November 2, the second day of a new month. I’m still motivated and since it is NaNoWriMo I could come to this space and write a post a day. I don’t have it in me to write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. I have tried to a couple of times and failed. I’m a woman of few words. I believe what I have to say is more important than the number of words. It could be that I am just comforting myself with that idea. It works. Comfort is what is needed in November.
I am still pleased with myself on how I am staying on course with my missions began in October. Some days are better than others. No matter how they are, I keep plodding along. If I do fall and I have, I pick up where I had left off. I do not think I am behind. It’s a phrase I picked up from The FlyLady. I’ve been on this self-help, self-improvement gig a long time. Even though I am no longer a FlyLady follower, some things stick, coming back to help me along this road. I never give up. I pick myself up,dust myself off and continue on. The road of life is very interesting. There are many things to see and learn.
It just happens that I am reading novels about the times of the Depression and the Dust Bowl. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and Whose Names Are Unknown by Senora Babb are excellent reads. The Four Winds was published in 2021. Whose Names Are Unknown was written in the 1930s, not published till 2006. These stories of those difficult finanical times and ecological disasters are revelant to what is happening in today’s pandemic and climate change world. They also remind me of our early years in Canada as immigrants. They were lean though we had a roof over our heads, warm clothing and we never went hungry. Our little rented 2-room house was between the cafe and the town outhouse. Often it was mistaken for the outhouse. It had a pot-belly stove and peeling floors. We lived in the community but we were not of the community. It was no one’s fault. I’ve never felt despair. Difficult times prepared me for living.
November 3. I woke to see snow on the ground. I felt it before I saw it. It was not enough to light up the world. It was still pitch black at 6 am and -5℃. It got colder to -7℃ but the sun is shining on me at 9:22 am. The greenhouse is sitting at 6℃. I hope the sun will linger though the forecast calls for clouds. Traffic is moving slow on this first day of snow. It is backed up from Taylor to 8th Street as we are on the only street out of StoneBridge. I wonder what could happen if there was a huge emergency. How will vehicles get in and out? Best not to think about such things so early in the morning. Bad things might not happen if we don’t think on it. Somehow, I don’t think things work that way. Just look at history. Wish we could/would learn from it. Wish we could do better. If horses were wishes.
It’s almost 4 in the afternoon. I’ve just sat down with my instant coffee. What I would like to do is have a little snack and watch an episode of Miss Marple. The trouble is I’ve signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have a blog post to write. This is only day 3. Too early to skip out. I can keep it simple though. AND this is the start of the 3rd week of cutting back on food. A little snack here and there adds up. I like to make a serious effort for a month and make an assessment of how to proceed.
I didn’t forget my online class this morning like I did last week. It was the last one on the rise and fall of Mussolini. History is very interesting and Mussolini is a fascinating man. I am sure that there is so much more to learn than what can be covered in 8 2-hour classes. I’m learning about another fascinating though not as widely known man in history. He is Fr. Walter Cisek. He was an American Jesuit priest who spent 23 years in the Soviet Union. 18 of those years were as a prisoner and 15 of those years in the labour camps of Siberia.
I’m not quite halfway through his book, With God in Russia. It was a recommendation from Caroline Myss. She talks about it on many of her lectures. I knew it was a must read for me. I had reserved it from our library. It took almost a year for me to finally get it. And I would say that it came at a most apporpriate time. Talk about faith, challenges and strength. I think it would be a good read for those anti-maskers and covid deniers. I like to hear them talk about how the government is trying to take away their freedom after they have read the book.
Now I have to have a little snack. I feel a sugar low coming. I would not fare well in a labour camp. Who knows though until I find myself in that situation. Fr. Cisek himself admitted that he was a hoodlum and a bully when he was young. Then he got the call and he answered it and never wavered, not even for a second. Not even as a prisoner in Russia. I have heard a similar call a few years back. I answered, too and have kept faith in my own way. But I do have a lot to learn from Fr. Cisek.
It’s a cool damp day with gentle snow that melts on the way down. No sun at all. The greenhouse has been able to keep the temperature above 0. It reached the high of 11.5℃ but is now on the decline. Everything there is happy still, each wearing their overnight covers. I made good use of old pots, row covers and old tablecloths from the Dollar Store. The low tonight is -9℃. We’ve survived -18℃, so no worries. Everything is going to be all right, just like Bob Marley sang.
I’ve been languid and listless all day. I did not fight it. I’m still processing the death of my 3rd uncle. He passed on Friday. My cousin’s email in loving memory of her father stirred up many memories and emotions. He was my mother’s older brother. All of her siblies are in NYC. There were 7 of them. Now there’s four. My mother is the only one here in Canada. We have a large extended family. I have a whole slew of cousins from my mother’s side in the U.S. I envied my cousins being in such close proximity to each other.
