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.
Lisa and Scarlett. Two peas in a pod, believe me, those smiles mean trouble.
A wonderful few days with our grandkids, Cooper and Scarlett, while their parents slipped away for a mini holiday to the Okanagan.
Lisa and I decided the best plan of action, since they haven’t been away from Mom and Dad overnight, was to keep them busy. Each morning found us up the creek behind the mountain. Cooper and Scarlett did plenty of walking. Cooper worked hard on his rock and hill climbing. Scarlett learned to call Willow to keep her close. We walked through trees and bush, noting the colour in the leaves, the rabbits ducking into the undergrowth and the wild chickens (grouse) that seem plentiful this year.
By lunch and supper Cooper and Scarlett were hungry. By bedtime they were tired and didn’t put up a fuss for Mom and Dad or wanting to stay up late. They slept through the night. In the morning we were off to it again.
Cooper with supper and his pretend smile.
Cooper did seem to get a little tired of my boiled carrots and spuds at every meal – hey you eat what is ready in the garden. On their last night here I made a big spaghetti dinner. Mom and Dad were back and everyone enjoyed it. Of course the sauce had plenty of carrots.
Lisa and I are lucky. . . and I’m not talking about being able to grow carrots.
Light rain tonight. It feels good, cool and fresh. Today the clouds were as high as they’ve been for awhile. The mountains showed up and lo and behold had a coat of snow.
Very fine extended weekend.
Cooper and I pulled the peas on Friday night. They were ready to come out. We saved some dry wrinkled pods for next season,
On Saturday morning we made Huckleberry Jam. I never make enough to really feel comfortable that it will turn out. The berries are hard to come by this year.
Later we dug the garlic. It was a heck of a job under the sun. We laid them to dry on a canvas tarp. We tried to find shade but there wasn’t any.
On Sunday we went to the the drugstore and bought a toothbrush to clean the dirt off the garlic. We trimmed the beards and cut their necks. They looked good. Copper negotiated a good deal for his Mom and Dad. At first I said only one clove. The next thing I knew they are going home with pounds.
It’s been warm. I look at the edges. The leaves dyeing, yellowing under the plants. The cool that hits before light. The squash that puts out. The snakes that scatter near the railway. The plants that don’t belong, but thrive. The shore line, altered, but still recognizable.
It always makes me wonder. The clock, the river, sun up, the stars, all that. Times have changed. No matter how hard I close my eyes and imagine, it will never go back to the way it was.
That’s a goddamn good thing.
Diving off the clay banks into the young Columbia. Swimming among the weeds.
Cooper and Scarlett hold my hands while they walk. I want to both protect them and set them free.
To be young, feel the wind, the cold and the pull of the clouds on a string. I remember back to those days, only a short walk from where Cooper flew his first kite.
The bunch grass overlooking a frozen lake, the blue mountains majestic, tho we didn’t consider them, since they’d been there since we were born. Same as the lake and the train hauling coal and sulfur.
Times are different. It’s not necessary to fly a kite anymore. It’s not necessary to see it dip and learn when to run. To pull the string and walk with the wind, watching it stagger, then when the moments right, turn into the breeze and watch it dance back into the spring sky. It was essential once. It was essential to let out all the line, risking the high winds that could send it crashing back to earth. But to master those winds was a craft indeed.
It’s not necessary anymore. There are so many more important things, I’m told. My problem is I never figured them out, nor considered them.
Cooper got it right away. The string, the wind and the sky. It’s nice being his Granddad, because I get to show him good things, while he reminds me how lucky I am.
Very fine day.