Rain and the sound it makes

Plenty of rain but it won’t be enough. God nows where the falling rain goes. Here we are at the headwaters with Stripped Turtles, Herons, Fossils, Native Fish, where not much changes. Sure we can bitch, compared to the rest of humanity we have it better. Who am I not to enjoy it.


The good neighbour Larry always gives me some plants. He starts them inside starting in February. To say he has a green thumb is an understatement.

I also start a few plants in March. When I have one or two that don’t look like they are going to make it, I let them convalesce at Larrys, and he breaths life back into them. It is like a spa for plants.

The plants he gives me must feel bad, because they go from a perfect environment to where they must survive.

‘Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen,’ he says, is my motto.


Wind and rain signalling winter is officially over and spring is here. I feel colder in this weather than I do when it is minus thirty.

It will green things up. Some of the kids at work are wearing shorts while I still have on my long underwear.

Lisa asked today, do I wish we prayed. It is a good question.

Bird Song

Was up there hell and gone, cashing in on birdsong and edgy dogs. Looking for snags, firewood, fallen or standing, rocks that look like letters or shapes, like hearts, to bring home, and have someone say, I see it.

Willow sat on lookout, the young dog was more comfortable close. She is going to be a good one. Willow is good in the bush and bad everywhere else. She’ll bark at a crow at home through the window, but stay still for a Black Bear, in the bush, waiting for the right time to put it up a tree.

Together we are too much trouble for man or beast to take us on.


There is plenty of reason for the way things work out. For instance, we’re told, a person works hard and they prosper. However, the biggest reason that things work out is random. The universe is chaos. It doesn’t consider us or our feelings. It isn’t Jesus or Santa Claus or cares if we have been naughty or nice. If it was most people would live forever and a few would pay for the shit they caused.

Bad things happen to good people. Bad people prosper. Not always, like I said, it’s random.

My brother smoked and drank from the time he was 12. Instead of liver or lung cancer he died of a rare blood disease. He thought it was funny. It also killed his fear of dying. So many doing everything right and dying. He was lucky.

We’re all lucky in the end.

The stars keep time. They swarm over the mountains. Turn south and back. It takes more than a lifetime to know them, to become an expert.

That’s Jimmy

Jimmy knocked himself out today. He struggled with a post of angle iron in the frozen ground. Finally it broke off and hit him in the head. He hit the ground, his radio on squelch. That’s Jimmy. If he does something he makes sure everyone notices.

Of course, once he came to, he wanted to keep working. He is small of stature, but strong as an army. That’s Jimmy.


A good fishing day.

Dad would have turned 100 today or it would have been his hundredth year. He had a distinction between the two. All I know he always said he was year older than what he was. So it is safe to say he is 100 considering he was born on March 31st, 1923.

Joined the army at the start of the Second World War at age 17.

Been looking through some old photos. Some I look at every day. Not a day goes by I don’t think of my father, usually when I hear something funny, or see something on the news. Nature as well, almost anything I know he pointed out to me when I was young.

He’d still find a lot of those things interesting in this day and age. The level of the creeks. When the berries ripen, the dryness and forest fires. The politic climate, how we are set against each other depending if you are left or right.

Paradise when the buildings still stood.

One thing you never asked was, how you vote. I knew that early and never asked. He despised bullies, people who punched down. That could be unions or conservative tight asses. It was hard to know where he stood. I figured it was on the side of common sense.

He could be hard, even to his own children. I never felt it, he was older by the time I came along. But I don’t doubt my brother’s rendition. Men when they are young are on an edge.They want the best and are damned and determined to achieve it even if it works counterintuitive to their goals.

His grandchildren had the best of him. He wrote poems to them that demonstrated, love, humour and wit, with always an invitation to come along.

In his final year Hunter and I would go down to the old house. I would mow the lawn or do a few chores. Hunter, sitting on his Grandfather’s wheelchair, would shoot the shit like a couple of friends on the mountain. Hunter no more than 5 and Grandpa at 79. By the time I was finished they both looked disappointed to see me interrupting the party.

