Festive Cheer

tangled lights

curse these tangled balls of light

this wretched tree that’s leaning right

toys to assemble on aching knees

instructions written in Cantonese

nix the milk and cookies dear

this year santa’s drinking beer

trifecta button
Trifextra Week 98:

Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol, wrote “There is nothing in the
world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour
.”  We are giving you exactly 33 words to make us laugh out loud and spread some festive cheer.

A Different Kind of Island Holiday

Time flies when you least want it to.  Our company left this morning to drive back east after a week of roughing it with us on the island – or in the wilderness, as Jazzy might describe it.  We’ve had trips up and down and across the river, beautiful campfires, incredible fish fries, and a cabin clean up to purge a lot of accumulated stuff.sangria

Along with the usual beer and rum that accompanies the scintillating conversation (that could be a slight exaggeration) this week we also consumed copious amounts of sangria.  It is probably a good thing that I didn’t pay better attention to the ingredients and thus won’t feel overly confident to mix up a batch on my own.  There was a lot of fruit thrown in there, so I’m going to say it was good for us.  Even if you’re not a wine drinker it’s hard to pass up one of these.

The back lawn

The back lawn

Looking east from the deck, early morning

Looking east from the deck, early morning

West side

West side

View from the deck
View from the deck

Yes, we are incredibly spoiled.  The weather has been unseasonably warm for September with a few days hot enough for swimming.  Supposed to cool down now and rain, but those days are easy, lazy ones too, snugged up in the cabin with a fire in the wood stove.

Hope everybody is having a relaxing Sunday.  I have four more days of island survival to endure.  Poor me.

Bar Story

photo credit explorethebruce.com

Daily Prompt: Fill In the Blank

Three people walk into a bar . . .my sister, my brother-in-law and me.  We are in Small Town Ontario, it is late afternoon.  We have just dropped my niece off at the ball park where she’s doing whatever it is that ball players do to prepare themselves for the big game, and we have some time to kill.

Every small town in Ontario has a local hotel.  Every one of them is called “The Queens” or something similarly grand.  They all have charm and character. They all serve cold beer.

We sit at a small table on hard wooden chairs and the lady behind the bar shouts across the empty space asking us what we’ll have.  Three of whatever’s on tap, my brother-in-law law shouts back.  And how about you, Charlie, she asks, the usual?  Charlie has joined us at our table, although there are vacant spots everywhere.  The only other occupied seat is a stool at the bar where a big bearded man sits with his elbows embracing his glass and his hands supporting his head, mesmerized by the sports cast on the overhead tv.bar and grill

Charlie smiles at us and nods as he raises his hand in a wave of assent to the bar tender.  We all smile back at Charlie.  He is a little rough around the edges, somebodys forgotten grandpa, plaid shirt and oil stained ball cap as old and wrinkled as he is himself.   I think perhaps we have innocently chosen to sit at Charlies regular table, and he is not about to give up his usual space.

How’re ya doin’ he wants to know, and what brings ya ta here.  And what do ya think o’ the damned temperature out there, ain’t it on the high side fer this time o’ the year?   Charlie taps his stubby fingers on the wooden table top with one hand while caressing the grey stubble on his face with the other, listening to our polite replies.  When his beer arrives he grabs it with both hands to take long thirsty swallows, bangs his glass back down, and then releases a thunderous belch, for which he does not apologize.

I glance at my sister, who is staring at the beams overhead, her lips pressed hard together suppressing what I’m sure would be a loud guffaw if she let it go.  I clear my throat too loudly and take a long drink, hoping I won’t choke, spitting beer all over Charlie’s table.  We sit quietly for a minute.  The television drones.  The bartender hums as she rearranges some glasses and swishes a bar towel across the counter.  We look expectantly at Charlie but he has stopped talking.  His eyes are closed and his chin is resting on his chest.  He still clutches his beer glass in both hands as if someone might snatch it away from him when he’s not looking.

