Wednesday, February 14, 2018

no one minds

Coffee brewing.
Or cookies baking.
Or sizzling bacon.
These are things no one minds smelling while stirring in bed, contemplating the day ahead.
But not......skunk.

My sister inhaled the cool morning air.
Did she really smell a skunk?
How baffling.
The furnace came on with a hum and "it was like a skunk was standing on the end of her bed!"
Back went the covers and up she sprang, following her nose.
How mysterious.
She eventually peered out the front door into a frosty, February morning.
Her snow filled yard told the whole story.
A skunk had wandered along the side of her house.
There were its tracks.
The neighbors dog must have barked,
just as it reached the corner,
right beside the cold air intake for the furnace.
Sherlock Holmes couldn't have solved the mystery quicker.
Case closed.


Sunday, January 28, 2018


This horse was my grandparents sport utility vehicle, a used one with pretty high mileage, but good tires and a reliable engine. He was named Tommy and he did try to head back to his previous owner a province away a few times. That was just til he settled in though. Til he got used to the idea of being a family vehicle. A take the kids to school and pull the plough through the potato patch sort of vehicle. An early crossover I guess.
This pair were my grandfather's work trucks. Grandpa was self employed or they might have been seen as a company benefit. They were pretty versatile and hauled logs out of the woods better than any skidder. Two horse power might not sound like much, but they were greater than the sum of their parts I can tell you. Huge, strong, reliable, loyal, gentle.
My great uncle Lloyd is about to ease on down the road. Likely hunting was his plan of action. My grandfather is giving last minute instructions or possibly consulting the GPS for directions. Leather seats, four on the floor, all wheel drive, lots of pull when the road got steep.
My great grandpa R.C.Ray was known as a horseman. He knew horses. I expect he passed along a few tidbits to those with ears to listen. His son is standing rather proudly beside a horse that can simply be described as huge. I don't imagine mileage was great because a horse that size would eat you out of house and home. Wouldn't have won a beauty contest either with a face only a mother could love, but what a silken nose he had. And feathered feet!! And such a sleek coat and sober, steadfast eyes. Sign me up.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


In the distance, I can hear my washing machine coming in for a landing.
A pause, and then seven urgent chimes sound.
I am summoned.
For some reason, this morning I remember my mother washing clothes in a wringer washer; a great white rub-a-dubber with the wringer set at a misleadingly jaunty angle.
There was always a tub or two of rinse water sloshing murkily nearby, a nose tingling of soap scent, and a motor chugging in steady rhythm, lefffft, rrrright, lefffft, rrright, like the sound giant windshield wipers would make.
Now I just twirl a dial, press a button and get on with my life.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

take heart

Soup has lost its charm by the end of January. Just in time, the days grow longer, and lighter. We come out of our dazed hibernation and take heart.

Monday, January 15, 2018

against the blue

An etch-a-sketch sky this morning; jet stream orange against the blue.

like a savage

Things can be overlooked in the morning scramble to school.
"I didn't have a spoon!" my grandson said, his eyes wide.
"I had to eat my pudding like a savage."