I was home alone, it was a quiet day, and I kept hearing odd sounds coming from above my head… on my tin roof.
Plink.. plink… bam..kerpunk
It sounded like someone was up there.. It is not December, so it can’t be Santa with his mischievous reindeer.. so what in the world?
This needed further investigation, so I hitched up my big girl panties and ventured outdoors..
I heard it again, multiple plink plink plinking..and then the sounds of things rolling down and off of the tin roof that was a head covering for my little house.
The culprit I discovered, were little green acorns… dropping every so often from the mighty oak that lumbered and swayed above me… impossibly tall.
It was rather surprising the impact that such a little acorn had upon the tin roof. To realize that such a little item had created the reverberation up on top, and sounded of something much larger, had conjured up the vision of a bigger animal than a squirrel up there was now comical.
Those imaginative thoughts of wondering “what is out there?”… the great unknown, can feel paralyzing.
What was next? I feel it .
Turns out I almost did feel it in a very blistery and itchy way.
The deep ditch out in front of my house is about 4′ deep… I know this because this Spring it overflowed with the Ottawa River, and they measured its depth.
It is surrounded by tall cedars, but it was starting to need another hair cut to take care of the undergrowth. The flood certainly was beneficial for the weeds, and foliage that I did not necessarily invite there, because they had grown huge.
I fired up the weed wacker trimmer thing, adorned myself with almost all protective gear, ok, my rubber boots had been left out in the rain, and had a sour aroma down deep in their depths, so I wore my next best footwear…my berkinstocks..
I had on tights, which almost went to my ankles… mid calf, truth be told, long sleeved tee shirt, single braid, protective…or more correctly described… sun glasses, and a ball cap.. Ready to cut and conquer the wayward ditch growth. I did kinda feel armed and ready, and maybe a little cocky.. not a lot.. but just maybe.. a hair. Motorized lawn equipment does that to me.
I was almost to the end of my ditch, when a pick up drove by, and circled back round… In all of my pomp and circumstance, I thought perhaps I was going to be congratulated on my prowess with the weed wacker, or at least would be offered a job with the lawn maintenance crew.
Alas… It was not to be…
The window rolled down, and the passenger looked to be smirking at me… while the driver began in a serious voice,
” Are you aware that you are cutting in there with the poison ivy?”
“Ahhh….no….” I stammered, and instantly wanted to add sarcastically.. why would I be doing that, if I knew it was poison ivy?… I ain’t that dumb.
“Yes, leaves of three, and it grows often close to telephone poles..” he said pointedly.
“Wow….” not what I had expected to hear.
I was at that present time cutting directly at the base of the telephone pole.
“Ya… them are the first leaves to change color..”
“Ok… thanx for letting me know,” I replied feeling ignorant and like a city gal who didn’t know her head from her what’s it.
” Go in and wash your ankles with cold water, washing downwards.. you gotta get that poison ivy oil off of ya… then pour alcohol down your legs.” He instructed.
“Ok..”I was listening.
Now… wait…what?..again.. with the alcohol ….? never mind I’ll do what I’m told…This conversation happened in my mind for approximately 4 seconds..
” Wash off your equipment with soap and water too.”he continued
They drove off.
My spirits sank… the negative self talk began… ” stupid.. stupid.. stupid..” I told myself under my breath. I walked rather quickly back along the road, careful not to seem to be going too fast into what might be considered a full gallop.
What have I done to myself now I thought?
Oh wait.. I thought while almost sprinting back inside my front door. I had made a wine run earlier that day, so it looked like that was the only alcohol that I had in the house that I would now be using on my legs for medical purposes…. what a waste..of “ok” wine.
I had dropped the equipment by my front step, shed my clothes by the sink, and turned on the water in the shower.. It worked out well, that I don’t have a functioning hot water tank, because there was no danger of me having the water too hot , or warm at all for that matter…
It turns out that it’s hard to make suds when the water is not even luke warm.. I’m aware people who camp know this, but I guess I’m more of the ” glamper type,”….now.. no judging.. I’ve been camping in my house on a blow up mattress on the floor… it’s been an adventure..camping indoors has its perks. No bugs…I highly recommend this type of camping.. the bears, fishers, deer, raccoons, rats and snakes, can’t invade either.
True story.. my toilet has been functional now for a few weeks, so you won’t find my out peeing behind the big trees in my yard anymore…
Neighborhood watch can stand down.
Shivering, and clean clothed, I grabbed the new screw top bottle of savignon blanc from the fridge, and proceeded to go and sit on my front steps. Time to christen my ankles… I don’t think I’ve ever done that on purpose before.
I unscrewed the top, because only the best vintage for me.. ha.. and proceeded to pour it all over my ankles.. I almost wept at the waste… but I’m following directions… I don’t want what I stepped in to result in a rash that would require lots of calamine lotion, or even further medical attention.. and would cause me to scratch myself into a frenzy. Intense prayer was activated at this point, and pleading to not let me be infected with the poisonous leaf was voiced out loud.