Though we’ve made only a few trips there over the years, I still feel the strong bond of family and kinship. My mother kept it alive with her many stories. My being the oldest, I heard the most stories and learned the most of our family history. They are good stories to warm the heart and soul on a cool wet and dreary day. Rest in peace, Third Uncle. You would’ve approve and enjoy our greenhouse.
Day 29 of January and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. My cold is not better but it is not worse. I am a bit pissed that I’ve come down with it. I was pleased with myself that I’ve come through a year and a half without one. I was hoping for a 2 year run. I am ever a challenger.
I am staying put again.I’m dropping everything today – the exercise class, my class on Buddhism. No need for me to catch every train pulling out of the station. A part of me is protesting that I shouldn’t be so lazy but it’s only a wee part. The rebel in me says heck with it all. So I’m sitting here, still in my pajamas, tapping out my coughs and sniffles. Oh yes, I stuck my toque on, too. It calms my hair down. I’m looking very much like the tulips, disheveled and falling apart.
I’ve been knocking back my tea. A hot drink is good for soothing the throat and loosening congestion. I’m onto a decaf now. I used to drink coffee all day and night, too when I was working. Having given that up, my body does not like it now, even early in the day. I’m happy with its wisdom. I don’t need to feel the jolt any more. I am jittery enough already and want more mellow. I know the Buddha advocates living in present time. Don’t hang on to the past. There is no past, but I’ve been sifting through memories in old photographs.
Cruising memory lane is not living in the past. I’m doing my archeological dig, the history of me. We study history, don’t we? They still make movies about WWII and the haulocaust. We have museums of art and antifacts. We are the sum total of where and what we have been and through. I used to feel I have no present, therefore, no future. Looking back, I see that I am a person. I had a past and a life. I had people. I did things. My pictures stare back at me. I look like a person of interest. And I am.
Not that I relish having this cold, but I appreciate this interruption. I can sit back/out of my daily routine. It gives me pause to look back down the track of where I have driven my train this month. What have I learned from my tapping on the keyboard? Was I woodpecker in my previous life? What I know for sure is, it is my spiritual practice, my daily prayer. I feel better for being here.
There’s anxiety and fear in going forward. But there is boredom and frustrations waking up to the same old, same old every day. So I ask myself, Are you a woman or a mouse? I choose the first. I don’t have to roar like Helen Redding. I don’t have to say anything at all but stand in my own two shoes, taking responsibility for my own words and actions. That’s all it takes.
Nevertheless I fuss and fret over what ifs and all the rest. I haven’t really totally accepted myself, the whole package of me. There will always be parts of myself, habits and all, that I will never get over. Understanding that helps. These are some of the things that I find difficult under the best of circumstances. Other people have other difficult things. Different strokes for different folks. Everyone have their forte.
The thing is I’ve never understood that my difficulties are not bad in themselves. They do not make me a bad person. It means I have struggles. I am being human. Now I can stop punishing myself and work towards how best to resolve them. Letting go of feelings are hard. Letting go of thinking tougher yet. History is the most difficult to let go of. To help me, I think of the time when a crow flew by Sheba’s nose. She reared up and charged. Well, I HAD to let go of the leash. I hate to think of the consequences if I hadn’t.
It’s another hot day. I’m sweating, drinking hot decaf. I must be trying to sweat out my toxic thoughts. I have many that are still ticking away in my lizard brain. I’m trying to chill a little, slowing it down. Sometimes it’s not easy. I have a frenzy inside of me. I’m pulled in all directions, not focused on anything. It’s best I come here to have a slow conversation with myself. Best not to do any brain surgery if there is no emergency.
It’s past Sheba’s supper time. She is quiet upstairs cooling herself on the bare floor. She has never been downstairs. There’s no way to coax her either. Maybe it is just as well. No need for her hair to be everywhere though they still float down.
Today is my third day off from work and I am feeling fine. Last week feels like an eon ago. I feel as if I’ve lost a chunk of time and myself in those long hours at the hospital. I am in recovery mode. I wonder if other 12-hour shiftworkers experience similiar feelings. Maybe I am just an oddball. I dont have the metal to cut the pedal. Is that how the saying goes?
It was rainy and grey most of the day yesterday, not good time for working outside or doing anything else. We went to the Western Development Museum instead. It was a welcomed change in our routine. It has been many years since I was in Boomtown. The last time was when I took my nephews Adrian and Michael. They are both in their 20s now, so you can count the years.
Boomtown has grown in my absence! It took me awhile to orientate myself to my new surrounding. I heard this frantic voice inside me: What do I do now? Where should I go first? Quick, get the camera out! Take pictures! Take pictures! I had to find my other voice: You don’t have to do anything yet. This is not the hospital. There is no such thing as: STAT! You can just stroll and enjoy the ambiance.
This is Boomtown. There is no traffic, no traffic lights, no sirens, no ambulances…only people who wants to see and experience some of our history. It is a place to feel some of yesteryear when things were slow and mellow. It deserves more visits from me.