This one is lucky I traded my rifle for a camera.
There is a time you realize everything you thought was big isn’t really.
The bush around our house was thick. It was built between town, the train tracks and the lake. The bush was overgrown. I thought it could hide just about anything. Indians would get their liquor and walk over the bank. They would fuck and fight. Laugh and cry. Freeze to death, at times just die. Sometimes they would smash our forts. Young guys mostly, before pure sorrow took over their souls and made them drunks.
Reaching the creek bottom.
In the trees, we drank their stashed wine and thumbed through Penthouse magazines, found behind the bookstore. At night if there was a fight in the house I’d escape into those trees. I’d break branches off fir and bury myself under moss. No need for a fire, every branch accounted for and smoke gives your position away.
Even now, while in the bush, it becomes my whole world. It’s a downfall really, when the Royal Group is as far away as France. When the distance across the Kootenay is equivalent to the span of the Atlantic.
A cathedral, the only thing missing is a preacher, thank God!
Walking the mountains is awarding, regardless of illusion, the colours at this time of year are vibrant. A trout on the line makes the chill forgotten.
It’s not the biggest world, but I can still get lost in it.
It was my little girls birthday today. It is hard to believe she is grown up. I remember her having a hard time breathing after she was born. And later how stubborn she was. She could dig her heals in.
In all this time past she has grown into a beautiful, confident young women, while I’ve stayed the same, still worrying about my children, while they console me, never growing a year older or wiser. That’s time for you.
It’s been steady rain for most of the day. Willow and I walked off the mountain in it. It’s warm not close to snow yet. More summer than winter.
Heard Willow putting up a helluva fuss. Popped my head out of the studio and there she was head to head with a Mule Deer.
Deer kill dogs regularly within town limits by stomping them. Our neighbours Cocker Spaniel was killed a couple years ago. At this time of year the deer are starting the rut.
We are careful when we put Willow in the yard, making sure there isn’t any deer around. They will be circling my garden regularly now food is getting scarce. The sunflowers are blooming, the ground is still full of carrots and beets, along with the cabbage calling their name. It must look like a smorgasbord.
Willow and I have an agreement to try to look after each other. I get annoyed at her because she follows her nose, rolls in shit, eats live mice and birds then throws them up later. She also has issues with me. I fall asleep in cold places, forget some days to head into the bush, push her back while going through the drive through and insist Scarlett and Cooper are her masters.
When I saw Willow nose to nose with a deer, I picked up what was closest, a plastic pale and ran for the deer. It didn’t move for a second, then realized I meant business and turned and ran. I threw the bucket for good measure.
It was a terrible throw. Landing wide. Willow looked embarrassed for me. I tweaked my shoulder in the doing, damn I’m getting old.
We always saved something for cold harvest. We chipped carrots out of frozen ground. Chewed on seeds come winter. He thought the dill ones could hide whiskey breath from his mother. This on account the birds wouldn’t eat them. He tried to explain it one day, I didn’t get it. He was wrong; about dill masking the smell of whiskey though. We saw his mother chase him out of the house after he’d eaten a bushel of them. He was mostly wrong most of the time. But sometimes he could be dead on. Thats why we liked him, I guess.
Rain the last few nights. It feels good. Tonight the stars can be seen while rain hits my face. There is a smell of woodsmoke in the air, not from forest fires but a wood stove.
Most of the garden is in. If I was smart, ambitious and had extra dough, three things that have always been in short supply, I’d build a new fence around the garden. It’s a battle with the deer. They have been leaving their calling cards on the outside of my decrepit fence. By the time they break in they will have my blessing.
There is a lot of beets and chard we have yet to address. Both are sweet. We grate them and cut them raw for every meal. If we only ate them and nothing else, now until November, there would still be too many.
Lisa and I are missing the pitter patter of little feet on the floor.
Cooper burying the potatoes I just dug.
Frost behind the mountain, along the creek, as soon as sight is lost of the valley bottom. The leaves are changing. The potatoes are in. Most of the tomatoes ripened on the vine. The onions are pulled and dried.
Lisa and I were deep in the bush Monday morning with our grandkids. It was chilly when we walked the cut block and the road in and out. They took turns calling Willow.
Dog tries to steal babies tomato. Scarlett, says, ‘fuck you Willow’. . . not really.
Cooper threw rocks over the bank, liking the way it sounds hitting the snags and boulders on the way down. Scarlett walked the whole way in her moccasins.
Hiding out in the carrot patch.
Lisa and I get to show them something they don’t see everyday. Their hands get cold and sometimes hurt grabbing the wrong prickled branch pulling themselves up. They get to see trees living and some old stumps. They already know roots make the best walking sticks, berries with crowns are good and everything light green smells fresh when you crush it between your finger tips.
I just want them to love being here.
Nothing like a garden tomato.