A few doughnuts and candles. Dad would have approved. Thanks Lisa!

We go when we go. The older go first. That’s the way it works.

Cripes I miss him. I still have an apology to give, but will only do it when we are face to face.

Happy 100th oldtimer!

Back Roads

Willow and I were up early a few nights ago. We decided to circle the lake on the old back roads, like a couple of drunks trying to make it home from the old roadhouses, The Royal Antler, Hunt’s, Hammond’s and the Crook and Elbow. Of course those old watering holes are long gone. Instead we imagined them. Outside of the truck we admired The Milky Way coming up parallel to the mountains and rivers. That’s a joyful coincidence I suppose. Still worth waiting for March’s weather to clear, to see it. Willow barked at owls, hooting, I tell her to not worry, but she doesn’t like them. Probably because they are better hunters and she is secretly jealous. Auroras shined on our trip. Once heading back, north, too home, they showed their colours. It was an hour from dawn, it made me wonder how spectacular they must have been when we were fast asleep. Good morning, arriving at work on time.


We live in a strange world. The news is reported to our open ears. We want to trust it. Some news gets played over more important news. It’s what’s stylish, current or in the newsaphere at that time.

It is the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/18/world/middleeast/iraq-war-reason.html

A pretty significant event in history.

The United States, George Bush, Dick Chaney and company got it wrong. Regardless of intentions or who got rich. 4000 US service men died along with 300,000 Iraqis died. Those are low estimates.

Meanwhile, on this anniversary, the news is all about Trump paying off a pornstar.

Trump is and always will be a buffoon. He gets votes because the choices aren’t any better.

Why is Bush painting shitty painting in Texas and rubbing elbows with Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres, instead of in jail for war crimes?

America is this correct? America, Allen Ginsberg [1926-1997]

The Toby

Driving through town the other day, I saw Mrs. Peters walking. I pulled over and thanked her for what her and her husband meant to Lisa and I and our family.

Ron and Elizabeth Peters owned and operated the movie theatre in Invermere. Toby Theatre was the hub of downtown. Its big neon sign and movie posters in glass cases mounted on the exterior were a constant pleasure for every kid and adult while growing up in the Valley.

Inside was a thing of beauty. Snack bar with the best popcorn and cold fountain drinks (I was once addicted to the Cherry, it froze my throat and gave me a headache if I drank it fast enough, and I always did), the aquarium in the lobby, the model planes flying high off to the side as not to interfere with the projected light from the film, and the films were always good.

That was our entertainment growing up. I went to every movie. If it was restricted, my Mom would write me a note saying it was ok to let me in. I saw bare breasts and gore. Mom and Dad were probably happy I was out of their hair. I saw True Grit with John Wayne, during the 70’s, countless times.

Toby Theatre showed films. Sometimes the films were not new releases, like you see in theatres today. Sometimes they were older, but always great.

Ron and Elizabeth didn’t put up with rowdy or rude customers, this was also their home after all. They invited you in, you toed the line and it was wonderful to see movies on a big screen.

My children were lucky enough to go there before The Toby shut down. They loved it as much as us.

By then they had also started renting VHS and DVD movies. We would often send the kids down to rent a movie on Friday nights. We would also tell them to pick us up some popcorn as well.

Small town theatres like Ron and Elizabeth’s don’t exist anymore. Back then it was an escape, an oasis in a place lacking in the kind of magic it provided.

Things are different now. I could watch any film shown at the Toby’s 45 year history on my phone. But it’s not the same.

They call what has happened gentrification, or progress.

After talking to Elizabeth on the street. Telling her what a wonderful place they had, how it meant so much to us, we bid farewell. I turned and was walking, thinking she may not remember me, I have a grey beard after all, when she said, give my best to Lisa, Kelsie, Madison and Hunter.

Photos of Kelsie taken at The Toby Theatre.