Sharing My World 82

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Share Your World – June 4, 2018

Is there a piece of clothing from your childhood you still remember?

I miss the carefree days of wearing nothing but red, before the notion settled in my brain that red made me look like the broad side of a barn.  Thanks to my dad for that  awesome expression, and thanks to my mom for choosing my all red wardrobe from ages one through six.  I never paid much attention to the clothes I put on, until I got this red corduroy skirt with three appliquéd white teddy bears and straps that crossed in the back and buttoned in the front and slipped off my shoulders a lot.  I imagine I begged to wear it every day, but had to keep it for “good”.  I’m so glad there’s a photo of it.  I loved that thing.

Those socks with strappy sandals are a much foggier memory, quite possibly my own fashion choice at the time.  And I think the white blouse had red buttons.  Best outfit ever.  It’s been all down hill since then.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility, if you could be an athlete what would you do? Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

I have given this question a lot of careful consideration while sitting here on the couch being totally not athletic.  My sport of choice would not include excessive speed or risk or danger or physical exertion.  So that limits the field somewhat. Beach volleyball, pole dancing, weight lifting and archery all crossed my mind.  But my final answer is darts.  It’s a sport which requires a keen eye, good concentration and accuracy, and possibly a great love and appreciation of drinking beer in pubs.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

Well that depends on who’s driving.  Mostly I’m content to sit in the passenger seat and be an annoying navigator, nodding off when things get boring.  But if I don’t trust the abilities of the person behind the wheel it won’t be a pleasant trip for either of us.  I think I’m a pretty good driver and I do like to be in control of the speed and the route and the pit stops.  But I’m also getting old and slow and more absent-minded, so hopefully I will be smart enough to give it up when it’s time.  However if you told me that time has come and it’s today I probably wouldn’t take you seriously.  It’s an old person thing.  We are all stubborn as hell.  Just hide my keys.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

IMG_3301This made me smile because I do almost all of these things!  It’s like a check list for a simple life.  I can’t sleep when it gets light out, so my summer mornings are ridiculously early.  I always make my bed as soon as I get out of it.  I excel at sitting.  I enjoy folding clean, fresh smelling clothes and towels and sheets.  It’s wonderful to wake up to a clean kitchen and empty sinks, so washing everything up before bed is a bit of an obsession with me.  Eat when hungry, sleep when tired – no problem – perks of being retired.

This morning I cut the grass, trimmed a tree and two bushes, watered the flowerbeds, put out the green compost  garbage bin and the recycling and cursed at the bugs.  Like housework, doing these things is a weird kind of pointless because it all has to be done again.  And again, and again.  But it’s also pointless to dwell on that.  So I won’t.

And that’s my very ordinary little old world for another week!  It’s a blessing to be this bored and content you know.  There’s something to appreciate.

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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.

Vacation Stop Ends But I’m Still On Vacation

The newspaper is being delivered to my door again.  I put the longest vacation stop on it that they’d allow (even though I’m not on a REAL vacation, just an extended pretend one living alone with nobody to care about but myself), and already it’s back, and already today I’ve spent too much time flipping through it.  Practicing my sneery face of disdain because there’s never anything worth reading in there.

Except for these two things.  Yes, TWO!  I couldn’t believe it either.

Calgary’s Twitter sensation Kelly Oxford woos Hollywood

It’s not the actual article I read because I get the Edmonton Journal which reprinted theirs from the Los Angeles Times.  I think the Calgary Herald,  being closest to home should be the best source for this feel-good story.  Anyway, the facts appear to be the same.  So all of you young moms out there writing about your life experiences, take heart!  You have a huge audience that genuinely wants to hear what you have to say.  Even if it ultimately ends up being only your grown up kids who read it, searching your blog trying to pinpoint when exactly it was that you lost your sanity.

The other article in the “Arts and Life” section (stuck in amongst the Disasters and Death and Sports pages letting us know that there are idiots out there still playing hockey even though it’s nearly July)  was a picture of the reunited Beach Boys to feature their album “That’s Why God Made the Radio”.  They will be performing at the Calgary Saddledome on July 11th.  Why is Calgary having all the fun?

Those guys are OLD (-er than me, even.)  This is their first new material in 20 years.

They are still very sharp dressers.