I told myself that I would withstand the urge to begin a search engine on my phone of the ramifications of a poison ivy incident… however my curiosity got the best of me.
So… the guy had been right, in all of what he had told me, and now I just needed to wait… and see… after 72 hours…. I could be in the clear.
I’m ecstatic to report…
Grace again.. no outbreak… phew….I am grateful, and moral of the story.. “always have wine,” because often it is not only required for your ” stomach’s sake.”
I step in it often… then need to go back, re think, re group, acknowledge my error… and move on.
Sitting at a Starbucks borrowing the WiFi, and using the outdoor table as my unofficial desk away from home, it feels like an optimum place to do some writing. I think this desk is made of the same tin as the roof on my house..imagine that. My mind wanders.. a lot.
Having a book store attached to a coffee shop is just not fair, because how could I possibly resist the urge to not buy one of each items.. coffee and a good new book… excellent. There is the excitement as I open the first page, and sniff the fresh velum… a new adventure awaits between front and back cover..and the anticipation builds.
Summertime is my favorite time to read.. Stolen moments on a hammock swaying in the breeze, under a tree, book in hand.. sounds pretty perfect. I’ll find one of those after my coffee time…
It’s hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is almost here. The summer has blown by way too fast… like it does.. and the nights are getting cooler.. but that part is quite fine by me..
People are getting ready for new schedules, school is resuming..September is just at the end of the weekend. For some reason it feels as if this month is the beginning of the year, instead of January. A reboot is needed for September, fresh plans, and the resurrection of goals that have not as yet been fulfilled.
There are challenges behind each corner, and obstacles to be overcome.
With September the reality that another year has passed since I last saw my daughter, held her, kissed her sweet face, sniffed her neck that smelled like honey, diapered her bottom, tube fed her meals, showered her little body, and loved on her with all of my heart. Those little hands and ” sausage feet” were so dainty, and feminine….the missing surrounds me.. it’s just a part of who I now am.. I accept it.. “it is the price of loving,” but it’s worth it… and yes.. I would do it all over again..
4 years… how can that be?
If I had to chronologically start from year one until now, and describe this journey, it would be a challenge, and yet that is precisely what I aim to do…
Sure I have written about these times in between, but there is more to be unpacked, both literally and figuratively…. more to say.. I know.. shocker… me having more to say, is kind a given… 😄
There has been healing…. There were those who counseled me to give it time.. they were wise.. they knew.. they had experience with grief, and unspeakable sorrow.
It is hard to describe the physical absence of a person, and the effect it will have on your countenance. It’s a bit like describing delivering a baby.. before you push that child through the birth canal, and out into the harsh reality of the world… you just don’t know..how can you possibly?
It is true that there is another side, and with God’s help.. the path becomes illuminated…less dark and depressing than before.
” When God closes a door, he opens a window , but it’s hell in the hallway.”( Kris Vallotton, ” Spirit Wars.”)
This sounds about right, and resinated with me down deep.
High Tea with Mum, Laura, and Jenna who graciously came to visit from Colorado, with Joyce and Kathy, was ” fantastic,” as Kathy would say.
Kathy and I pushing the ” seniors” uphill in wheelchairs was a walk to remember. She refers to the wheelchairs as ” transporters,” which is a more pleasant way to refer to them. We were laughing because Kathy had on the highest heels, which turned out to be perfect for high tea, but not as much for going up steep slopes.
We got “gussied up” and giggled, and told stories, and ate fancy cakes, and delicious tea. Laughter is so necessary especially as oftentimes things are not so funny. It did our spirits good, and energized our souls.
Mum is requiring more assistance. I spoke with someone today at the LIHN( Local Health Integration Network), who will get her an OT assessment to have her fitted for a walker . She is not so sure on her feet now a days, and is ” chair walking,” using the backs of chairs to support herself, as she moves along. She likes going to Walmart, so she can push the cart.. it’s in the little things.. plus we can always watch out for ” Walmart shoppers.” It’s a good field trip for all parties concerned..
What will this fall bring? Lots of changes are afoot.. and as the cooler weather saunters in, and warmer sweaters are sought…thankfulness for a summertime filled with beer pong games with friends, having Logan beat me out for the championship, and priceless moments with family makes my heart overflow with thankfulness.
The time spent at the cottage with Logan and his compadres, him cooking the meals, and barely allowing us into the kitchen at times, was Like manna to this Mamma.
Jeri, another friend from Colorado who came to visit, used her artistic talents to paint a sign naming Mum’s dock tower, ” Denny’s Tower” which was so kind. Lots of late night game playing, and shared bbq meals together with lots of grown up kids is just the best.
Mum’s nickname was “Denny” growing up, and she built this tower probably 35 years ago, at least. She was a nurse by trade, but her ability to build, and engineer projects was something to behold. My brother Dean has replaced, rebuilt, and replaced boards, and it’s freshly painted. It stands alone in the dock like a lighthouse on the bay.