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Archive for October, 2012

 

Yes, Joni is Canadian!  A firm favourite of mine when I was growing up in the 70’s and Woodstock was all the rage.

 

The salmon flicked its tail once more. The silver hue poked above the brown water as it struggled against the current. A bald eagle circled overhead as it surveyed the ‘easy pickings.’ It swooped across and settled in its vantage point, an undressed maple tree. All its finery lay strewn around on the ground….dry and spent. Although a hint of colour still prevailed. The last few reminders of Fall!   The eagle ogled down at its prey while the salmon struggled to get further up stream. It had dropped its precious cargo and the drive to survive began to wane. Some would try to make their way back to Ontario Lake. For others the effort would just be too great. Their prodigy would have to ensure the dwindling numbers of the Atlantic Salmon.

16 Mile Creek…..just down the road from us

 

 

 

The sixteen mile creek meanders on regardless of the traffic that races overhead across the huge cement bridge. No one cheers the salmon as they continue their struggle to complete their run. They have responded to the primitive urge to ‘go forth and multiply.’ Their job is done. It is as if they know it is all part of the cycle of life that must be completed.

We were the lucky ones who were able to stand and stare………

We begin to cover up as the colours of Fall begin to fade….

 

Salmon Run Bronte Creek

 

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Mom will always be young and strong in our eyes.

 

 

 

My mom has a special birthday today. She has seen 88 summers! Her voice came through clear and strong as we spoke. She was up on her bed having her ‘hour’s compulsory’ and we were just getting out of ours on the other side of the world. The calls need to be orchestrated when you live in another time zone, so that we don’t catch her napping. “I am 58, no 78….” Her mischievous voice joked with her grandsons.

‘They don’t make them like that anymore’  has been said of the caliber of people like my mom. Is it because they lived through a World War? They learnt to make do and to appreciate the small and important things in life. Whatever it is that has made her this way, she is a star!

She has so many talents …… She can cook a tasty feast to feed the extended family of mainly ravenous boys and men. These culinary skills  appear effortless apart from all the washing up that she generates for us ‘washer uppers!’ But we have to forgive her as the food is so delicious! Her paintings grace the walls in our home and her amazing handwork is known all over Stellenbosch. She puts her hand to everything from quilting to embroidery.

In her quiet moments I know she misses our Dad, her dashing pilot. Hopefully her memories and her children comfort her. I know that her 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren bring her much joy too.

Mom, you have been an example to us all on how to be tenacious, loving and loyal. I can fully understand why Dad chose you as his wife! You have not only been a devoted partner but you have loved all of us so unselfishly.

Happy birthday!

Your loving daughter

Anne

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ8D5Ihe4hg

 

The warmth of summer……

This song had plagued me for days and seemed to turn up on the radio each time I switched it on. I sang out at the top of my voice as I made my way down to the shops. ‘Everything is going to be fine….fine…fine.’ What was the significance of these strange words where some of the opposites were totally unrelated? Is free the opposite of focused?

I have one hand in my pocket and the other one is giving a high five.

I sink my hand deeper into my pocket as I do my morning ritual of walking Josh. He jumps like an antelope through the piles of Fall leaves that have gathered on the sidewalks. I love watching his enthusiasm for his morning exercise. He is undeterred by the fact that it is the same route as yesterday and finds squirrels to chase and dark holes to investigate. The burnished maples are holding onto to their leaves as if to prolong their beauty. Maybe they are just not quite ready for their dormancy or the harshness of the cruel polar winds. I comfort myself that we have a way to go before I don my goose down coat each day.

I am sad but laughing……

How can I forget the pure exhilaration of chasing about on the snow on skiis? I fell and laughed and fell some more ……and screamed! I did more manipulation of my back then my chiropractor had done all year! Then we ventured out on huge tubes and reached hair raising speeds down the smooth slopes. We played like kids…. But when the ‘really bad weather’ sets in, you scurry indoors and lap up the warmth of a crackling fireplace.

The lack of sun in winter can play havoc with the demeanor. Preparation is made for all eventualities and the days that we are housebound. We are like the squirrels and eagerly prepare for our winter confinement. I peruse the book stores for exciting reads and have built up a pile on the coffee table. I have everything from romantic reads about the Russian nobility to a book that dares you to dream. Ha! Ha! There will be a long winter for that! Along with my basket of soft mohair wool that I hope to create into something devastatingly beautiful!

I have not got it all figured out just yet…….

There are days when I still get lost and resort to my GPS to get me home. There are no mountains or mine dumps to guide me! The Canadian monetary system is still a challenge and I have not got all the coinage waxed yet. Thank goodness the usage of a debit or credit card is universal! I still convert into South African rand when I am shopping and almost have a coronary every time! I use words that the locals do not understand and often I get a blank stare in return. But have not resorted to ‘voetsek’ or ‘donder’ as my permanent residence has not come through yet! I have not mastered the politics. I am trying to work from the known to the unknown. So I have got to enjoy the antics of our portly mayor of Toronto but am still vague about the central government. I know that Canada is ‘vrekgroot’ but I have yet to know where to place each town on the map.  And so the learning curve continues…. I drink my gingko biloba each day and hope that my menopausal brain will continue to keep absorbing all these new things……..

 

What it all comes down to my friends…

Is that everything is going to be quite alright…..

Braving the winter chill!

 

PS. Need I say that Alanis Morisette is Canadian. I found out that she has a show in Toronto next week. No wonder she was riding my head side sadle!

 

 

 

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