We enjoy the rest of our beer, anticipate the up coming game, check our watches, and then prepare to go.  The shrill jangle of a land line phone pierces the quiet and the lady behind the bar starts to curse.  Oh my Lord love a fucking duck, this Jesus phone has been ringing off the damned hook all fucking day!  What the damned hell, I can’t take this any longer!  She grabs the receiver and shouts HELLO!

We quietly make our escape.  I ask the other two if they heard the phone ring more than once while we were in there and they both say no.  I wonder what kind of emotional stress we might have caused by ordering a second round.  And when will Charlie notice that we’re gone?  Three people walk out of a bar laughing and don’t look back.

A Songbird for St. Patricks Day

Green beer on St. Patrick's Day

Green beer on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday, beautiful Sunday.  After six days of work, I get to rest on the seventh. Today there will be no talk of the weather.  Oh, except for this – W flew off to BC yesterday and sent me the following text:

Made it okay.  Beautiful here!  No snow, green grass!

Men can be so heartless and cruel.  I sent him a text back suggesting he buy us a house there. I hope he gets rained on. And then I hope the rain heads east and some green things happen here at last.

My grandfather on my mother’s side of the family had roots in Ireland, so I always think of him on the 17th of March.  I don’t think you have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, you just have to be okay with green beer.

As so often happens when I spend time on YouTube looking for something specific (in today’s case Irish or Celtic music) I get completely sidetracked to the point where it’s like that degrees of separation game and even I can’t remember what brought me to wherever I ended up.  Which at this particular moment in time would be with Chris de Burgh.

Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison, 15 October 1948) is an Argentinian born British-Irish singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1986 love song “The Lady in Red“, which reached number-one in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom.  (Wikipedia)

Too bad he didn’t sing Lady in Green;  but this song is close enough.  It’s a lovely tribute to Eva Cassidy.  Hope it doesn’t make you cry in your Irish beer.

 

I heard a voice so pure and easy, a songbird singing for me,
I had no choice, only to listen, and surrender to her world;
And she will fly over the rainbow,
She will walk in fields of gold,
And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me?

At first alone, then with hundreds around me,
Enchanted by her song,
But as the day is done, and the darkness is falling,
The songbird sings no more;

And now she flies over the rainbow,
And she walks in fields of gold,
And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me?

And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me, will the angels cry like me?

Making the World a Better Place

Our tent after the storm

The world would be a better place if we could just abolish camping. It’s one of the stupidest things we do to ourselves.

What idiot decided one day to pack up a whole whack of stuff he’d need to survive, travelled for miles, unpacked, got cold and hungry and rained on, put his back out sleeping on the ground, packed everything up again and travelled more miles to get home…..and then marvelled at what an excellent time he’d had as he tried to scrub the wood smoke smell out of his underwear? And how in the world did he convince other people to share similar experiences? It’s one of life’s mysteries how this demented pastime caught on.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. I like my home and my television and my indoor plumbing. I like electricity and central air and clean sheets and daily showers. I’m not so fond of twigs in my hair and stinky sleeping bags and sharing my food with bugs. I can have a campfire in my backyard and drink beer and swat mosquitos and gorge on smores whenever I feel like it. There’s really no need to leave home. The sun shines just as hot here as it does in the forest or the mountains, and the wildlife isn’t as scary.

Stay home! Pitch a tent in the basement! The ‘After-Bite’ people won’t be happy, but probably a lot of bears will thank you.

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Feast Eve of St. Vincent of Saragossa

Apparently that’s what tonight is, so yet another reason to celebrate, unless of course your beer is mothery (thick, mouldy, stale.)  I’m a little disappointed, since I thought the meaning of mothery was going to be something much more mother-y.

It’s also not clear to me why St. Vincent was honoured with a “Day”.  His only claim to fame (other than the fact that he was a martyr for his faith) seems to have been a reputation for excessive drink.  He was a patron of wine and vinegar makers, as well as drunkards.  So why is this morose looking fellow not pictured waving a wine glass in the air (or at the very least a vinegar cruet).  Maybe its a  hangover that’s making him look a tad gloomy.  It’s giving me a headache trying to imagine what a drunkard patron does exactly.  Whatever.  Any excuse for a party.  Boozer Defender Day.  Bottoms up!