Reliving the glory days. Good for them.

The News

What section of the news do you read first? What sections could you care less about?

The section of the newspaper that I read first (because it’s usually in big bold type and hard to ignore) is the front page headline.

Tsk tsk, plinky. Asking me what I could care less about is actually asking me what I do care about, because if I could care less it means that I already care to some extent. If what you really wanted to know is what I COULDN’T care less about, no matter how hard I tried, it would be pretty much the whole rest of the paper.

Except maybe for the comic strips, but often they’re so buried in such strange and hard to find places that it’s hardly worth the effort. And sometimes I pick up the sports section to see how they’ve re-worded the fact that the Oilers are still pathetic losers. Also I hate all the advertising and all the pictures of houses and cars for sale. Okay, let’s face it. I don’t even remember what else is in there, it’s been so long since I read one.

Normally I don’t see the paper at all, because W gets to it first and reads it from beginning to end and mixes up all the sections and throws them into the ‘paper basket’ in a huge unholy mess. I never feel the urge to sort that out. If he’s away I put a vacation stop on receiving the news. If I get to the paper first I take out the fifty pounds of glossy flyers and throw them into the paper recycle bag. And then throw the remaining bits of the paper (all sections neatly in order!) on his footrest so he can read them from beginning to end and sort them into a huge unholy mess. Tomorrow we will repeat this whole process in the same order, or some variation of it.

So, are you sorry you asked me yet? I could go on for a bit about the black newsprint finger marks on the inside of our front door, or how sometimes the paper comes in a skinny orange plastic bag if the weather is dismal. Or how it’s very useful for starting fires and lining the compost bin.

But perhaps you COULDN’T care less about that. So I won’t.

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Safe Vs. Sorry

If you’re expecting some kind of breath taking story involving a decision about skiing in an off-limits avalanche zone….sorry, this isn’t it.

Family ski trips for us were an awesome thing as long as nobody tried to kill themselves. I was all about traversing a hill, taking my time, enjoying the scenery, and getting back to the parking lot at the end of the day with no broken limbs. I don’t know what my kids did all day, once they got to the point where it was too embarrassing for them to be seen skiing with their parents. I suspect they checked out a lot of the black diamond runs, but also took an extraordinary number of hot chocolate breaks with their friends.

W. was a whole other story. He wanted to get his money’s worth I guess and to him that meant ripping down the hills and up the lifts at rocket speed over and over again from the minute the lifts opened up in the morning. If there’d been a contest to be the absolute last person off the hill, he’d have won it many times over. And that’s no doubt why he was a brilliant skier who could go anywhere always looking all skilled and fantastic. And that’s also why we rarely skied together, because I was so much less of a fanatic, and our ideas of “fun” were polar opposites in that sport.

We did try occasionally to do a run or two together. I remember in particular the day W. decided I needed to challenge myself beyond the ho-hum intermediate runs. I don’t know why he suddenly wanted to put my life in danger, or why I agreed to do it, but there we were at the top of a horrible mogul run. And there he went zipping down four or five turns before stopping to look back for me. I was still standing there contemplating the steepness of the incline, and looking for a route, thinking I might just side-slip the whole stupid hill. Safe and boring. It’s how I ski.

W. started to give me what I’m sure was probably excellent advice that I had no intention of listening to when one of his skis pointed east as the other began to head west. He flailed. For a few seconds he struggled. And then he did the most spectacular face plant I’ve ever seen.

So this is where the safe rather than sorry part comes in. In the time it took him to get himself straightened around and brushed off and finished with the expletives, I was able to compose myself and rearrange my features into an expression which I hoped looked sympathetic. No laughing going on here, not even a smirk. Just loving spousal concern for your safety, that’s all I’m feeling. Uh huh. I took the scowling glare like a pro. Because it was of course all my fault that he’d turned around to help me. Would NOT have happened otherwise. I assured him that yes, I’d be fine, he could go on ahead.

He turned around and took off down the rest of the moguls like he had something to prove to them. Only then was it safe to let myself laugh hysterically, which I did pretty much all the way to the bottom of the hill, stopping every so often to wipe the tears off my face. Some of those were no doubt for having forgotten my camera that day. No worries though, that image (how it looks when the mighty have fallen) is firmly planted in my brain forever.

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