“Any significance to why you’re wearing it?” she was probably thinking.
I responded to what she was probably thinking, by telling her that, although I love visiting Kingston, spending time in Ontario can be emotionally taxing. So a little touch-wood-lucky-charm protection might not be a bad thing.
Then my friend may have been thinking, “Why would you need protection?”
I responded to what she may have been thinking, by saying, “You see, there are so many people in Ontario we love and care for, but whom we haven’t seen for a dog’s age.”
How old is a dog’s age, I wonder?
“Because, you see, we spend most of our time in the woods, next to a smooth-talking river. Where there isn’t a heck of a lot of human chatter going on.
“And,” I explained, “besides wearing the medicine bag, I also stood by the Middle River and listened to its babbling, gurgling, singing voice before we struck out for Ontario. I call it a vital-force inoculation. I could also call it an anti-noise-busy-chasing-the-proverbial-carrot-sea-of-concrete-mayhem booster shot.”
“Give me an example or two to explain why you need these home-made remedies,” my friend was probably thinking inside her head.
So, I answered her possible question by giving her a few examples.
“While in Ontario, I discovered I was being blamed by a friend for something I didn’t do.
“When we leave Cape Breton, we also leave our rural independence and a fairly non-consumeristic existence and then, when we visit the city, any city for that matter, we can be overwhelmed by the puzzling display of products and services.
“And I was reminded once again, that a road which pours vehicles past us for many hours of the day and most of the night, isn’t as calming as our river and that a city’s main streets have many paupers, mostly invisible. Some of them actually wanting to talk and not just take.”
Full stop. Which I didn’t say.
“However,” I also explained, “the good outweighs the bad and our visit is filled with great people and it is always very difficult to leave all those who we care for.”
Oh, and yes, my conversation with my long-time friend did have some actually enjoyable dialogue segments.
While we were away, it decided to act up. Resulting in our receiving a flood of emails. All on the same theme. Were we okay?
Our answer was, “Yes. Why wouldn’t we be?”
Then the photos began to pour in and we realized that there was a mighty lot of flooding going on in Cape Breton. Roads and houses were being washed out and, OH, OH!
However, later on we were assured by several friends and neighbours that our trailer had survived. The river had sucked at our trailer’s walls, but hadn’t broken in.
We like to think the river has a fond spot for us, but was trying to look impartial by giving us a good scare. Had no intention of washing us away. This is a little dream world scenario which Sue and I have. It keeps us stubbornly settled on our beloved and many times scrubbed-down flood plain. To the amazement of many and even, sometimes, to ourselves.
However, although this might make us sound naive and impractical, there were still many folks who thought our trailer was going to be drowned out or washed out to sea. Because, to many, including ourselves, our trailer sits on ground zero. But I guess it’s more like it’s sitting on ‘ground one point five’. Give or take.
Most folks had thought this huge mound of trees was an unmoveable barrier. Nope, just an entertaining game of pick-up-sticks for the river and when we arrived home I had to get on my hands and knees and remove branches, grass, twigs and logs out from under my truck.
Not anymore. It’s not there. Old Man River was having none of its guff or lip. So now, when we look out our kitchen window, we can see the beaten up oil tank, pouting by itself in a clump of bushes, about one hundred feet from its previous resting place.
“And don’t you move until I come back,” the river had probably shouted to our poor quivering oil tank. “Stay. Roll over. Sit up. Good boy. Good boy.”
Meanwhile, the river was wreaking disaster on another portion of Middle River Road.
The lesson came from my two grandsons. This learning experience occurred while we were visiting my son and his family. And there were a lot of visiting activities to do other than just walking Buster, which was one of his main wants, along with his other obsessive need.
You see, during this visit, Buster got snapped on the nose by their cat.
Poor Buster. He spent hours crouched behind a make-shift barrier at the top of the stairs. Lying there for long, lonely, frustrating periods of time. Whimpering and snuffling at the gate as he tried to figure out a way to gain access to the basement where he could have another go at the cat. So it was, at one point, suggested I take Buster for another walk.
“Why don’t you and Buster take the grandkids, Carter and Callum, along?”
So, I put the leash on Buster and walked outside. My grandkids were waiting for me. In the garage. Where they were pulling out their bicycles. Well, I thought, cycling along with me might not be a good idea. The youngest one, Callum, had just learned how to cycle and was still trespassing on whatever driveway he happened to stop his bike near.
You see, to launch his bike, after getting stopped for whatever reason, he’d walk his bike up a neighbour’s driveway incline and then cycle his bike down the decline, so he could continue on his cycling journey. This sounded rather amateurish and worried me. So I said, “Are you sure your father and mother would want you to go with me on your bikes?”
My elderly words of concern did not stop Callum, the younger, from continuing to pull his bike out of its parking space.
My concern did, however, send Carter, the elder, rushing into the house to ask for permission to bike instead of walking. Meanwhile, while we waited for the sacred words, Callum, filled with faith, continued to ready himself for biking and was tapping his helmet down onto his noggin when Carter came running out of the house with the news.
“Mommy says it’s okay for us to go on our bikes.”
Callum, as he professionally did up his helmet strap, said, and I quote, “Sometimes kids know more than adults, you know.”
After which, Buster pissed on the base of Callum’s and Carter’s basketball net, and then the little family clump was off.
Tally ho, my boys!
I’ll begin by saying I was multi-tasking. Preparing to go on a cycling hike along the Inverness to Port Hastings trail. In the course of the preparations, I set my expensive camera on top of the hood of Bear, my little Ranger.
I’d figured if I had a senior’s moment and forgot I’d set down the said camera, a Pentax K 50, onto the truck’s hood that I would surely see it when I got into the truck. Would it not be visible when I looked out the windshield?
Drat those %^&*#$ Ranger designers. Sure they made a nice looking truck and part of the nice looking truck part is that they designed a nice little dip into the front hood. Which meant that my camera was actually snuggled down into a tiny crevice.
Which meant I couldn’t see it and didn’t see it until I was booting along the Cabot trail at around ninety K’s. Then I did see it. Saw it as it took a suicide leap off my truck and smashed itself into the pavement.
I stopped the truck, got out and found my camera, zoom lens down, in a creek. A few pieces littering the road’s shoulder.
Later on I found out I’d lost the chip.
Which means I don’t have any of the photos I wanted to show you. Like the cute photo of two foxes, sitting side by side, staring at me. Oh, they were so cute.
Or my grand-kids biking. They were really cute too. Specially when Callum wanted to see the poop Buster had laid down on a neighbour’s lawn and which I’d put into a blue poo poo bag.
“Show it to me,” he’d shouted as he zoomed down a neighbour’s driveway on his super bike. Click, click, click.
Anyway, as I scooped up my broken camera and brought it and my broken heart back to the truck, I remembered his words.
“Some times kids know more than adults, you know.”