad? Dad! What did you just shove into your pocket?”

“Oh, um, just a few somethings.”

“Oh no! No! No! Those were Mom’s favorites! I can’t believe you did that! Mom! Mo—”

“Shush! Alright it was just a few things, look, they’re not a thing, really.”

“Not a thing? They’re everything! Those were five orchid seedlings!”

“Really? These grassy things? They looked like weeds.”

“Nope! Definitely somethings and more that, they were a thing! Even in your garden speak.”  

“But how was I supposed to know? None of them even had petals yet. Please tell me these weren’t those reddish, yellowish, and black, weird shaped—”

“Lady’s Slipper Orchids. Yes, the seeds she pointed out at the garden store, and said that she couldn’t wait to see bloom.”

“Look, can we make a deal or something?”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, what if we say that this was the work of a vole.”

“A vole? Is that a thing?”

“Sheesh, kid! You want to hear my proposal or not? Yes, a vole is a thing. It tunnels underground, and sucks down plants from their root. Just like spaghetti. A pack of them are called Doozers. Oh, and they love radishes, too, so we need to watch out for that.”

“Google . . . what is a vole?”

“Ah sheesh! Should have known you would’ve brought that thing out here.”

“A vole is a small rodent about the size of a mouse that dwells primarily above ground. Voles sometimes use tunnels created by moles to feed on plant structures underground. Voles—”

“Oh, shut that silly thing off, would you? See? Even Google agrees with me.”

“Okay, I’ll go with it. But you do the talking, and maybe you should leave out the ridiculous reference to Fraggle Rock.”

“Huh? How’d you know about that show?”

“YouTube. You’re aware that there are more things on there, than just tutorials on how to repair car thingies.”

“Touché.”

“What’s going on you two? You look like you’re up to something.”

“Busted.”

“Sucks to be you too. I was gonna’ buy you a thing, but now you’ll get nothing.”

Life’s simple pleasures

Happy Sunday to all! Right now, I’m looking out my window and admiring the beauty that’s lit by another sunny (but cool) morning. It’s just another example of life’s small pleasures that we may often take for granted.

Despite recent world events, there’s still plenty of good out there. Yes, there are those larger ticket items; family and friends, health, fun vacations, good food, and personal freedoms. But what about the little things? Here’s a list of the small things, in no particular order, that I’m personally grateful for. Things which may seem insignificant on their own but add up to a big morale boost. They’re everywhere, if you pay attention.

  1. The swish of the wind as it passes through the needles of an evergreen tree(s)
  2. The courteous driver who stops to let you turn.
  3. The smell of clean laundry- even better if you can dry it on a clothesline outside.
  4. The call of the Loon from the lake at sunset.
  5. The crackle and warmth of a campfire.
  6. Fixing that obnoxious squeaking door.
  7. The feel of a cool breeze kissing away the sweat after a hard day’s work.
  8. A smile.
  9. A belly-laugh.
  10. The first sip of fresh coffee.
  11. Good and full days that make you forget time exists.
  12. The scar(s) that are fodder for excellent stories.
  13. Sunrises/sunsets.
  14. The funny antics and quirks of pets.
  15. Rainbows.
  16. Rainstorms when you’re safely tucked in bed.
  17. Conquering procrastination and just “gettin’ it done.”
  18. Arriving safely at a destination.
  19. Impromptu adventures that provide a lifetime of great memories.
  20. The completion of every chapter that draws a WIP (work in progress) towards, “The End.”

Do any of these connect with you? Please feel free to add more in the comments.

Cassie’s Wishes

This was originally posted back in April of 2021. As I sit here today, thinking about what’s going on in my nation’s capitol (Ottawa, Canada), just a few hours drive from here, I thought it could use a reposting.

Cassie took a deep breath and blew her wishes into the wind. It was getting dark and Mommy wanted her home for dinner, so she got up and watched them drift into the sunset. Satisfied, Cassie went home, washed up, and sat down at the table.

“So, Miss, what did you get up to today?” Mother smiled.

“I blew some wishes out into the world.”

Mother handed Cassie a plate of spaghetti, her favorite, and winked at her. “I’d ask you what those were, but I know that takes away their magic.”

Later, as Cassie laid her head against the soft pillow, listening to the crickets and the hoot of Chester, the barn owl, she prayed that her wishes would find the right people.

As Cassie, slept, a great wind picked up and blew those wishes around the globe, over miles of ocean and into every country of the world.

One landed the shoulder of a grieving father, as he stood at the graveside of his ten year old daughter who’d died from leukemia. An inexplicable peace began to fill his heart.

Another drifted past an ICU nurse, as she left the hospital, exhausted and discouraged from a never ending battle against COVID. Hope renewed some of her energy and lifted her spirits.

One landed in the lap of a little girl, as she sat in threadbare clothes, eating the last meal she’d have for awhile. Her rumbling belly ceased and her heart was filled with the promise of a better tomorrow.

One landed on the uniform of a police man. The years of service for his community, had lately seemed to be overshadowed by the horrific actions of a few, and the media relentlessly pelted them with negative stereotypes. He felt his discouragement fade.

The last wish will land on you, wherever you are, and whatever you are going through. It will give you strength and resilience.

Cassie woke the next day, to a better world.