Fall

maddy

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.

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dear deer

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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.

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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.

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It was a terrible throw. Landing wide. Willow looked embarrassed for me. I tweaked my shoulder in the doing, damn I’m getting old.

postcard

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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.

pitter patter

RCE_1105Fireweed.

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.

finally fall

_LME8510Cooper 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.

_LME8457Dog 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.

_LME8505Hiding 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.

Scarlett

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Robert Cromar Davidson

rcdavidson1smBob with his racing car. RC Davidson Power Sweeping painted on the side. 

Our family received word today our Uncle Bob passed away at the age of 90 in Hamilton, Ontario.

I only met him a few times but he sure made an impression on me.

Our Mother Isabelle talked about her younger brother often with pride and love. They were poor growing up and life wasn’t easy. They more than likely depended on each other. She said, Bobby always looked after people.

rcdavidson2smBob and his father, Jim Davidson at their wood lot.

When my Mother accidentally got pregnant and had a baby at the age of 40, eight years after her last child, she named the boy Robert Cromar after her beloved brother. That boy was me. I often asked her, during my school days, what kind of a name is Cromar? She said it was Scottish and carry it with pride.

I was about 10 years old the first time I met Uncle Bob. He, his wife Muriel and children drove out to visit us. His car had something none of us had ever seen before, an 8 track deck that allowed you to listen to music while driving. I was blown away! We were all amazed.

During the same visit we were walking around our small town browsing. He caught me looking at a small transistor radio. He asked if I liked it. I said I did and immediately felt embarrassed, because I didn’t want him to think I was asking for it. We continued browsing on our own and when we got out of the store he presented me with the radio that he bought when I was looking elsewhere. That radio served me well for many years, during a time when I was just discovering music. After 11 pm I could pick up all the FM stations out of Vancouver, Seattle and sometimes, as far away as San Fransisco.

At Christmas Uncle Bob and Aunt Muriel would send a big box filled with all kinds of goodies and presents for all of us. Back then and even now, it hurts me to call us poor. We always had food on the table, wild meat and fish from the bush and vegetables grown in the garden. Those presents we received were wonderful.

rcdavidson3smBobby and Isabelle.

The last time I saw Uncle Bob and Aunt Muriel was when our mother was dying. They drove from Hamilton with their trailer. When they arrived I told my Mom her brother Bob was here to see her. She said, I can’t have him see me like this. I was stuck, I didn’t know what to do. Then Bob came through the door, forgoing the invitation and they reunited. I can still hear their voices. My Mother saying, Bobby. Bob saying, Isabelle. Like they were poor youngsters, again, protecting each other.

They talked and talked, laughed and then my mother slipped into a deep sleep. She awoke once and awhile and then never again.

Isabelle always said Bobby looked after the people around him.

Lisa and I send our deepest condolences to Uncle Bob’s family.

rcdavidson4sm.jpgUncle Bob and Aunt Muriel.