A wonderful weekend. Cooper stayed over night at our place and Scarlett had her Home Tournament.
It is Scarlett’s first year playing hockey. She skates on one foot just like her brother did. She holds her stick with only one hand also. That makes being strong with the puck difficult. When on the ice during the game she tries to make friends with the other team, especially the girls. She also enjoys waving to her friends behind the glass in the stands. She follows the puck instead of going where the puck will go.
Scarlett had fun and was a favourite player of the fans. Lisa and I were very proud. To top it off she was awarded The Most Sportsmanlike Player on her team.
Extra grey today. Woke up to fog. Our Grandkids stayed with us last night so everything seemed bright.
Later we walked in the bush looking for birds. They could be heard everywhere, Seeing them was harder. Lisa can tell how far away they are by their song, I don’t know how she does it, but she is right almost always. My ear just hears them, I can’t tell distance.
Lisa said I taught her how to see animals in the bush, you look for shapes and lines that don’t fit. I learned to do it hunting with my father. My eyes are starting to go, fortunately I can still see lines that bend amongst the trees.
I dreamt I was at the old house the other day. My father said, go in and turn the outside light on. The switch was in a hallway my mother made into a darkroom. As soon as I walked in I smelled the photographic chemicals. They had been left out in the trays. Dektol, stop, fix and hypo. They smelled like they needed to be changed. You can get some interesting results from old chemicals, my mother used to say.
When I told Lisa about my dream she was surprised I could smell in my dreams. She said I must be thinking of my Mom. I think about her often, especially as I get to the age my parents were when I knew them them best.
Now Lisa and I walk and drive some of the trails looking for birds, just like my parents did. The truth is birdwatching can really sneak up on you.
This was the time of year I’d get stuck, sometimes on the flat. Teaches me for running around on bald tires. I don’t have to do that like I used to. I’d ask Bucky which tires had the most rubber after the tread was worn off. That’s how you know a good tire. It is easy to slip slide yourself into real trouble.
I took one of these roads yesterday. The snow hard in the trees, soft where the sun hits. Four wheel drive can’t save you once the truck starts pushing snow. It gathers under the truck and before long you either need to shovel or hope for another week of warm weather.
The plants have been started inside. Tomatoes (Black Krim, Brandywine and Black Cherry), basil, some flowers and a couple varieties of cannabis. The frost is out of the ground where my garden lays and is waiting to be dug. Scarlett, Cooper and I took down the tall sunflower plants we left for the winter birds.
Amazing everything said is taken seriously. The figuring consciences is that both are inside us. Bad and good. We use them to get what we want.
Kindness works almost always. But if you have to fight back, fight back harder.
Don’t think I forget every old timer like me on the road is a desperate man. It makes me drive close to the shoulder. Not to mention the middle age driving up my ass and the youngsters taking too long in the Horton’s line. For the most part everyone is respectful. But you never know when that might change. We all have reason after all.
The birds have been active as of late. Plenty of chirping and fluttering in the trees. Some even allow me to see them. A wonderful weekend treat. The melt continues.
Our house also has been active. Lisa and I are looking after our Grandkids, Cooper and Scarlett, while their parents are on a short vacation. It has been very nice for us. They certainly keep us on our toes. It makes me wonder how we raised three children while running a very busy business. We both agree we couldn’t do it now.
We had our daughter Kelsie when we were young, especially for today’s standards. In doing so we are young grandparents. Thank goodness!
I took Cooper to his hockey practice on Friday. It was good to be in the rink again. Cooper scored three goals in the scrimmage. One was a highlight reel goal scored while laying on his back, sweeping it in with his stick. It really was something! His coaches came over and congratulated him on such an effort. After, I told Cooper he did so well because I laced his skates. He just laughed and said, “No. Papa”.
Scarlett is difficult to take a photograph of. She is moving and TALKING all of the time. She can climb hills as fast as her brother and seems to have a competitive streak, something she has inherited from her Mother and Grandma.
It is a wonderful gift to watch them grow, laugh and even struggle. To be a part of their lives, to have them feel comfortable with us is incredible. Lisa and I can’t imagine it any other way.
Late in the afternoon a bird sang. I couldn’t make out the birdsong, but all types of birds, Chickadees, Sparrows and even crows seemed to be stirred.
Walked the tracks on the weekend to the old fishing holes I used to be so fond of when I was a youngster. It was about this time of year I used to throw the first lines with the hope of hooking a nice char.
The walk is different now. For one I don’t carry a rod. Willow enjoys trotting the banks among her namesake the Red Willow lining the Columbia. We did it early in the morning before the mud thawed, saving Willow from bringing her weight home in river silt.
There is nothing as soothing as walking railway ties. Seeing how many you can step at once walking or running. Balancing the rail, jumping from rail to rail. Giving the engineers a wave, counting cars until the red caboose. And if lucky, on the way home, the train would slow enough to swing up onto a coal car and jump off right beside our old house where it was sure to slow due to the half mile of twined track. The trick was not to let the engineer or brakeman in the caboose see you. This required walking further up river from home while tired and often late to a bend in the tracks. Sometimes the train wouldn’t come and it was a longer walk home and a scolding for not arriving on time. Admittedly the scoldings were never much in our house. Looking back I’m not sure my parents even knew I was late until I walked in.
Now you can get fined for walking the rails by the CPR police. Luckily they are not around much. They make a concentrated effort to fine trespassers after someone throws themselves under a train, which happens more often than you think it would. They always rule it an accident.
As a twelve year old carrying a pack and fishing rod I never had a problem. If the train was going too fast I gave it a pass even if it made the walk home long. Don’t think I could run fast enough to grab the ladder now. Besides what would Willow do?
It is International Women’s Day. In honour, this is a video our Granddaughter Scarlett and her Mom sent Lisa and I today.
It seems I don’t have the time I used to. It’s morning, then afternoon and I still don’t have much done then it’s supper and evening with not much crossed off the list.
That’s getting old I guess.
Daylight is extended. February is when you notice it. The snow softened enough today that made me think I could walk in it. Before long I was stuck going up. Willow wasn’t much better. We got to laugh at each other. The snow melted in my boots but somehow I stayed warm.
Very fine day. My hound is feeling better. Lisa and I took one last look at the lake. Marvelling at the still water open before the freeze. Later we headed for the mountains, throwing the truck into four wheel drive.
I offered Scarlett and Copper $5 each if they could find a bird in their guide book. It made me feel good they found the American Dipper and damn near got in a fight about who would hold the book for the picture.
It cleared as much as it does in November. Jake climbed a tree in his between fall and winter boots. A true swinger of birches. The sun was down by 4:30 and dark by 6.
The fire is on. My arms remain strong. Plenty of wood needs splitting. A good day rouses me as much as a bad, when it doesn’t I’ll have to take a good long look.
There has been plenty of work this holiday season and more to come, but it has been the family times that have made it worthwhile.
Scarlett winks as she rides by.
Plenty of fresh air and good food. More importantly most of our children have come to visit. We take what we can get when we can get it. We miss our children but are happy they are doing well. These times are a highlight.
We used to have the kids hold up a sign in the garden with the date. It was to mark the growing of the garden as we did it several times of year. It’s even greater purpose was to mark the growing of our children.
The last time Kelsie, Cooper and Scarlett came to visit we thought it would be a good time to get them in on the tradition. Although they enjoyed making their signs they didn’t really understand the importance of holding them up. That’s okay we have time to practice.